LLANO, Texas — The Llano Chamber of Commerce has apologized for a Juneteenth marquee that caused controversy on Saturday.
The marquee read "Happy Juneteenth," followed by, "You're free. Stand up and live like it" and a reference to the Bible verse Galatians 5:1. The verse itself reads, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
Some residents were upset with the marquee. One KVUE viewer reached out, saying the marquee was "insensitive toward Black people" and "patronizing when it needs to [be] apologetic."
"It's saying freedom is given to Black people and their descendants do not know how to live free," the viewer wrote. "That Bible verse does not have anything to do with Juneteenth context."
Saturday afternoon, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Briley Mitchell posted an apology on Facebook. Mitchell said he takes full responsibility for the marquee and that it was put up with good intentions.
"When the messages come to us each week by various members, I review them and approve or deny them. Today's message was given to us with good intent and the verse that went with it was uplifting in my opinion, so I approved it to be posted. There are some that were offended by it and for that I am sorry, I will be much more careful in the future," Mitchell wrote.
Mitchell said that the message for Sunday, June 20, was ready to be put up as soon as the message changers got into town.
"Once again, it was put up with good intentions but those can sometimes lead to a path we don't want to go on," Mitchell wrote.
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