Pastor James David Manning has put up “Obama Is Evil” and “He Used Black Vote to Uncle Tom For Wall St.” on the towering sign outside the ATLAH World Missionary Church on the bustling street.
A church next to Manning’s was so put off by the signs, officials there posted their – to make sure nobody thought their church had anything to do with ATLAH.
“This church is not affiliated with the church on the corner. We Support President Barack Obama,” reads a sign above the front door of Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church.
The controversial signs at ATLAH, which Manning changes from time to time, has targeted Obama since he took office – and has become an attraction for pedestrians and tourists on double-decker buses.
“It’s not something that represents this community,” said Belynda M’baye, 53, who lives near the church and walks by the sign everyday. “It sends out a message that all of Harlem is not supporting and that’s not true. I don’t think that’s the case in Harlem.”
M’baye also wasn’t pleased to see tourists snapping photos of the sign. “I just don’t like that it’s so prevalent. He didn’t have anything up about Bush,” she said. “I would be very happy if it came down. This is actually nicer than what he had before.”
An earlier sign read: “A TALIBAN MUSLIM ILLEGALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT USA: HUSSEIN.”
Manning hasn’t been quiet about his displeasure for President Obama: He and his congregation of about 100 people protested outside the president’s fundraiser in March at the Red Rooster.
On his webite, a sign directly behind Manning’s head reads: “Mr. Obama, Show us your Birth Certificate, Please.”
And he didn’t back down when the Daily News talked him to inside his office.
“It’s alright to criticize Obama,” Manning told the Daily News. “That’s why I put that out there.
“I don’t see anything about Obama that represents he has any concern whatsoever about black people,” said Manning. “We need to stop just because someone is black they can’t do any wrong.”
As Manning posed for photos under the sign, he was confronted by a ticked off resident. “You put that up there?” asked Risden Clare, 32.
Manning responded, “Yes, sir.”
“I’m ashamed of it!” Clare told the pastor.
O’Neal Mackey couldn’t help from shaking his head as he walked passed the sign. “I wouldn’t advertise that on a church,” said Mackey, 38. “Church is supposed to be about spreading love.”
Mary Hidalgo, 33, who lives near the church, called the sign “crazy.” But she tried to make sense of it.
“Maybe expected more from Obama than what he’s done so far,” she said. “I was shocked when I saw that. I couldn’t believe it. It’s very disrespectful.”