The Georgia Peach Museum and Restaurant — which boasts that it is “the original Klan bar” on its website — caused a media firestorm last week when it put up a sign that read, “Obama’s plan for health care – [n-word] rig it.” The restaurant’s owner, Patrick Lanzo, told a local paper that his sign is “strictly about free speech,” and noted that he has in the past been a member of the NAACP and has marched on behalf of gay rights.
Yesterday, radio host Alan Colmes hosted Lanzo and gave him a chance to explain why he chose to use the n-word on his sign. When Colmes chided Lanzo for using the word to refer to Obama, an African American, the restaurant owner responded that Obama isn’t an African American but a “half breed”:
COLMES: No one’s questioning that you have the first amendment right to do it. That’s not the issue.
LANZO: You’re saying it’s not politically correct.
COLMES: It’s not a matter of being politically correct. It’s downright offensive, it’s downright insulting, it’s downright nasty and meanspirited towards a group of people who have been spending fighting for equality. Finally we get an African American president and you’re busy using the n-word to describe something he wants to do in terms of fixing health care.
LANZO: Well, see that would offend me, because I don’t look at Obama bein’ an African American. What’s wrong with him being a Black American? And he’s even a half-breed, he’s not a full black person.
COLMES: Well, again, the word half-breed is rather an insulting term.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed Lanzo inside his restaurant last week. They took this picture of him, where a “Whites Only” swimming pool sign sits underneath a portrait of Barack Obama: