A chair hanging from a tree in Clark County is drawing national media attention due to fears it represents a symbolic lynching of President Barack Obama.
The chair is in front of a home in Camas. It is marked with the words “No-Bama” and hanging above a blackboard with the “Are you better off now than 4 yrs ago? The king is a joke.”
It is doubtlessly a reference to Clint Eastwood’s infamous speech to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention in August. But some are concerned that it’s also a reference to an ugly chapter of American history, when lynchings of African Americans were routine.
The homeowners, Kathryn and George Maxwell, told The Columbian that they did not intend to make any statement by putting the chair in the tree. Originally, it was on the ground, they said.
“The reason we hung it up was because people kept stealing it,” said Kathryn Maxwell, who did not immediately return a Seattle Times phone call. “We just have to take extra precautions.”
The attention prompted the Clark County Republican Party to release a statement denouncing the chair.
“Clint Eastwood used an empty chair during his speech at the Republican Convention to represent the emptiness of Obama and his policies,” Stephanie McClintock said. “But hanging a chair in a tree is bad taste and something the Republican Party does not support or condone. ”
In an interview, McClintock called the incident disappointing.
“This isn’t exactly something we want Clark County to be known for,” she said.