Georgia man builds sign calling out local racists
A Hapeville City, Georgia, business owner believes that he is being denied a liquor license because his club caters mostly to African-Americans, and to combat that discrimination, he has erected a sign to call out city officials for being racist.
“These people don’t want black people in Hapeville!” the sign reads, along with a list of names of city officials, calling them to public shame.
“I’ve never caused the city of Hapeville no problems,” explained Joshua McArthur Patton, who said that after being denied a liquor license, he was only able to keep his business open for two months in 2015 before he shut down. “They’ve approved over 200 liquor licenses since 2000 and I’m the only one they deny.”
However, city officials have claimed that there is no racial problem but that, instead, there are concerns over safety, with City Manager William Whitson claiming that the “health, safety and community would not be well-served” if Patton got a liquor license.
“This gentleman was trying to embarrass the city into giving him an alcohol license,” Whitson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. “It’s unfortunate Mr. Patton has chosen to exercise his First Amendment rights in this distasteful way. But we respect his right do so.”