“Some were offended by it and I am sorry for it,” said the executive director of the Llano Chamber of Commerce.
LLANO, Texas – The Llano Chamber of Commerce apologized for a June 17 marquee that sparked controversy on Saturday.
The marquee read “Happy June” followed by “You are free. Arise and live like this ”and a reference to the Bible verse Galatians 5: 1. The verse itself says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Hold on, then, and do not let yourself be weighed down again by the yoke of slavery.
Some residents were unhappy with the marquee. A KVUE viewer reached out, saying the marquee was “callous to black people” and “condescending when needed. [be] apologetic.”
“However, black people are given freedom and their descendants cannot live free,” the viewer wrote. “This bible verse has nothing to do with the context of Juneteenth.”
On Saturday afternoon, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Briley Mitchell posted an apology on Facebook. Mitchell said he takes full responsibility for the marquee and has good intentions.
“When the messages come to us each week from various members, I review them and either approve or reject them. Today’s message was given to us with good intention and the accompanying verse was uplifting in my opinion, so I approved that it be posted. There are some who have been offended and for that I am sorry, I will be much more careful in the future, “Mitchell wrote.
Mitchell said the Sunday, June 20 message was ready to be posted as soon as the message changers arrived in town.
“Again, these were good intentions, but sometimes these can lead to a path we don’t want to go,” Mitchell wrote.
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