Sign in small town creating controversy

September 6, 2010 3:23:57 PM PDT
There's a politically divisive message in Old Town Spring at the center of debate. The sign displays messages in support of Arizona's immigration law and opposing President Obama, and the sign's owner says he's just trying to get people thinking. On a sleepy day in Old Town Spring, the sign is stirring up controversy.

"Look at the past of American history that it is built by immigrants, so such things are a little bit harsh," Old Town Spring shopper Tae Kim said.

"Support Arizona" scrolls up after the time and temperature. Later it says "Obama Day 588" and asks if readers have "had enough of the Obamanation?"

The words in support of Arizona's immigration law were enough to stop one woman from shopping in Old Town Spring Sunday. She didn't want to be identified because she says she's just started a new job.

"I'm Hispanic. I'm taking it as, OK then I'm not welcome here. I need to go to The Woodlands to spend my money, and that's how I took it," she said.

The owner of the sign, Clarence Williams, declined an on-camera interview, but told Eyewitness News on the phone that he is politically independent.

"I want to make people more aware we have to be more active in politics," he said.

Whatever the motivation, there are some Old Town Spring shoppers who agree with the message.

"I'm all for it," Doug Guenther said. "I think it's freedom of speech, if that's how they feel and I happen to agree with the sign. I'm a strong Republican."

But the woman who was highly offended by the sign says it's driving the town's business away.

"My freedom of speech is I think that sign is whack," the woman Eyewitness News didn't identify said.

The sign's owner says he owns some property that he rents out in Old Town Spring. He was careful to say on the sign that the message is just one man's opinion, not necessarily the opinion of all of the business owners in Old Town Spring.


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