But one property owner—and proud Southerner—stood up to the BLM bullies — and won.
Sam White, a descendant of Confederate soldiers, disagreed with the decision to remove a Confederate monument from the Chatham County courthouse and allowed a large Confederate flag to be placed on his private property along Highway 64 as a sign of protest.
In response, an activist campaign funded a Black Lives Matter advertisement on a billboard that stood next to the flag.
“The billboard sent a very strong message, as strong of a message as that Confederate flag,” Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC told WTVD.
Kerwin Pittman, executive director of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services, said the billboard was an in-your-face effort to confront those who want “hatred and fear and terror” in Pittsboro.
But instead of buckling under social and media pressure, White told the billboard company to take a hike.
“I told them if they don’t take it down by Sept. 1, they’re going to hear my chainsaw running,” White told WTVD.
LAMAR Advertising has leased the land for the billboard from White for more than a decade. However, White told the ad agency that their billboard is no longer welcome on his property when the current lease expires.
The company offered an extra $1,000 per their annual rental agreement, which White declined.
“The #BlackLivesMatter billboard installed near a Confederate flag in Pittsboro is coming down,” Joe Brown of ABC11 tweeted on Monday.
“The property owner who allowed the flag has canceled his lease with the billboard company who allowed the BLM message. New BLM billboard now planned for Raleigh,” he wrote.
The #BlackLivesMatter billboard installed near a Confederate flag in Pittsboro is coming down. The property owner who allowed the flag has canceled his lease with the billboard company who allowed the BLM message.
New BLM billboard now planned for Raleigh. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/2d7aILgfzl
— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) August 11, 2020
White told reporters that his decision was based on principle, not personal gain.
“There’s some things that are a lot more important than money,” White said. “The new phrase, BLM, means burn, loot and murder not Black Lives Matter.”
Kerwin Pittman responded by calling White a racist, and added, “To remove currency from your pocket because of mentions of Black Lives Matter speaks to the testament of how he truly feels.”