Tennesse resident Rick Tyler, who is apparently running for Congress in Tennessee’s 3rd District, put up a hideous billboard that drew outrage from Tennessee residents like Amy Hines Woody, who shared a photo of the billboard, along with her disgust for the racist message:
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. The person listed, Mr. Rick Tyler, is a local business owner. He owns/runs the Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, TN. Please, if you are the decent and loving people I know you to be, boycott this business. We've already complained to the authorities (and so have MANY others). People of ALL colors have died in defense of our country and this reprehensible display is not MY America.
She later updated the post to note that the sign was already down:
***UPDATE....THE SIGN IS OFFICIALLY DOWN!!! Never should have been there in the first place, but at least it's gone.
The website listed on the billboard is not loading at this time, but Jimmy Johnson, another Facebook user who lives in the area, confirmed the racist content before it went down:
As a person who has eaten at the Whitewater Grill, in Ocoee, and spoken with the owner regularly for the past several years, as well as highly recommended his establishment to hundreds of rafting guests, I have 2 things to say.
First, I am surprised to learn that Rick Tyler is running for Congress, I had no idea.
Second, I am shocked an appalled to visit his campaign's website and learn his views and beliefs through the audio clips, specifically about the "racial problem" America is facing.
"As a result of the browning of America, we now stand on the precipice of destruction" -Rick Tyler owner of the Whitewater Grill
ABC 9 News notes he was inspired by Donald Trump:
The page goes on to explicitly cite GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump as an inspiration for the sign:
For these reasons we are confident that a widespread and creative billboard advertising game plan could go a long way toward making the Rick Tyler For Congress candidacy both viable and a force to be reckoned with. Clearly we are in uncharted waters, in that there has never been a candidacy like this in modern political history. Of great significance, as well, is the reality of the Trump phenomenon and the manner in which he has loosened up the overall spectrum of political discourse.
Local businesses and residents are already declaring a boycott of his restaurant:
Due to recent statements and overtly racist billboards by the principal owner of the Whitewater Grill in Ocoee and himself a declared Independent candidate for Congress, the Kiwanis Club of Ocoee will never meet there again. We are a civic club of inclusion and not exclusion and find these statements repugnant. As a citizen of Polk County, I, Chris Newton, will never personally be back to this establishment.
We will be locating a new meeting venue in the coming days.
As members of Kiwanis, we believe in the following Six Objects of Kiwanis:
• To give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
• To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
• To promote the adoption and the application of higher social, business and professional standards.
• To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive and serviceable citizenship.
• To provide, through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service and to build better communities.
• To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism and goodwill.
Rick Tyler’s Facebook page is filled with nods to his “heritage”:
He also appears to have been religiously radicalized at some point in his life:
Very early on in his diligent quest for truth, Rick came to understand that a powerful, supernatural intelligence exercises monumental influence and controlling power in the affairs of men. None other than Satan himself sits at the apex of this control grid. By appealing to and exploiting the sinful weaknesses of man, Satan is able to maintain a steady and progressive march toward his ultimate goals…chief among them being the abject domination and enslavement of mankind. Apart from this pivotal, foundational truth…there can be no satisfactory comprehension of world affairs, history, or current events. The populace at large is substantially ignorant and misinformed about what is happening in the world around them because they fail to make logical deductions based on the very real phenomenon of pervasive satanic orchestration in the unfolding of the ebb and flow of human interaction. It is quite logical that there would be a vast amount of conspiratorial planning, execution, and choreography as time unfolds. Satan’s exceptional intellect and supernatural power enable him to unleash all manner of sophisticated plots and endeavors…all of which are designed to advance his diabolical agenda. Lies and treacherous deceit are the devices he uses in his comprehensive, manipulative plan. Of course…he routinely masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14)…thus disguising his true motives and identity.
From the outset of his Christian life and activism, Rick has sought to enlighten people relative to the schemes, machinations and methods of the devil and those who do his bidding. In the early days it was hard to get many people to incline their ear toward hard core truth. At present, given the flagrant tactics being routinely employed by the forces of evil, it is far easier to gain acknowledgement concerning the wiles and agenda of Satan and his accomplices. Now, however, it is common for people to be paralyzed with fear…even though they realize and understand that calamitous circumstances are just over the horizon.
Rick Tyler remains devoted to the solemn duty to sound the alarm of impending danger. At the very least he is determined to function in like manner as the watchman described in Ezekiel 33. Beyond that function, he yearns to be like unto those referenced in Hebrews 11 who actually “subdued kingdoms.” The power of truth is not to be underestimated. Rick Tyler has unwavering faith, belief and confidence in the power and promises of the God of Scripture. He understands that the hope and protection of those desirous of serving God are intricately linked to the exhibition of humility and repentance toward a righteous and just God.