If there is any upshot to the hellscape we currently live in, it’s that folks are steadily exposing their true selves. Take Sam White, a property owner in Pittsboro, N.C., who is big mad that a Black Lives Matter billboard was erected next to a Confederate flag that he allowed to be placed on the property.
“I told them if they don’t take it down September 1, they’re going to hear my chainsaw running,” White told WTVD. In July, the billboard was put up on Highway 64 following a community-led effort on GoFundMe. It was meant to stand in direct opposition to the Confederate flag that currently flies near the billboard. “The billboards send a very strong message; as strong of a message as that Confederate flag,” Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, told the news outlet.
Blagrove and Kerwin Pittman, executive director of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services, Inc. (RREPS), placed the names of their non-profits on the billboard so it could meet the requirements needed to be erected. “So the message (of the billboard) was to implore the individuals of that town who seek to sow hatred and fear and terror amongst the citizens of that town - that Black lives do matter,” Pittman told WTVD.
White, the descendant of a Confederate veteran, wasn’t feeling that. “There’s some things that are a lot more important than money. The new phrase, BLM means burn, loot and murder, not Black Lives Matter,” White said.
White, who’s last name couldn’t be any more on the nose, advocated against the recent removal of a Confederate monument at the Chatham County courthouse and allowed the Confederate flag to go up on his property in protest of the county’s decision.
“This is an individual who is deeply seeded in racism. To remove currency from your pocket because of mentions of Black Lives Matter speaks to the testament of how he truly feels,” Pittman said. While saddened that the billboard is going down, Blagrove still sees the endeavor as a success. “It is a win-win for the people of Pittsboro who wanted to send a message that those Confederate flags do not represent all of them,” Blagrove said.
The Pittsboro billboard is set to go down at the end of the month but a new one has already been erected in Raleigh, N.C. The billboard was placed in close proximity to Wake Detention Center as a symbolic call for criminal justice reform.
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