Republicans have been hanging chairs in effigies — it’s all the rage among angry white men these days. I mean, isn’t it so cute — chair, Clint Eastwood, Obama — it’s like, so witty!
Yesterday, Burnt Orange reported on a Northwest Austin (Texas) man who hung a chair in effigy. They explained the state’s history with lynching and why yes, it’s racist, and no, it’s not funny. The story got picked up and went national, with Republicans claiming it wasn’t political, it wasn’t aimed at the President, how can you call a chair the president, get over it you moronic libs!
So, to clear things up, our “patriot” plopped a flag atop the chair, because nothing says love of my country like an effigy of the president.
The homeowner has attached an American flag to the chair. If anyone wasn’t clear before that he meant the President, hopefully this decorative addition will make it clear: the homeowner is suggesting that Barack Obama be lynched.
Blue Virginia reported on a more clear chair effigy, where someone attached this erudite message to the hanging chair reading, “NOBAMA”. Nobama says it all. NO, Obama. We don’t want to hear any facts, it’s just NO. No, no, no, like the Republicans voted no on the Veterans Jobs bill yesterday just to get Obama. NOBAMA! They cry.
Sadly, the “reason” (not to be oxymoronic) most of these folks “hate” the president has nothing to do with the actual President Obama, but more the fictional President Obama of Fox News. Anyone would hate that guy and plus, he’s black. And what do you do to black people in the south?
Burnt Orange explained the history:
Lynching was a horrific and commonplace act in Reconstruction-era Texas and continued until the mid-1940’s, spurred on by Ku Klux Klan groups. Texas is third amongst all states — behind Mississippi and Georgia — in the total number of lynching victims between 1885 and 1942. Of those 468 victims, an overwhelming number were African-American…
There are folks who will claim that this isn’t “racist.” Republicans, especially the Tea Party types, like to claim that liberals think every attack on the President is racist. Folks like to claim that hanging a noose up as decoration is “honoring the past of the South,” blithely ignoring the context in which those same nooses were used during the pre-Civil War and Reconstruction eras — by white men to hang African-Americans.
Republicans no doubt take a lot of pleasure in things like this- hanging empty chairs up in effigy, taking their last stand against reality and change, really telling empty chairs how they feel. This is the entire basis of the current Republican Party’s positions — NOBAMA. He’s black! Or, as Mitt Romney likes to reference in his prep school slight of hand, Obama doesn’t respect the “Anglo-Saxon” traditions and he’s a welfare President. Heh, did you miss that? He will repeat it until you get it.
But you probably already know how this story ends, because you know what arm chair patriots with gun slogans on their cars are made of. Yes, Bud Johnson took his chair down today, and he played coy with a local reporter who tried to get him to say in words for the record what he was saying with the chair. Naturally, Bud danced around it, only admitting that the chair meant what it meant at the RNC.
The Statesman reported their conversation with Johnson, whose Obama chair was now sitting on the lawn, lynching references abandoned:
“What does the empty chair mean?” he asked. “What does it mean to you?”
I told him it could mean a lot of things and mentioned the Republican National Convention.
“That’s exactly what it meant,” he said. “That’s all you get.”
With that, Bud took his rage and shuffled back up his driveway. But he did respond to the reporter asking him why he took the chair down. It’s not because the lynched chair insulted people, “No. I decided to make the change because some people are stupid.”
Yes, indeed, sir. Some people ARE stupid. To see Bud yelling the equivalent of “Get off my lawn” as he cuts the chair down, click here.
Flags hung in effigy! Republicans have finally expressed themselves properly. If Obama is their president, they hate America. But if you call them on it to their face, suddenly they evaporate into hazy, vague references dotted with the almost humorous disdain of the truly ridiculous.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.