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Tennessee congressional candidate causes controversy with ‘Make America White Again' billboard

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 17:15:15-04

An independent candidate running for the 3rd congressional district in Tennessee is causing quite the controversy with his “Make America White Again” billboards.

Rick Tyler spoke with NBC affiliate WRCB about his campaign saying that he has no hatred in his heart for "people of color." They went on to report Tyler saying the sign's message is that America should go back to a "1960s, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration." 

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WRCB says they received several calls and emails from viewers saying the sign’s message does not reflect the entire county and they want the signs down.

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

In addition to the “Make America White Again” billboard, Tyler also created one that show the message “I have a dream” quote in front of a picture of the White House with Confederate Flags surrounding it.

When asked about the backlash, Tyler said “I don't fear it. I welcome it, and I will respond with the application of truth."

Another Congressman, Chuck Fleischmann, released a statement regarding the billboards.

“I totally and unequivocally condemn the billboard and Mr. Tyler’s message and will vigorously fight any form of racism in the 3rd district of Tennessee or anywhere else in the nation,” said Fleischmann.