Controversial signs posted in Olive Branch cause a stir

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. – Signs posted along an Olive Branch road have a lot of people talking.

Multiple people reached out to WREG-TV concerned with the message written on the signs placed on private property. People told us they were concerned the signs were intimidating with racial connotations.

But the man who put up the signs says that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The signs that were once along a fence in Olive Branch have been taken down. Mark Strauss, the man who owns the fence, says he decided to take them down because he didn’t want to have any issues with the city or his neighbors.

He says he wants to make it clear his beef is with the federal government.

The message placed on the fence along Stateline Road in Olive Branch read,”We let you vote now shut up and do as you’re told.”

 “Wow, I was blown away, I was taken back like this can’t be happening,” Clovis Wright, who lives nearby, said.

Wright says after serving 29 years in the Army, and retiring as Lieutenant Colonel, he’s endured racism. When the sign went up he says his family was concerned with the message. 

“Because as a black person when I see that sign it takes me back to when my father and mother were chased by the KKK,” Wright said.

Wright says his father had to run for his life from hate groups. His father was a pastor and an activist with a Civil Rights leader.

“So he was targeted. And numerous times he was told, ‘We let you have this and that so shut up and do what you’re told’ but he wouldn’t do that,” Wright said.

WREG-TV spoke with the man who posted the sign, Strauss, who says he is a Trump supporter and is frustrated with the election results.

“What I see is a lot of criminal activity in Washington,” Strauss said.

Strauss says he decided to take the several signs down after he was contacted by the city and told it wasn’t up to code.

“Yeah I apologize to my neighbors that felt uncomfortable. Anybody that’s driving by I want them to understand, I want them to feel, I want them to realize that their government is literally telling them, ‘Hey, we let you vote, now shut up and do as you’re told,’” Strauss said.

Strauss believes Mississippi lawmakers didn’t stand up enough for Mr. Trump, and says he plans to run for Congress. 

Wright says he has a message for his neighbors.

“That’s where you should be more sensitive to what he said and how it affects people who don’t look or think like him,” Wright said.

Strauss says while he took this sign down he does plan to put others up in the future.

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