EL CAMPO, Texas -- In El Campo, known affectionately as the “Pearl of the Prairie,” a discussion is raging that threatens to taint some of the small city’s luster.
People are weighing in about an angry rant that appeared on a Facebook page belonging to one of the owners of Country Pride Barbecue, a mainstay restaurant located in the heart of town.
“It’s offense,” said one man.
“It was shocking,” added a woman.
In the posting, Curtis Mollnar appeared to sound off about being given a ticket by an El Campo police officer for failing to wear his seatbelt. The message contains derogatory language and racial slurs.
"When it comes down to it, everybody's got hate of something,” said another man.
According to a family member at the restaurant, Mollnar had been fired because of the uproar caused by his Facebook posting.
No one answered the door at his house.
Some people called all of this a matter of free speech.
“It was just his opinion,” said one woman.
But when opinions go viral, they run the risk of leaving an impression. And that’s something the mayor doesn’t want to see happen.
“It’s out there,” said El Campo Mayor Richard Young. “It’s all over. Anyone who's familiar with El Campo would know that's far from the truth. This is a great community to live and raise children in."
One resident called the controversy unfortunate.
"Every town has their ignorance. And we found ours."