When you walk into the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Paulding County, you feel like you've walked into a different era. Behind the pool tables stands a mannequin in a Klu Klux Klan costume, but it's what's outside of the Patrick Lanzo's restaurant that has some people angry.Here's the video, for those that prefer talking pictures.
Lanzo put up a sign that reads "Obama's plan for health-care: N*&%*r rig it."
CBS Atlanta's Michelle Marsh asked Lanzo why he put up the sign.
"I've been putting up signs for 22 years and I've put up all kinds of political signs," said Lanzo.
“Why did you use the N word?” Marsh asked.
“Well, I’ve used it most of my life. There are different ways to put your opinion up, but that's just the words I choose,” Lanzo answered.
Despite the sign, Lanzo said he's not a racist. He said he's just against what he calls a "sub standard healthcare plan," which he said President Obama is trying to push through. Black and white people who live in the area say the sign is offensive and they want it down. Lanzo says he's exercising his free speech.
“I stand by my president, but I also stand by my First Amendment right to criticize him if I feel he’s wrong,” Lanzo said.
Klan memorabilia. Racist imagery. The N-Word on the marquee. Poor grammar. An Oyster Bar.
If this weren't so sad and ignorant, it might be sorta funny in an MadTV skit sorta way. But of course Mr. Lanzo isn't racist: he says he's not and even has and NAACP membership card (WTF?!?) to prove it. So, I guess that settles it.
Who's a guy got to lynch around here to be called a racist?
Question: Is Mr. Lanzo racist, or merely exercising his 1st amendment right?
Restaurant Sign Attacking Obama Sparks Race Debate [CBSAtlanta]