Mississippi billboard sparks outrage with ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan

(Photo: WJTV)
(Photo: WJTV)

PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) — A billboard in Pearl, Mississippi is coming down after sparking outrage in the community.

The billboard features the photo “Two Minute Warning,” which shows state troopers facing a group of protesters, including John Lewis and Hosea Williams in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday.” Over the image are the words: “Make America Great Again.”

For Freedoms, a Washington D.C. organization, paid for the billboard.

“We don’t know much about Donald Trump except that he likes attention and he will say anything to get it,” said Hank Willis Thomas, co-founder of For Freedoms. “I really want us to start to ask harder questions like well what do you mean when you say make America great again? That has not yet been asked.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant even issued a statement about the billboard:

“This is reprehensible. It’s disappointing that this group would use this image in an attempt to divide the country.”

The group said they chose to put the billboard in Mississippi because of its history in the Civil Rights Movement.

“We really thought this was the battle ground on which our country changed for the better, and it seems as though those conversations don’t continue in that part of the country.”

Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers hopes to have the sign down by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

“Of course I don’t necessarily approve of the sign, but according to the First Amendment, and First Amendment protection, there’s not a whole lot the city can do,” Mayor Rogers said.

Even though he plans to take it down, Mayor Rogers said there is nothing illegal about the sign. He called Lamar Advertising and asked for it to be removed.

“We don’t want to be dragged into something. No matter the fact that it wasn’t meant to be controversial, good gentleman and put it up to put people bring people to their website and I think he has probably done that, but he’s done it in a way that we don’t approve of,” he said.

“Beginning this conversation, I hope it doesn’t end when this billboard comes down, but that its actually just the beginning of a longer deeper conversation that will make our country better,” Thomas said.

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