An Alabama lawmaker is calling on US citizens to show their patriotism this Yuletide season (and, ostensibly, for always)—by frequenting only American-owned convenience stores, gas stations, and tobacco outlets, WALB reports. And GOP state Rep. Alan Harper has an easy way for consumers to tell which stores are true-blue American stores and which aren't. "The C stores/tobacco outlets, etc. with the lights around the windows and doors are not owned by God fearing Christians," he wrote Monday in a Facebook post. Harper—who seems unaware that his message to avoid stores with lights might have been more effective if he had waited until after the holiday season—adds that the "madness has to stop," because "in large part, these stores are owned by folk that send their profits back to their homeland and then in turn use these funds against our country to create turmoil, fear and in some cases death and destruction."
Harper, a former Democrat who switched sides in 2012, notes further down in the comments section of his post that he's on "a personal crusade to … turn back those that would harm our great nation," the Tuscaloosa News notes. And the comments get heated: One poster writes, "So, basically, don't shop at places with brown people. Got it," to which Harper replies, "God bless each and everyone and God Bless America! Isn't it funny when things are taken out of context. Please buy American every chance you get to build our local economies." One person who definitely takes issue with Harper's post: Bobby Luogon, a native Liberian who owns a tobacco and convenience store in Tuscaloosa, and who also happens to be a Christian. "For someone to say something like that who is a public figure … it just bothers me a lot," he tells WALB. "You can't just paint everybody with the same brush." (Cross the Buick Envision off Harper's Christmas list.)