A billboard featuring Uncle Sam, which recently caused a storm of indignation and was called “racist,” has stood there for more than 50 years
To date, more than 75,000 people have voted online for the decision to remove the billboard located off Interstate 5 in Napavin, Lewis County. Residents of the city are outraged by the “racist” and non-tolerant joke that is posted on it.
“No Mexican Olympic teams?” All the runners and swimmers are here! ” – reads the inscription on the shield. This is not the first time that the inscription on the billboard has caused indignation among local residents. In 1971, an unknown person painted over the inscription from an aerosol can, and in 1979 a lawsuit was filed against its owner, already deceased Alfred Hamilton, who reached the State Supreme Court.
However, not everyone is outraged by the insulting joke; some residents believe that everything is in order with the billboard and should be left behind. Many have become accustomed to it, and some do not pay any attention to the inscription. “It’s a matter of freedom of speech,” said Lou Desmond, who lives next door. “If people don’t like it, set up your own billboard.” “This is part of this community, he was there forever,” said another local resident John Moran.
But Nicholas Baum of Centralia, who created the petition, claims that many consider this shield to be offensive. “Whether they are from Lewis County or just from Washington, or they pass through them, they feel uncomfortable with this sign,” Baum said. “I just don’t believe that in 2020 we have to support that.” Now the land owners of the billboard periodically change the inscriptions on it, but it seems that many of these jokes haunt. Last week, someone set fire to dry grass under a billboard, which seemed to be an attempt to set fire to it. However, it was only slightly damaged.
Since the billboard is private property on private land, local authorities do not plan to take any action against the owners.