“These citizens don’t want black people in Hapeville!”
Joshua Patton, an owner of a restaurant, claims that for almost a year, the city has denied his business the permit to sell liquor because most of clients are black.
As a citizen who knew his rights, especially freedom of speech and expression, he posted a controversial sign post on top of an uncompleted building at the Castle Restaurant on N. Central Avenue, opposite a new Porche building. The post reads, ““These citizens don’t want black people in Hapeville!” and continues to mention 12 names, including the mayor and several other city council members.
Hapeville City Manager William Whitson issued a statement Thursday saying:
“The City of Hapeville is currently in litigation with the owner of the Castle (Mr. Patton) over a disputed administrative matter. It is very unfortunate that Mr. Patton has chosen to exercise his right of free speech in such an offensive manner to so many. However, we yield to his right to do so under the law and City has no further comment at this time.”
Respectfully, he wouldn’t be forced to take the post down, to avoid further commotion. The City Manager said that he was exercising his freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, Mr. Patton is determined to keep the post up there until his permit is approved. He is a man of honor, who has seen the rottenness in the system and leadership of his city and wasn’t afraid to say it loud.
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