The signage outside the front of a West Texas plant and nursery store does not mince its words when it comes to how the business owner feels about the presumptive presidential Democrat nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. It reads: “Crooked Hillary Would Be a Fucking Disaster!”
No asterisks, no redacting, no euphemistic use of the pretend word “effing” to mask where Slide Plant Market owner Mark Lee stands on the possibility that “Crooked Hillary” could be elected as the next president of the United States.
Since the sign went up Thursday, residents of the small unincorporated community of Slide, located in South Lubbock County, reacted strongly but not because Lee used the term “Crooked Hillary,” coined by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. The outrage is over Lee’s use of profanity.
“I’m not a profane man, but some things just need to be said and I can say whatever I want. It’s my right, Lee told KCBD 11 (NBC). “I don’t agree with what the Obama administration has done, and I can’t imagine four years of Hillary,” Lee stated.
He noted that voicing his fervently anti-Hillary sentiments was just a matter of exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. Additionally, there are no laws on the books that govern signage in Lubbock County to stop him. Local officials agree Lee can keep the vulgar curse word in his “Crooked Hillary” sign, the local NBC affiliate reported.
The plant store proprietor is known for sharing clever and comical messages on that very same signpost, say residents. He told KCBD 11 (ABC) his phone has been ringing off the hook since putting up the “Crooked Hillary” sign, with callers expressing both support and opposition. He said more than 40 locals stopped by to take photos on Thursday. In Slide, that is a lot of people. The tiny cotton growing town has approximately 44 residents. According to Wikipedia, its population has never exceeded 50.
Responses to Lee’s sign extended beyond Slide’s boundaries. On social media, many supported the message. One woman tweeted: “Suddenly I need a plant.”
— Amber (@mommahand2) June 9, 2016
A local woman posted on Facebook: “Holy crap this is right by my house!! He has my business!” Another Slide resident wrote she read the news about Lee’s sign to her husband who “doesn’t even like plants” but now because of the sign, he wanted to go to the store.
Area resident Malissa Roys, however, expressed upset only over the sign’s lone curse word to the local ABC affiliate. “I have a 10-year-old daughter who can read,” she said. “I don’t necessarily want her to read that and then ask me what that word means.”
She never stated what presidential candidate she supported, although Roys commented: “I don’t think we have a good candidate this year but I think there’s a lot better ways without using vulgarity.”
KCBD 11 posted their news segment on Facebook. At the time Breitbart Texas wrote this article, that post garnered 719 reactions — 512 likes, 67 loves, 113 ha-ha’s, and 2 sad faces. There were only 15 angry responses. Also, 149 people shared the post, and 224 commented. Many stood with Lee’s right to free speech and use of profanity. Some commented on how “sensitive” a society we have become. Others noted their objection to Lee using his business to espouse his political views. A few weren’t Hillary or Trump fans. Several highlighted the prevalent double-standard applied to conservative’s conduct only. There was one “Hillary 2016.”
Facebook user Angela Young, posted, in part: “People have issues with what a sign says…get over it. I find more offense in those that stand on our flag and disrespect it. I have issues with supposed Democrats trashing and fighting at Republican rallies…”
A man named Whitney Owens best summed up the profanity controversy in his Facebook post. He wrote: “While I agree with the sentiment and the message, the particular choice of vernacular in this instance is inappropriate.”
One Facebook user wanted to give Lee “a medal,” another said he was more offended by the morals and political views of both presumptive presidential candidates plus Bernie Sanders than he was of the sign.
KAMC TV asked viewers for their opinions on the “Crooked Hillary” sign. According to their report, most said they stood with the message but could have done without the profanity. Others said they were just fine with the entire message and the profanity. The remainder disagreed with the message and the profanity.
Despite criticism that his use of profanity detracted from his message, Lee told KCBD 11: “Hillary becoming a potential president is obscene.” He indicated he will not cave to pressure and the “Crooked Hillary” sign is not coming down anytime soon.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.