An Arkansas restaurant owner is apologizing after some people were offended by a message he posted on a sign outside his business.
A passerby snapped a photo of the sign Friday night that complained that “Obamacare (was) America’s Punishment for Slavery Years” and sent it to KHBS/KHOG-TV.
But Johnny Howard, who owns Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse in Rogers, said he took down the message after receiving an unspecified number of complaints.
“I apologize for the sign,” Howard said. “It’s offending people, as it did. I didn’t intend for it to be racist-oriented at all.”
Howard said the message was displayed for about 45 minutes before he took it down, but he complained the message had been taken out of context because he was frustrated with the Affordable Care Act, not President Barack Obama.
“It’s the policy, and I made the mistake of wording it in the wrong fashion,” Howard said. “The policy. It’s not the person, it’s the policy.”
The rib-shack owner isn’t the first commentator to compare the president’s signature legislation, which is expected to extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, with the legalized enslavement of millions of Africans and their descendants over nearly 250 years in American history.
The president himself pointed out last month Republican lawmakers who compared the Affordable Care Act to the Fugitive Slave Act, and a Fox News contributor said Friday that the law was the worst thing that’s happened in the U.S. since slavery.
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