Tyler man's tailgate sign stirs controversy nationwide - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Tyler man's tailgate sign stirs controversy nationwide

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TYLER (KYTX) - A decorated truck tailgate belonging to a Tyler man is stirring conversation and controversy across the area.

The owner told CBS 19 all about the logo he has on the back of his truck, which claims that President Obama is a socialist and a Muslim. 

He says he put it up in 2009 and won't take it down until Obama is out of office. 

The tailgate says, "Does this socialist a** make my truck look too big?" Next to the question is a picture of President Obama in a turban. Pictures of the sign have been passed around New Mexico, Colorado, and even Vermont.

The truck's owner is East Texas oil and gas man John Graham.

"Would you call yourself extreme?" we asked him in an interview.

"In today's political correctness, yes."

Graham says his goal is to stimulate conversation.  The conservative says he's always been involved in politics.

"I've been a Precinct Chairman for the Republican party for the fourth area of Coffee City in Henderson County," Graham says.

He calls the imagery on the truck a direct reflection of what he thinks of our president.

"I picked out the socialist ideals that he has, for his wanting to redistribute and take over the normalcies of our lives such as our healthcare system," he says.

So what do people think about the sign?

"When I first put it on in 2009 when he was installed in office, I had a lot of repercussions of people making language signs to me with their finger. But lately I'm seeing the opposite. I'm getting more and more thumbs up," Graham says.

We wanted to hear for ourselves, so we took to the streets, and showed people a picture of Graham's tailgate.

Jim Churchwell said, "Oh, I wouldn't put that on my truck! That's a little rough. I know we have freedom of speech, but where do we draw the line?"

Ebony Oliver said, "I do think it's offensive. I do. I think there are other ways to get your point across."

Eva Taylor told us, "Whoever that is needs to get slapped, because that's not cool. I go to church and everything but they don't need to throw religion into how a man is handling his job." 

Erv Berry, on the other hand, didn't find the sign offensive at all.

"Do you agree with it? Do you support it?" we asked.

"100 percent!," he said. "Because we have a president that is a socialist and he's sending us down that road to oblivion."

If Berry happened to drive by Graham, he says he'd give him a thumbs up. 

Graham says as long as the sign is getting Americans to pay attention to politics, he doesn't mind if it upsets some people. 

He's been asked to take it down many times. He says when people ask him to remove it, he pleads the first -- Freedom of Speech.

The tailgate has had a lot of exposure because graham travels a lot and gets mixed reactions in different states.

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