Decoration or racism?

Ken David said it's no secret he is a Mitt Romney supporter. But that doesn't mean the lawn chairs hanging in his frontyard are an attack on President Barack Obama, or anyone else for that matter.
Becky Vargo
Sep 27, 2012

Area residents are calling the display racist and an attack on the Democratic president. They say the hanging chair is symbolic of lynching Obama.

David said it’s “absolutely not” an attack — it’s a decoration.

“People decorate their trees all the time,” he said. “We’re no different than anyone else.”

David and his wife, Judy, live at 15896 Comstock St., across the street from Peach Plains Elementary School. He strung metal lawn chairs from trees on their property on Monday. One of them is next to the driveway. The other one hangs next to the road, not far from a sign that says, “Take Back Our Country in November.”

David said he saw a police car with an officer shining a spotlight at the chairs on Monday night.

On Wednesday morning, Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies stopped and talked to David about the chairs. A complaint had apparently been made by someone at the school, David said.

The homeowner said he has done nothing wrong.

“This is my property. I have the right to freedom of expression,” David said.

Some members of the Tri-Cities area think David has taken that expression too far.

“There are all sorts of incidences of this (chair hanging) happening across the country,” said Grand Haven Township resident Ed Ketterer, who has a child attending Peach Plains. “... I don’t buy it that the chair doesn’t have the racial connotation."

Just sitting on the ground, the chair would not be a problem, Ketterer said.

“It’s kind of funny — it’s mocking what (Clint) Eastwood did at the convention," Ketterer said, referring to a speech the actor made at the Republican National Convention in August, next to an empty chair representing President Obama. “When you hang it from a tree, you take it to a new level."

Ketterer said there is no way David would not know what the empty chair represents.

“To me, it’s not about rights, it’s about decency,” Ketterer said. “I wouldn’t condone it anywhere.”

In an e-mail to the Tribune, another area resident said she was also disturbed by the hanging chair.

“I’m all for freedom of speech," Donna Timmer wrote, "but when my granddaughter asked what it meant, it was hard to explain.”

Ketterer said he had the same problem with his third-grade son.

“We talked around the issue,” he said. “We said it was a political sign and that it was against President Obama.”

 

Comments

Zeke

I don't even know where to start in responding, especially since others have answered your rudimentary questions here already. You seriously should begin with some basic American History books. If you're too lazy to do that, which I think we already know the answer to, as another commenter suggested, you could just search for "lynching" or "lynching in America" (you go to google and just type that phrase into the little box and press "enter"). Look through even just a few of the results and you will learn (that's what it's called when stuff goes into your brain that wasn't there before) that lynching is most commonly associated with killing African American men.

Again, others have said this, but evidently you're not understanding so I'll give it one last try. You see, what the other brilliant gentleman is doing is (generously) called, "making a statement" by using certain objects to represent real life things. You with me so far? The chair represents the empty chair Clint Eastwood was talking to during the RNC which representing President Obama, and hanging them from a tree branch symbolizes lynching, which is likely what he, and probably you, wish you could do to President Obama.

Seriously, if you are just playing dumb you can stop now. We get it, you are convincingly good at it. And your ad hominem arguments (once again, use google) and name calling are just obnoxious. Try contributing new thoughts to the conversation and furthering the dialogue. I know that's a stretch, but at least try. Or at least be witty and creative if you keep up with the insults. Your current approach is pathetic, predictable, and very boring.

Mr. Conservative

i censor my profanity and it still gets blocked, what the crap is that? Lets talk about comparing george bush to hitler then we can go on to how hanging a chair on a tree is racist.

Zeke

You make no sense. Stop bothering people by writing all these meaningless comments.

Mr. Conservative

Exactly my point. You don't want to talk about it because you know you sound ridiculous. Only an idiot *cough* would think that hanging a chair from a tree is racist.

Zeke


Nothing you write makes sense.

You are delusional.

In all seriousness you need to go to a psychiatrist.

Mr. Conservative

When a liberal knows they are wrong, they pretend they dont understand what is being asked or talked about. Nancy Peloci, the princess of san fransisco does it all the time. When you have no defence, you go straight to insulting me. Pretty lame if you ask me.

Zeke

You're seriously saying this to me? Once again, if insults and having no defense is a sign of liberalism you're the next Karl Marx.

You should change your name to Mr. Liberal or Lefty.

Say No To Tourist's

.

Above It

If folks want to think themselves clever for pretending to be too stupid to know how swings are put up for the sake of a "plausible deniability" claim similar to what my 7 year old used to make before he matured out of it, let them. Everybody gets the chair meme, and everybody knows it. Period. I for one am happy for these people (the ones lynching the chairs and the ones feigning innocent indignation alike) to reveal their nature. That is one of the benefits of free speech. But don't engage trolls in rational discussion. It is a waste of time.

ghmomma

Everyone of you is giving this man exactly what he wants......attention. Look at him....take a good look at him. A potbellied middle aged man....and what's under that hat? I bet it's a big bald spot. Let him hang whatever he wants from his trees.....who cares? What a sad pathetic little man......

Wingmaster

Nice job giving him attention!!

Lanivan

My daughter came up with a great idea.....let's all hang Peace doves from a tree. Couldn't our community - and world - use a little more of this? Let's start today to try to face the bitterness, hate, or fear we might feel, and work on replacing it with......love for our fellow man!

Mr. Conservative

That's retarded.

Zeke

Mr. Conservative - You are deranged and rude. Just stop bothering everyone on here. You are giving us true conservatives a bad name.

Mr. Conservative

That is such BS! There is no way you are a conservative! Everything you post is left and crooked.

Zeke

The only thing conservative about you is your name. Everything else is nonsense and about as far left as it gets. YOU are the liberal media!

Mr. Conservative

Give me a break, look in the mirror.

Zeke

Once again, as you say, when you have no defense you resort to insults. Isn't this indicative of the liberal's response that you despise so much?

Zeke

You're the conservative judge and jury now too? You're saying respect and treating people with dignity means someone is a liberal?!? Because that's really all I've been saying.

You are very mixed up. Some would call it delusional thinking. Once again, I'll mention in all seriousness that you need psychiatric help.

Mr. Conservative

This news paper is way too liberal and distorts and bends everything to make it look like conservatives are the enemy. Liberals are screwed up in the head, stand up for twisted immoral crap. Make big deals out of nothing. Call anyone and everything that opposes Obama racist (because they can't come up with anything better). If anything is discrimminated against in this country, it's christian heterosexual white people. Liberals have made it this way with political correctness crap. All the minorities are racist against white people. White people get all sorts of crap from minorities. Liberals make this seem okay. Liberals are all about peace and equality, this is the biggest load of crap I have heard because all this political correctness has made the white race seem inferior. Liberals try their hardest to run America into the ground and use Obama to do it. Obama is the biggest lying sleezeball dirtbag that has ever been in office and I have no respect for him at all. He is a domestic terrorist in the most highly respect position in America. Hanging the chairs in the tree is not a symbol of hating black people, it is a symbol of hating Obama and I support that 100%.

Zeke

You need therapy. Seriously.

You and this guy just want attention. You should become clowns because that's all you are - hateful clowns.

Mr. Conservative

You a twisted liberal but kisser and it would be cool if you took your messed up leftist ideas and packed them up your butthole.

Zeke

Leave your fantasies out of this please. Talk about the "homosexual agenda"! You're homo-erotic fantasies are out of control now.

Mr. Conservative

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained profanity. Discussion Guidelines

LessThanAmused

LOL! Don't stop now Zeke, you got him on the ropes with that response.

Zeke

:-P

Zeke

A little touchy there, eh Mr. C?? Almost seems like I struck a nerve. You say a liberal response is to just call names when you have no defense... Once again, nicely done Mr. Liberal!

Mr. Conservative

And, you have no defense so you bully me and insult me.

Zeke

Now I'm bullying you?! Who is the liberal whiner now? You going to call up the ACLU on me?

Mr. Conservative

Furthermore, you are the dilusional one because you voted for obama and are probably gonna vote for him again. A vote for obama is a vote for communism and the homo agenda.

Pages

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.