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November 2, 2012

Civil rights leaders condemn 'hateful' Senate campaign sign

Demand sign supporting Brown, 'not an Indian,' be removed from side of Haverhill building

(Continued)

Korinow said he contacted Caruso Tuesday night about the sign, but Caruso simply thanked him for calling and hung up the phone.

Korinow said the sign puts a black eye on the city.

“The city of Haverhill has always prided itself in being a diverse community which respects the diversity of its population,” he said. “It’s unfortunate such a sign should appear in our city.”

Citing freedom of speech, Mayor James Fiorentini and police have said they do not have the authority to order the sign removed. The Civil Rights Commission, however, said the sign does not fall under the criteria of freedom of speech.

“While the First Amendment protects against government suppression of protected speech, it does not provide for the abuse of the amendment when words contain offensive language and convey hate,” reads the statement issued by the commission.

A second sign hangs below the one causing the debate. It reads “Freedom is not free, Section 60, Arlington National Cemetery, One Nation Under God.’’ Next to the words is the image of a soldier’s boot, with a rifle stuck inside the boot and a soldier’s helmet on top of the rifle.

Above the signs is a TV satellite dish displaying a yellow smiley face.

 

 

 

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