You may recall that there were a couple of nooses displayed as protests of Barack Obama in right-wing precincts the night he was elected in 2008, and there have been effigy hangings of the president here and there since. They quickly were swept under the rug, everyone moved along, and that was that. But obviously, those sentiments among racist rednecks have, if anything, intensified in recent years.
And now that it's clear he is about to win re-election, it's coming back out -- with clear references to Clint Eastwood's speech at the GOP convention included.
First there was the cretin who hung an empty chair labeled "Nobama" in close proximity to a George Allen sign at festival in Virginia this weekend. No one evidently was able to track down the culprit.
As we say, effigy hangings aren't particularly new, though they do serve as a nice barometer of the anger levels of the expressly racist faction out there. What made this noteworthy was the clear reference to Eastwood's use of an empty chair as a proxy for President Obama.
Today, Burnt Orange Report received the photo at right, taken in front of a home in Northwest Austin. The resident, a Republican, lynched an empty chair from a tree in his yard, which one can easily interpret to represent a racially motivated act of violence against the President.
When confronted, the man doubled down:
I called the homeowner to ask about his display, citing my concerns as a fellow Austinite. He replied, and I quote, "I don't really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don't give a shit. If you don't like it, don't come down my street."
Ironically, the homeowner in question, Bud Johnson, won "Yard of the Month" in August 2010 from his Homeowners Association. I guess his display was a little different that month?
The next day, the man added an American flag and a guard to his display.
I wonder how Clint Eastwood feels about having his piece of impromptu acting serve as grist for a lynch mob.