A man in Noblesville, Indiana, claims he is just practicing his First Amendment right to free speech by posting a sign on his front lawn that makes it clear he loves Mexican people — but doesn't want them in the United States or on his property.
C.J. Spence reportedly put up the sign, which reads "I love Mexican people but they do not belong in the U.S. No Mexicans on my property. C.J. Spence," above an advertisement for firewood, reports WTHR.
"I thought I need to send them a message," Spence told WTHR. "I love people and I enjoy people coming around."
But what Spence says he doesn't love is a Mexican leaf cleaning crew that he says dumped leaves all over his property twice before he caught them and "Mexicans" that he says fish in his yard.
"They never ask, they never ask," he said.
While some residents have reportedly told Spence they like his sign and have even shouted, "God bless America!" while passing his house, many are not pleased.
"Our Mexican-American family that have lived in our house for 30 years. I have to drive by this — my kids have to drive by this every day," Syreeta Bravo told the news station. "This is ridiculous. How do you explain that to your kids? You don't, you can't."
Driver Kari Bundy agreed and said the sign "just promotes hate. It says it's okay to say things like this and be hateful to other people."
But Indiana Law Professor Robert A. Katz, a First Amendment expert, says he doesn't believe the sign constitutes hate speech.
The American Bar Association defines "hate speech" as speech that "offends, threatens, or insults groups based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits."
In recent times and, most notably, since terrorists attacked writers at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, the line between free speech and hate speech has prompted much debate, NPR reports.
Photo Credit: WTHR, imgkid.com