The Armstrong County Democratic Committee (ACDC) in rural Pennsylvania decided enough was enough. For years now, MAGA “patriot” John Placek has prominently featured what many call hateful and divisive messages on a billboard standing next to his gas station in Worthington, Pennsylvania in Armstrong County, Pa. Anyone who wants to buy gas or just drive by his station on the well traveled highway gets hit over the head with his “free speech” which has featured racist messages, swastikas, and other things popular with the MAGA audience and other radical right-wing factions who often ally themselves with former President Donald Trump.

Some examples of John Placek’s hate fueled billboards that litter Armstrong County, Pa and neighboring Butler County

So the ACDC decided that they could no longer sit idly by just complaining, and took matters into their own hands. Directly across the street there is a much more inclusive and welcoming message for people to see.

New Billboard put up in Armstrong County by the Armstrong County Democratic Committee (ACDC)

Make no mistake, this new billboard isn’t just a “tit for tat” publicity stunt. ACDC chairperson, Chuck Pascal explained that these billboards have struck literal fear into the county’s citizens and made them a pariah for people and businesses who are looking for a good place to live or do business in.

“The constant barrage of messages on the other billboards have given our entire county a bad name,” insisted Pascal, adding, “We have heard from many people who have said the messages made them feel fearful and unwelcome here, just because of who they are.”

Pascal offered a list of those people that includes African Americans, Hispanics, LGBTQ persons, immigrants, as well as people who are Jewish and of other non-Christian religions.

Pascal also spoke about the messages having the effect of harming economic development efforts in the county and efforts to attract new residents.

“No company is going to move to an area that is perceived to be so closed-minded and unwelcoming to new people and new ideas,” he said.

As America moves into a more multicultural makeup, Pascal’s words make sense. Whether or not the ACDC billboard countering Pascal’s messaging will have a positive effect remains to be seen. But anyone who wants a more inclusive society probably thinks it is at least a step in the right direction.