Pastor Posts Controversial Yard Sign Featuring Tortured Slaves To Encourage People To Vote
A pastor in Indiana is catching serious backlash for posting a controversial yard sign in front of his church.
An Indianapolis pastor says he hopes a graphic and disturbing image of an infamous lynching in the 1930s of two black men will encourage more of the area’s black residents to vote in this fall’s election.
Pastor Joy Thornton of Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church personally commissioned the controversial sign to display in front of his church. The sign displays the word “VOTE!!” atop the image of the lynching; below the photo, the sign reads “Is this a reason to vote?” The other side of the sign shows an image of slaves in chains with the words “Vote” and below — “Lest We Forget.”
Thornton told Indianapolis’ WISH-TV Wednesday the sign is to “let people know there’s been a price paid for the privilege of voting.”
Additionally, Thornton told the television station it doesn’t matter who residents vote for — as long as they vote in the first place.
Reaction has been mixed.
“It was just kind of a little shocker,” Joyce Hise told Indianapolis’ WISH-TV Wednesday. “It made me stop and think. So many people don’t know, and they don’t realize that this was par of our history, and it is a reason to vote.”
Other residents have found the image “embarrassing.” That’s how Indianapolis resident Ronnie Judd described the sign to the Indianapolis Star.
“We have come too far to go back to those ways,” Judd told the paper.
Did this pastor taking the “vote or die” message too far?