PA State Representative Jeff Pyle has released a video statement about the billboards in Worthington, Armstrong County. He prefaces his video with this written statement:
“To the residents who have been calling my office regarding the distasteful and divisive messages appearing on the billboard in Worthington off of Route 422, I want you to know that I completely disapprove of this hurtful hate speech.
What we know so far is that this digital billboard is owned by a private individual who signed a two-year lease with the Worthington West Franklin Fire Department, who rent the land where the billboard is located. This individual has threatened to sue the fire department should it try and break the lease.
My office and I continue to work with and speak to officials concerning this matter and are working to find a solution to this incredibly troubling issue.”
I’m pretty sure this blog is the “group in Pittsburgh” he references, so good on yinz for making that happen.
He veers into “I don’t see color” territory and the story about his father backhanding him for whistling is distracting to say the least. It is a far from stellar response.
But you got his attention. And he’s searching for solutions. A good start would be for Rep Pyle to take an anti-racism training/workshop and perhaps actively engage actual Black constituents of Armstrong County in the problem solving process of how white supremacy manifests in rural communities.
Send him your ideas.