A billboard featuring a number of Black political figures in compromising ads is causing major concerns in one Pennsylvania town.
Many are outraged saying that John Placek, who owns the billboard, is inciting racism and hate through his digital billboard displays, WPXI reports.
The changing screens feature several controversial messages along Route 422, outside Worthington, Pa which includes Reps. John Lewis, Maxine Waters, and even Jussie Smollett.
“Jussie Smollett hangs himself! Sets ‘race’ relations back 100 years,” reads on message about the Empire actor’s alleged hate crime hoax.
Another message calls Lewis and Waters “black racists.” yet another says “Whites have rights.”
However, Placek disagrees that his messaging has racist implications.
“Racism is misunderstood in America and I want to have the conversation,” he told WPXI. “We need to get over: I’m black. You’re white. You’re Hispanic. Who cares? I don’t care about that. I do care about how you act and how you stand for my flag, our flag.
“We gotta get people talking,” he continued. “We gotta get them excited. And that’s what I’ve done. The board was never meant to hurt anybody. I would never do that. I’m a patriot. I’m an American. Period.”
But critics hit back and said his billboards are clearly biased.
“I don’t see it as thought-provoking,” said Michael Allshouse, adding that the billboard is racist. “I don’t see it as instigating thoughtful discussion as much as it is provoking and agitating.”
Many on Twitter blasted Placek and reminded him about Lewis’ heroic civil rights achievements.
One problem with real racists is that they don’t actually know what racism is. They think it’s simple bigotry but it’s much deeper. It’s systemic. When black people control the means of production and all the systems then maybe they could be racist…. https://t.co/NFf2RjoRKw
— Joe Lovece (@HoohahComics) March 6, 2019
“The billboard was never meant to hurt anybody….I’m a patriot…” said by the racist white idiot that put this billboard up. Imagine being this ignorant. ?
Pennsylvania billboard calls civil rights hero John Lewis a ‘Black racist’ https://t.co/kpG91BYezM via rawstory
— Jo’el #RESIST (@joelliberal) March 6, 2019
Sorry don’t believe that all of Pennsylvania believes, that just some idiots that paid for a billboard. John Lewis is a hero that has been loyal to what america stands for WE MUST PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION https://t.co/A7PeDTEiEn
— jude baker a white woman (@maxxsings6464) March 6, 2019
An eye-raising abortion billboard spotted in Texas
Last year a shocking billboard in Texas incited a controversy for suggesting black women should view abortion as self-care.
“Black women take care of their families by taking care of themselves,” the billboard states. “Abortion is self-care.”
However as expected, the ad sparked both outrage, support, and conversation across social media.
Would you support a controversial billboard in your neck of the woods?