Thrift store owner faces backlash over sign with target on President Obama photo, using “n-word”

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BELTON, S.C. (WSPA) – An upstate South Carolina business is coming under fire after a picture of a sign outside the building went viral.

The photo outside of “Not Your Average Thrift Store” in Belton shows a poster of President Obama with a target and bullseye over his face with words celebrating the end of his term.

“When I first pulled up, I couldn’t believe it really,” says Ann Smith who frequents the store.

The poster board read “16 days until Obama’s demise”.

Several customers and passing people agree with Smith that the language and images are disrespectful.

“Then you draw a picture of a bullseye, and you put the little black dot in it, basically like you want to shoot him or something like that, so of course it made me feel really bad because as of right now, he’s still our president,” Smith says.

A picture taken of the sign and posted online went viral which led to comments on both sides of the issue from the community and across the country. However, when the owner, who goes by Mike, responded to one online comment with the “n-word” – that got people upset.

“I was shocked,” Smith says. “I couldn’t even believe it.”

Mike, the owner, did not want to be interviewed. However, he does acknowledge his sign could be seen as disrespectful. Although, he argues he would stand by using the “n-word” online. The owner also says it’s not fair how his business is being treated because of his right to free speech.

But, his customers say that’s not the problem.

“If that’s how he felt, it’s fine,” Smith says.

Smith says she just wishes he would have kept it out of his business and says she won’t be going back.

“So now you lose my business, and we spend a lot of money in that store,” Smith says.

The poster has been removed from in front of the store.

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