Rick Tyler is an independent congressional candidate for Tennessee’s 3rd District. Now his restaurant business is facing a huge backlash thanks to his often racist campaign messages – like a billboard with the words “Make America White Again” emblazoned in big letters for all passersby to see.
According to WTCV, local resident Amy Hines Woody posted a picture of the billboard to her Facebook page (the post has now been deleted) this Tuesday and expressed outrage at the unabashed display of bigotry.
“This disgusting bunch of bigotry was erected about 20 minutes from our house,” she wrote, noting that Tyler owned Whitewater Grill in Ocoee. “Please, if you are the decent and loving people I know you to be, boycott this business.”
According to Tyler’s website, he chose the billboard’s message because it’s “difficult to ignore and its message comes across as authoritative and influential.”
Of course, Tyler’s message is influenced by none other than presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“Of great significance, as well, is the reality of the Trump phenomenon and the manner in which he has loosened up the overall spectrum of political discourse,” he noted. “The Make America White Again billboard advertisement will cut to the very core and marrow of what plagues us as a nation.”
According to Raw Story, another sign disseminated by Tyler’s campaign used words from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech featured alongside an illustration of the Confederate flag surrounding the White House.
Tyler said that he planned to put up other billboards, including “Fight federal tyranny / Stop the Muslim invasion” and “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be miscegenators.”
The candidate told WRCB-TV that he did not hate people of color, but wanted to return to a “1960s, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration.”
But when a boycott of Tyler’s restaurant was organized, the signs were removed.
Watch WTCV’s report on the story below: