“I’m not a racist,” Bud Johnson told KEYE-TV Friday while untying the chair from a tree. “I don’t dislike any race.”
However, he confirmed that the chair was meant to symbolize President Barack Obama, an African-American, when he asked KEYE reporter Lydia Pantazes, “Haven’t you heard of the Clint Eastwood thing with the empty chair?”
In a speech at the Republican National Convention last month, Eastwood spent several minutes talking to an empty chair he introduced by saying, “I’ve got Mr. Obama sitting here.”
Johnson, who also threatened to attack the station’s cameraman, also complained about being harassed for hanging the chair, saying it was “the only place [he] had to put the damn thing.” He said he hung it on the tree because he wanted to cut the grass on the lawn.
“It has nothing to do with lynching anybody,” he insisted.
According to Burnt Orange Report, Johnson added an American flag to the hung chair Wednesday, fueling the perception that the chair was meant to symbolize President Barack Obama.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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