Drivers in Tallahassee on a rural route saw a sign outside of a repair shop trying hate speech as a marketing ploy with their roadside signage for Memorial Day. The sign contained both a homophobic slur and a homophobic message.
Jackson Peel—Democratic Director Of Communications for the Florida House of Representatives—heard of the sign and drove out to verify its existence. Peel took a picture of it and shared it on Twitter.
"This kind of bigotry should have no place in our Tallahassee community."
"It is an embarrassment and the people at Rick's Repair Shop should be ashamed of their foolish, hurtful, and wrong words."
The sign read:
"Veterans get a day"
"[Homophobic slur] and child molesters get a month"
Many condemned the sign.
\u201c@JaxPeel A business that should be on the boycott list.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
\u201c@JaxPeel Personally I find it quite helpful as we enter summer vacation season to get these reminders of where not to travel.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
But there were those who support homophobia and were proud to declare so publicly.
\u201c@JaxPeel I wish there was a repair shop like this locally, my friends and I would all become loyal and frequent customers.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
\u201c@JaxPeel Thanks for showing us there are still legends out there unafraid to exercise their 1A rights that highlight the homo Jewish subversion that is rotting our nation from the inside out\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
Meanwhile, Jackson Peel was putting in the work responding to people who defend hate speech online.
\u201cI grew up on a small beef cattle farm & timber pine operation in the Fl Panhandle. I didn\u2019t live on a paved road until my junior year of college. I\u2019m not sure what a \u201csoy urbanite\u201d is but I\u2019m pretty sure it\u2019s not me.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685480512
\u201c@Nohandle00 Having seen some of the reviews for that place\u2026 good luck with that.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
\u201c@storeswe3per Free speech doesn\u2019t come with immunity to consequence or commentary.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
People familiar with the Tallahassee region—and this shop in particular—expressed a lack of surprise about the sign.
\u201c@JaxPeel Left Florida 7 years ago, but spent my first 59 years in close proximity to Tallahassee. I am not shocked at this. Saddened, but not surprised.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
\u201c@JaxPeel Love how he claims this, yet I distinctly remember him being creepy towards me as a teen when he worked on my vehicle. Plus he always complained about how much he hated Hondas, but didn't hesitate to take my dad's money \ud83e\udd37\u200d\u2640\ufe0f\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
\u201c@JaxPeel Hey, it\u2019s Pan-Handle Florida. I would expect nothing less.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
Someone said the messaging sounded familiar.
\u201c@JaxPeel @gnuman1979 I've seen similar posts on Facebook.. Heritage Foundation must have sent out a "how to" memo.\u201d— Jackson Peel (@Jackson Peel) 1685322753
Signs supporting the LGBTQ+ community were put up across the road.