Trump-inspired Tennessee candidate for Congress erects "Make America White Again" billboard, draws boycott

Rick Tyler explained he wants to "restore the demographic to the America that was prevalent in the mid-1960s"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published June 22, 2016 5:23PM (EDT)

 (Rick Tyler for Congress)
(Rick Tyler for Congress)

A fringe independent candidate for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District erected a giant "Make America White Again" billboard this week that he claims was inspired by the signature tagline of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.


Rick Tyler, the owner of Polk County's Whitewater Grille and a long shot candidate for Congress, credited Trump's campaign with creating the environment to advertise such a provocative statement.

"Clearly we are in uncharted waters, in that there has never been a candidacy like this in modern political history," Tyler explained on his website (which appears to be down, but you can view a cached version here.) "Of great significance, as well, is the reality of the Trump phenomenon and the manner in which he has loosened up the overall spectrum of political discourse":

The Make America White Again billboard advertisement will cut to the very core and marrow of what plagues us as a nation. As Anne Coulter so effectively elucidates in her book, Adios America, the overhaul of America's immigration law in the 1960's has placed us on an inevitable course of demise and destruction. Yes the cunning globalist/Marxist social engineers have succeeded in destroying that great bulwark against statist tyranny the white American super majority. Without its expedited restoration little hope remains for the nation as a whole.

Tyler explains that the Trump-inspired "Make America White Again" is one of several billboard ideas, including some with slogans like "Fight federal tyranny / Stop the Muslim invasion," and "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be miscegenators." Tyler currently has a second sign erected on Highway 64 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" quote written over a White House surrounded by Confederate Flags.

I have a dream

Tyler's latest stunt created a stir when in a Facebook post on Tuesday, Tennessee resident Amy Hines Woody expressed her outrage by posting a photo of the “Make America White Again” sign, WTVC reported.

The local Kiwanis Club then followed with an announced boycott of Tyler's restaurant:

When asked about the controversy his billboard has caused, Tyler told WRCB that he does not hate people of color, but that he wants to "restore the demographic to the America that was prevalent in the mid-1960s"

"(The) Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration, no Muslim sleeper cells lurking," he told the news station. "[A] better America"

"I respect their right to have an opinion," Tyler said of his protesting neighbors. However, "I believe the majority of the people in the county like it."

"I saw people taking pictures beside it right after I posted it," he added.

(H/T: Gawker)

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Donald Trump Election 2016 Elections 2016 Maker America White Again Racist Tennessee Video