Billboard Welcoming All to Texas Replaces Controversial Sign
Last week, a billboard asking liberals to keep driving along I-40 in Vega until they've left Texas was removed after threats and mixed reactions compelled the client who paid for it to request it be taken down.
In response to that billboard, Roman Leal of Amarillo started a GoFundMe campaign to create a billboard with the opposite message. His goal was $1,800, but he raised almost $3,000.
The billboard is now up along I-40 in Amarillo, and the message is quite different.
The original billboard was clearly tongue-in-cheek, and while it pains me to see tribalism tearing at the fabric of our nation, I got it. Someone with some extra cash decided to have some fun. I didn't see any hooded Klan members holding nooses or anyone flashing their genitals, nor did I see any goose stepping guards patrolling the perimeter.
It's almost as if a whole lot of Texans are conservatives, and that the vast majority of those conservatives are human and just want to poke fun at their political rivals sometimes.
Now, it's important to note that the person responsible for the new billboard didn't demand the old one be taken down, and wasn't responsible for its removal. He started his GoFundMe campaign, and by golly folks threw cash at it. (Well, credit.)
He didn't organize a mass protest outside the ad agency or the client's house, and as far as I know, he didn't threaten anyone. And it's not as if I disagree with the new message. Texas is a big place, and as we continue to thrive, we're going to attract people of all walks of life and ideologies. We should welcome people and learn to get along.
I think what's bugging me about this whole thing is that it even became an issue in the first place. I see weird billboards all the time that make me feel a little uncomfortable. So what do I do? I keep driving and forget about them. I have more important things to do than lose sleep over a billboard with a message I don't like that didn't contain any threatening language or images. I can't imagine how many billboards I've missed entirely because I was, you know, watching the road.
Am I wrong here? If I am, please enlighten me. The first billboard was a roadside dad joke that garnered death threats, leading to its removal. Are we that easily ruffled?