After he was sued for declaring his gun shop a “Muslim-free zone” last month, a Florida man has decided to launch an online fundraiser selling artwork that features the Confederate flag to help pay for his legal fees. And the artist? George Zimmerman, the man who was acquitted two years ago in the high-profile shooting death of unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.
Andrew Hallinan, owner of Florida Gun Supply, announced the fundraiser in an 11-minute “mini-documentary” Monday that warned of “cultural cleansing” and media bias. Hallinan gained notoriety earlier this year for making his gun shop a “Muslim-free zone” following the shooting massacre in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that left five U.S. service members dead. He has since been sued by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR.)
To help pay for those legal fees – as well as his living expenses and “mission to change the country,” according the Florida Gun Supply website – Hallinan is selling signed and numbered prints of a Confederate flag painting created by Zimmerman. Everyone who purchases the $50 print will then be entered into a raffle to win the original painting, which – based off the going rate for Zimmerman’s earlier works of art – could be worth over $100,000. Zimmerman and Hallinan plan to split the proceeds and donate a percentage to the Boys and Girls Club.
In the video, Hallinan criticizes the recent uproar over the Confederate flag, which appeared on the license plate of accused Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof. That massacre, which left nine African-American parishioners dead at an historic black church, spurred South Carolina lawmakers to remove the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia. Roof pleaded not guilty last month to a wide array of charges – including murder, hate crimes, firearms violations and obstructing the practice of religion.
“The history of the Confederate flag is not one about racism, but I fully agree that there have been groups that use the flag for racial profiling and inciting hatred,” Hallinan says in the video. “I fully condemn the use of the Confederate flag for anything other than heritage and Southern pride.”
He goes on to say that a “cultural cleansing” has begun in the U.S., one that won’t end with the Confederate flag.
“Then they’re going to remove statues, rename schools, rename streets, and try to cleanse the history in America,” Hallinan says. “You know who else cleansed the history? Stalin, Hitler, and these people.” The video then cuts to footage of an ISIS training camp.
Hallinan says that Zimmerman reached out to him because he knew what it felt like to be treated unfairly by the media.
“They intentionally cited hatred and race when the entire issue wasn’t about race in the first place,” Hallinan says of the Trayvon Martin case.
When asked about his thoughts on media bias, Zimmerman argues in the video that reporters twist the truth in order to make money. “My personal belief is that right now in America, we’re seeing a battle with good versus evil, Christianity versus evil,” he says. “And the bottom line is the only thing that matters to them is money.”
The video then immediately cuts to a painting of Zimmerman’s that in 2013 sold for over $100,000 on eBay.
Watch Hallinan’s full video here: