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Tennessee Politician Who Claims to be 'Good Christian' Comes Under Fire for 'Make America White Again' Billboards

( [email protected] ) Jun 23, 2016 11:34 AM EDT
A Tennessee political candidate has come under fire after posting a billboard that says "Make America White Again" in an effort to return America to a "1960s, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration."
The "Make America White" again signs were taken down Wednesday morning. YouTube

A Tennessee political candidate has come under fire after posting a billboard that says "Make America White Again" in an effort to return America to a "1960s, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration."

Rick Tyler, who is running as an independent in Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District, also has a second billboard featuring Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" quote surrounded by Confederate flags.

"I'm doing something that in modern political history no one has ever done. I'm laying out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," Tyler told a local news outlet. "There are certain issues that are verboten in modern politics, race obviously being one of them."

Despite his clearly anti-Biblical views, Tyler described himself as a "good Christian" and "Biblical student." He quoted Romans 8:28, which reads, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

"I believe that even the attacks - even the detractors, will play into what is favorable," he said. "They already have, whether they know it or not, because in participating in this counter-revolutionary exercise that we're in...they're helping. Along the way, I think a fair amount of them will be educated and they may not be quite as strident in their opposition to truth."

Tyler said he believes a large majority of whites agree with him but are hesitant to admit it: "My main impetus would be to stop the cessation of all non-white immigration into the U.S.," he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, adding what is happening now is "extra-constitutional."

While adding he has nothing against "people of color," he asked, "What's the big deal with make America white again?"

Although Tyler he said he would "welcome" backlash, following the local station's report the New York Daily News reported that the sign was taken down on Wednesday morning

A woman wrote on Facebook: "Not only is it now acceptable to say every reprehensible thing that comes to mind, it is celebrated! I work hard to teach my kids that we are all God's children but then let's drive down the road and see this."

Another added, "Never should have been there in the first place, but at least it's gone. I am so enraged I can barely express myself without copious amounts of profanity. This disgusting bunch of bigotry was erected about 20 minutes from our house."

Tyler, who also owns Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, Tenn., is running as an independent candidate for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District, a seat currently held by Republican Chuck Fleischmann. He lost in a 2014 U.S. Senate race, only getting 0.4% of the vote, according to Ballotpedia.

In a statement, Fleischmann denounced Tyler and the "Make America White Again" billboard, saying "I totally and unequivocally condemn the billboard and Mr. Tyler's message and will vigorously fight any form of racism in the 3rd district of Tennessee or anywhere else in the nation."