Ever since President Obama made his debut on the national stage, we've seen some dirty, racially-charged attacks from the right. But what we might be seeing now could be the lowest of the low ... In the wake of the Clint Eastwood's RNC empty chair "performance," one Austin, Texas homeowner hung an empty chair from a tree branch in front of his house and later attached an American flag to it. (Talk about a creepy, "offensive," "insulting" use of the flag!) The man reportedly told a blogger who said she had concerns about it, "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 [expletive]. If you don't like it, don't come down my street." Then, in Centreville, Virginia, an empty chair with a sign reading "Nobama" was strung from a tree near a park.
Meanwhile, news outlets report critics are upset that these incidents are meant to symbolize "lynching of President Obama." Um, you think?!?
How is this even a question? A matter of debate? Both displays are so blatantly racist, hate-filled, completely sick. What year is it again? Oh yeah, 2012, not that it should matter, because it's not like lynching -- or even using it as "metaphor" -- was ever something that should have been condoned by any American! This isn't civilized political protest -- it's grotesque and, as Rosemary Edwards, chairwoman of the Travis County Republican Party in Austin, put it, "deplorable."
Thankfully, the Secret Service is taking the incidents seriously and reportedly conducting a followup. But, at the same time, one local Republican speaking out against these isn't good enough. Because these vile displays were clearly triggered by Eastwood's strange performance at the RNC -- in which he said, "When somebody doesn't do the job, you've got to let them go" and made a throat-slashing gesture -- we need to hear from him and the Romney campaign. Granted, neither of these sick "empty chair" displays actually show any support for the GOP or Romney, but it still only seems right that they publicly denounce these acts.
It's no different and perhaps even worse than in 2008, when some McCain-Palin supporters adopted a mob mentality and began shouting out hateful, threatening remarks about Obama. Thankfully, Sen. McCain made the decision to shut down some of that ignorance at one rally by telling a racist supporter that Obama "is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States."
Sadly, we can see that in some pockets of the country, not much has changed in four years. Hence why it is even more imperative that the Republican party and the Romney campaign take a strong stance and make it known that these deeply disturbing, incredibly "un-American" (because, you know, if you want to slap that FOX News-y label on something, this is it!) displays are nothing short of shameful and will NOT be tolerated.
How do you think Clint Eastwood, the Romney campaign, and the GOP should react to these "lynching" displays?