A pickup truck bearing a Confederate flag, a black mannequin and praise for James Earl Ray was photographed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16.
Doug Beri Jr. posted the picture on his Facebook page with some background:
This, a photo taken in the Johnstown, PA area, is what's wrong with America. For those that might just see the flag, what you are missing is a black mannequin hanging out of the back of a truck with a sign that reads, "in loving memory of James Earl Ray."
James Earl Ray is the man who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King. These are the racists who have had their disgusting views validated by a man who's platform preached nothing but words of hate and divisiveness.
This is now the America we live in and this is why on Saturday I will be marching with thousands of other Americans to stand up against these repulsive beings and demand equal rights for all Americans regardless of race, color, sex, creed, gender identity, and sexual orientation! #WomensMarch.
Deon Dixon, an African-American man, told WJAC that he saw the pickup truck:
I can't just tell you that the experience is messed up. You're gonna go through it, and you're gonna learn that way. It's to the point where now I can't really say that I like my sons going out of the house. You gotta understand that your father and your ancestors. They've all experienced the same type of hate.
Alan Cashaw, who heads the local chapter of the NAACP, added: "If he wants to not like Dr. King, please find another way to display it."
The American Civil Liberties Union defended the man's right to post the message on his vehicle: "He has a right to say those things. The First Amendment gives you the right to say things that are obnoxious and wrong, and this is both."
The pickup truck owner told the news station that he's been doing this for at least ten years, and is expressing his opinion.