These signs were placed on the company vehicles of US Cranes LLC in northern Georgia several months ago. It has only been in the last week or two that the signs, which say New Company Policy: We Are Not Hiring Until Obama Is Gone, have went viral. The company received so many angry emails and phone messages that it had to shut down its website and phonelines. The owner, Bill Looman, was portrayed in news reports as someone who was a poor misunderstood soul who wanted to hire but simply couldn’t afford to because of the policies of President Obama.
The company’s website now greets you with this message:
William (Bill) Looman is a veteran, a patriot, and most importantly, my friend and brother. He and I along with many other Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen/women and Coasties, served, still serve, and shall continue to serve, so that the Constitution of the United States of America cannot be so trampled as to rob any American of their right to freedom of expression. All of you who have been less than kind in your assessment of Bill for his practice of that freedom, should be ashamed of yourselves. Every American has the right of freedom of speech, through the printed word or spoken, and for you to look down upon that right is to declare that not only do you not believe in the American Constitution, but to also declare to all that listen that you do not care to be branded an American. How sad that is.
There are lessons to be learned here. The first is that free speech comes with a price. Yes, we have the right to vent every thought that comes into our mind but we have to remember that same right allows people to react to what we’ve said. This reaction can go from words to economic boycotts. Most businesses realize this and have the sense to stay away from making their most outrageous thoughts and opinions public. Say what you want, be as nuts as the voices in your head tell you to be, but be prepared for a reaction.
I don’t think Mr. Looman was prepared. Many things about his recent past have come up as a result of his relatively short time in the limelight. His manifesto on Facebook is interesting and disturbing. There is also his involvement with several Georgia militia organizations, so-called Patriot groups such as the North Georgia Militia whose actions have been closely followed by Hatewatch from the Southern Poverty Law Center. They point out that these militia groups have grown in number nationwide from 149 known groups in 2008 to 824 by the end of 2010, numbers that very much mirror the numbers from the mid 90’s when Timothy McVeigh performed his heinous act of domestic terrorism.
So this is not just some poor schlub who acted before he thought. This is a man filled with hatred and ill intent. He has done us a great favor by exposing himself now with his signs of ignorance and not at a later time when perhaps he and his cronies have perpetrated something far more sinister.