It grabbed the attention of many people passing by, and for others, it just caught them by surprise.
“Why? Why is it necessary?” said Dawn Frabrizio, Hampshire County resident.
For less than 24 hours, a sign that read “White Self-Hatred is Sick” hung from a billboard in Hampshire County, leaving many concerned about what it represented.
“When we got home, we got to the website, and we saw exactly what we thought it was. It was hate speech [in the name of] white supremacy,” said Misty Stambler, Hampshire County resident.
“It was saying that America does not need to be a melting pot and that we need to take back our country. I just thought ‘Absolutely not!’” Fabrizio stated.
The billboard sits just off of Route 50 and is visible to anyone who passes by.
After many complaints, the sign was taken down.
“You can’t take something down, because you don’t agree with it,” said Larry, local in the area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minority groups make up less than five percent of the Hampshire County’s population.
Some residents believe the sign only promoted a negative stereotype of the town, while others believe it was simply freedom of speech.
“You don’t have to agree with it. If you are so fired up about it, there are two billboards. Why not put up a sign next to it?” asked Larry.
“The message was stop hating yourself, which doesn’t sound like a bad message. But when you investigate it even for a second, you see that it’s not about hating yourself, and it’s about hating everyone around you, that’s not okay,” Stambler said.
WDVM reached out to the owners of the billboard, and they refused to comment.