Anti-Obama Signs in New Orleans Neighborhood Draw Ire

Some residents say they’re racist; others say it’s the homeowner’s right.

Posted: 09/30/2011 12:03 PM EDT
Filed Under Barack Obama, racism

(Photo: WWLTV.com)

One of the greatest things about this nation is the freedom of speech that to which everyone is entitled. But should they have the right to hang signs publically that depict President Obama topless, diapered and saying, “Change me” and “I stink”?

 

Timothy Reily, a New Orleans homeowner, thinks so.

 

Dozens of protesters gathered at his home earlier this week to view the signs Reily had posted that portrayed Obama as a dunce, puppet or crying baby, WWTV.com reports. Although, according to neighbors, he has been hanging them for months, some of the protesters only learned of their existence Wednesday morning through a radio broadcast.

 

"It disrespects the nation — and President Barack Obama represents our nation," said Skip Alexander told WWTV. "He represents everybody, not some people."

 

"This is nothing put pure racism," said Raymond Rock. "This is a disgrace."

 

Harold Gagnet, a neighbor, said the signs don’t bother him. Another, Katherine deMontluzin, suggested he could do “whatever he wants” on his property.

 

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin paid a visit to Reily during the protest but declined to comment on their discussion when he emerged from the house. Reily didn't want to be interviewed either. City Council member Susan Guidry, who represents the district in which the home is located, also spoke with Reily to no avail and said that she was trying to determine whether it was legal to post the signs.

 

"We have to determine that there is a zoning law that prohibits perhaps the size of the sign, perhaps the way that it's erected, that it is leaning over onto public property," Guidry told the television station. "Whatever we can use, we will, but of course, we do have to balance that with First Amendment rights."

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