Rick Tyler has received massive outrage after he posted an ad campaign in Tennessee with the tagline, “Make America White Again.”
The sign that appeared at Highway 411 near Benton, Tenn. is being used by the independent congressional candidate. Tyler told WRCB that he is currently running to be a representative of Tennessee’s 3rd congressional district which is currently held by Chuck Fleischmann.
Speaking with WRCB, Rick Tyler said that he has no hatred for “people of color.” He added that it was a big misunderstanding and that he simply meant he wanted to go back to that version of America during the “1960, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration.”
At first, the slogan appeared to be in line with Republican nominee Donald Trump’s values, but Tyler has no intention on being linked to Trump’s racist slurs.
According to the channel, there were multiple reports of civilians asking them to put down the sign because it is offensive. Others noted that the ad was not able to relay the message he wanted to tell the people of Tennessee. The slogan just does not reflect the entire county.
Tyler responded by saying, “I respect their right to have an opinion. I believe the majority of the people in the county like it. I saw people taking pictures beside it right after I posted it.”
However, Tyler might not have taken into consideration the reason why people were taking photos. By the time the photos were seen, many people in social media, even residents outside Tennessee, has posted their protest on the ad. However, even though there are already numerous backlashes from the campaign ad, Tyler said he is not afraid.
“I don’t fear it. I welcome it, and I will respond with the application of truth.”
Tyler did not pull down his first ad campaign. He also posted another one in Highway 64 with a different tagline that includes Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous quote, “I Have a Dream.”
The sign was then taken down about 12 hours after it got put up. There were no reports as to who pulled down the ad, but it was not Rick Tyler. The billboard owner did not say who pull the poster down, but Rick Tyler is pushing for his ads to come back up again.
“If I could I’d have hundreds of these billboards up across the 3rd District.”
The officials in Tennessee disapproves of the ads. Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes wrote a statement.
“There’s no room for this type of hateful display in our political discourse. Racism should be rejected in all its heinous forms in the Third Congressional District and around the country.”
Even Congressman Chuck Fleischmann released his own statement regarding the billboards.
“I totally and unequivocally condemn the billboard and Mr. Tyler’s message and will vigorously fight any form of racism in the 3rd district of Tennessee or anywhere else in the nation.”
As for Rick Tyler, even with many people discounting him because of his billboard stunts, he has decided to move forward and independently run for office together with Topher Kersting and Cassandra Mitchell. The voters will head on the primary elections on August 4 and the general election will be held on November 8.
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