Texas Man Hangs Empty Chair from Tree Symbolizing Obama

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  • A man in Texas decided to make a statement against President Obama by hanging an empty chair from a tree in front of his Northwest Austin home.

    A fold-up chair, with an American flag attached to it, was hung from a tree in front of Bud Johnson’s home in the Spicewood Estates area Wednesday night, and some neighbors complained that it was racist.

    After the political blog burntorangereport.com first reported it, KEYE TV News tracked down Johnson for an interview. As reporter Lydia Pantazes and photojournalist Mario Pena arrived at his house Thursday morning, Johnson was taking down the chair and he advised Pantazes and Pena “to get the hell away.”

    When Pantazes asked him why he hung the chair from the tree, he responded “Haven’t you heard of the Clint Eastwood thing with the empty chair?”

    Johnson also said he’s not a racist and that he doesn’t dislike any race. In addition, he said the chair was not being “lynched.”  When Pantazes asked why he had it hanging from the tree, he said the tree was “the only place I had to put the damn thing.”

    Johnson then placed the chair on his lawn a few feet away from the tree.

    Pantazes talked to a neighbor who told her that Johnson is an overall “good neighbor and a nice guy. He’s just a really conservative Republican.” The neighbor, who did not want to be identified, thought the issue was taken out of context.

    Robert Stephenson, who also lives in the area, called the display “pretty racist,” and said there’s “no way you can take that the wrong way. …I’m glad he took it down. I just hope he don’t put it back up.”

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