Banners stir up controversy in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Banners stir up controversy in Albany

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A couple of banners outside a business on one of Albany's busiest roads are raising some eyebrows.

Some people say they're offensive and insult or maybe even threaten President Barack Obama.

The man who put them up says the banners are just meant to encourage you to vote.

The banners read, "The seals removed one threat to America, remove the other in November" and depicts two navy seals with guns drawn.

"When I saw those seals on that banner, it just made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Those guys are putting their life on the line everyday and the least we can do is get out and vote and choose a good leader for them," said the sign owner Richard Thomas.

Thomas put up two identical banners outside his business on Dawson Road. 

He says he is not comparing President Obama to terrorist Osama Bin Laden, and he says he is certainly not calling for the assassination of the president.

He says the threat his banner addresses is not voting in November.

"The threat is towards the apathy that he (President Obama) has created in this country by dividing people and the loss of hope," said Thomas.

Not everybody buys that explanation.

"I think it's disrespectful. He's our commander in chief. Me being an ex-Marine, the sign is a little too much," said Lee Boyd.

Boyd says although he is a republican, he feels the sign goes too far.

"He is our Commander in Chief, even though I don't believe in a lot that he's doing, but still that's his right. To do that sign and it's Obama's right to run this country, I personally would not do that," said Boyd.

Thomas says it's within his constitutional rights to hang his banners, and he'll leave interpretation to individuals.

"Not intentionally. That's in the eyes of the beholder. The perception could be made that way," said Thomas when asked if he thought the banners were crossing an ethical line.

He hopes the signs will spark interest in the election and encourage some undecided people to make a choice and vote.

Thomas says he'll put up more banners around Albany, hoping to inspire more people to put some thought into the Presidential race and go to the polls.

 

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