For those who missed it arguably the biggest highlight (or lowlight) of the Republican National Convention was when Clint Eastwood gave his speech to the crowd. What he actually did was come on stage with an empty chair and perform a monologue; talking to the chair as if there was an invisible Obama sitting there. Some thought his monologue was amusing, many others thought it was extremely strange. The jokes ranged from mild humor to one point where he simulated telling Obama to go screw himself.
As if this demonstration wasn't disrespectful enough, there are some misguided racists who have taken things a disgusting step further. With a nod to Clint Eastwood's empty chair roasting of Obama, some anti-Obama protesters have begun hanging empty chairs from trees; symbolically 'lynching' our first black president.
We all know that there are those who hate Obama. It is also no secret that President Obama has received more death threats than any other president in history. Even with that backdrop what is going on in some parts of the country sinks to a new low of hatred, bigotry and insensitivity.
In Austin, Texas an empty chair simulated lynching of President Obama
Simulating the lynching of Obama is nothing short of disgusting. Not only are these offenders showing themselves to be racist morons, but they are managing to put a stain on the entire neighborhood as well. The message is loud and clear: we don’t like black people around these parts and if we could lynch some of them we would. Don't believe me? According to NBC News when the man who hung this chair was asked about whether this display was inappropriate and disturbing he replied as follows.
“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 [expletive]. If you don't like it, don't come down my street." (source)
This is the 21st century in arguably the most racially progressive country in the world. These mock lynchings remind us however that we still have a long way to go before we have true tolerance and racial harmony. People sometimes ask me why we need a Black Man Survival Guide. This is just one more reason.
We must never forget the evils of our past and we must also understand that racial bias and hatred still exists today. Most of all WE MUST strive for a better future based on true mutual respect, tolerance and equal opportunity. For those backwards, racist, homophobic, insensitive jerks out there, know that we are watching and will not lay down and take this. There are legions of black, brown and white people who are willing to stand up against you and fight with every ounce of strength and conviction. When the fight is over we will be the ones left standing.
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