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Oklahoma billboard opens can of worms


Gazette staff May 31st, 2007

Ah, freedom of speech, that blessing our forefathers gifted us with a can of worms.   Case in point: A recent addition to the metro's billboard landscape on Interstate 35 b...

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Ah, freedom of speech, that blessing our forefathers gifted us with a can of worms.

 

Case in point: A recent addition to the metro's billboard landscape on Interstate 35 by the OklahomaRiver. The white expanse features a cartoon of a Revolutionary War-esque patriot, an upside-down American flag topped by the Mexican standard, the phrase "Had enough?" and their site.  

For those who miss the "ogre achiever " believe in yourself" billboard that used to be there " or near there " and are wondering what's up with this one, two former Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers, Dan Howard and Jack Horath, and their anti-illegal immigration organization Outraged Patriots are behind the sign, which already has appeared in Tulsa, according to a KOTV Channel 6 report.

 

KOCO-TV Channel 5 has posted a survey online asking whether viewers consider the Oklahoma City billboard offensive. By CFN press time, it was 46 percent yes and 54 percent no of about 2,400 votes.

 

Howard specified his message refers to illegal immigrants who are "draining our economy and raising our crime rate," not the Hispanic race or legal citizens, the KOTV story stated. According to a May 1 report on Fox23.com, he put it this way: "If you swam, crawled, got into the back of a truck to come into this country, you are not welcome here."

Hmm. Nothing potentially offensive there.

 

Jose Perez, a deacon at a primarily Hispanic church, told KOTV he thinks even those Hispanic people here illegally benefit the community.

 

"I think we should look for common ground on how to deal with the situation," he said. "We're dealing with human beings and children, and we need to keep in mind that aspect of our immigration issue."

 

CFN intern Bucky wonders if ogre achievers placarded across the metro might not better achieve that end.

 
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