An Atlanta, Georgia area restaurant owner with a history of racially provocative behavior is attracting renewed attention with a sign outside his restaurant saying “Obamas plan for healthcare: N****r rig it.”
“When you walk into the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Paulding County, you feel like you’ve walked into a different era,” CBS Atlanta reports. “Behind the pool table’s a mannequin in a Ku Klux Klan costume.”
When the CBS reporter asked owner Patrick Lanzo why he’d put the sign up, he insisted, “I put all kinds of political signs up. … I’ve used the N-word most of my life. And there is different ways to put your opinion up, but that’s just the words I choose to use.”
The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase on Lanzo’s sign as “a term used to describe a temporary fix or quick fix for an object using any tools at hand. Derived from the ingenuity of early African-Americans who did not have the means to fix every day objects and had to come up with these temporary fixes.”
Lanzo told the CBS reporter that he was only trying to criticize current health care reform plans and denied being a racist. He pointed to the pictures of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela on the walls of his restaurant and even pulled out a 2005 NAACP membership card.
This is far from the first time, however, that Lanzo has been at the center of racial controversy. In August 2005, a local reporter went into his restaurant to ask about a sign saying, “Is Michael Jackson not guilty because he is a n****r or money?” and found that “pictures of Civil Rights leaders — Frederick Douglass, MLK, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela — jostle for wall space with drawings of Ku Klux Klan rallies and racist caricatures from a century ago.”
“The centerpiece, presiding over the bar, is a portrait of Jesse Jackson, and it takes a minute to realize the reason,” the report continues. “Next to the painting is a cartoon of a black boy with a certain body part caught in a fence hole. ‘Yep, old Jesse got his pecker caught, too, didn’t he?’ boomed Lanzo. … He proudly displays the bar’s menu, emblazoned on the front with a drawing of a Klansman in a hammock. The hammock is formed by two lynched black men whose feet are roped together.”
Lanzo has also played host to both neo-Nazi and Klan rallies. According to one poster at a left-wing message board, “Pat Lanzo started making his location avaiable for Klan Rallys in the early to mid nineties as an act of revenge for being denied the license to turn his business into a strip joint.”
The full CBS Atlanta story is available here.
This video is from CBS Atlanta, broadcast Oct. 9, 2009.