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

You think you know how I voted based on a few comments? Once again, you're delusional (it's spelled with an e by the way).

I see you altogether avoided my suggestion for therapy. I wasn't kidding. You do need help.

Mr. Conservative

coming from someone that supports abortion

Zeke

I support abortion, huh?? Where on earth did you get that from?!?! Oh wait, you're delusional, that's where you got it from.

I'm a conservative who is against abortion, although even my pro choice friends are usually against abortion. Hardly anyone likes abortion, but the issue is about the control a woman has over her own body.

I'm really starting to think you're an ultra-liberal posing as an undercover conservative trying to make us conservatives look ignorant and rude. If so, well done.

Lou

Mr. Conservative - I think I've figured it out. You ARE Ken David. Why don't you find yourself a seat in one of those chairs in the trees? That's about as grounded as you'll ever get.

Mr. Conservative

You obviously have not figured me out because I am not Ken David and I live in SL.

LessThanAmused

My sympathies and condolences to the good people of Spring Lake.

Zeke

Yeah, ok Mr. David *cough* I mean Mr. Liberal.

LessThanAmused

Wow....your posts continue to make the average forum troll look like an upstanding member of the community. Got a simple question for ya......if you hate everything liberal and you accuse the local paper of a decided liberal slant then why bother to pick it up and read it? Are you paranoid to the point that you have to read it to see what the "enemy" is doing? Doesn't just trying to walk and chew gum at the same time frustrate you enough? Why don't you just stick with your FAUX NEWS propaganda channel and Koch Brothers fan club newsletters? Your pathetic crys for help here in the comments section is getting old. Anyone these days that thinks there's more than one iota of difference between the two parties just doesn't understand the end game and people like you and your warped view of the world just make their job that much easier. Really, just go away and troll somewhere else, no one here is gonna miss you or your drooling, retarted rants.

Mr. Conservative

or you could stfu..... again.

LessThanAmused

I will when you do...ok?

Mr. Conservative

then we must agree to disagree

Zeke

You call this a conservative and respectable response? You are a disgrace to us true conservatives! Please change your name to match your agenda Mr. Liberal!

Captain Obvious

The greatest liberal of all time took on the conservative church elders of his day with this teaching and many others like it. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (I am using term liberal in the conservative sense before it was turned into something very different indeed)

Mr Conservative should bear this in mind...

Mr. Conservative

I'm talking present day.

Zeke

You're talking gibberish actually. Liberal gibberish.

Mr. Conservative

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines

Zeke

Whatever you say you liberal hippie. I only say you're a liberal because you whine and call me a bully, which is what you say liberals do. So make up your delusional mind already! And face it... you're as far left as they come!

Lanivan

Wow. Well folks, the comments from the "conservatives" here are a perfect example of why, after years of thinking of myself as a conservative Republican, I run, not walk, away from this party and the kind of people it represents. It has become saturated with hate, juvenile pettiness, spewing of deliberate misinformation, propaganda, and lies, bitterness, no patriotism, no compassion, and represents the most radical, far-right, extreme thinking. It takes us back 50, 75, 100 years. It is disgusting, it is irrelevant, and is fast becoming the minority as millions of Americans are waking up and realizing this is horribly destructive to our great country. You "conservatives" commenting here need to to wise up, get a grip, and shut up before you make any bigger fools of yourselves.

Wingmaster

Your comments above, Lanivan, tell me you never were never a conservative. You accuse conservatives of actually what you are spewing. Reread your own comments and you can feel the contempt you have for opposing ideas. You spewed every single talking point from the left. There is misinformation coming from both sides of the political spectrum. If you cannot see that, you are the one being used. Incidentally, I as a conservative, do not want you to shut up as it is more constructive to display your thoughts as a liberal for all the public to see and let them come to their own conclusions.

opinionscount

Freedom of Expression. Indeed. Ten Commandments displayed on the wall of the courthouse? No. Better remove them because someone might be offended. Nativity scene at Christmas in the town square? No. Better remove it because someone might be offended. "Christmas" as part of the name for the traditional "Christmas Parade"? No. Must change it to "Jingle Bell" parade because someone might be offended. Father Bill at St. Pat's giving loving hugs to the little children in front of the congregation during their Haiti offering? No, Father Bill. You are right to stop this kind act because someone might take it wrong and be offended. National Day of Prayer for Christians during Obama's presidency? No. Better remove it so he won't offend the Muslims (Yet, he can remove his shoes and pray to Allah on the steps of the White House). No. he better not do that because I am a Christian and I am offended. Hanging chairs on your own trees in your own yard as a way to draw attention to political issues and your political view? No. Better remove the hanging chairs because someone might be offended. The sad result is that all of you who are expressing your disdain towards this man for his displays on his own property are digging your own graves in regards to your own personal freedoms. You want your freedom of expression but forbid him to have his. This is America. What a great freedom to have. You should thank this man for expressing his views and opinions. His freedom of expression in turn gives you the right to disagree.

Mr. Conservative

Good post, exposes a bunch of double standards.

Zeke

"Double standards"?!? Mr. Left, you are the epitome of double standards!

Mr. Conservative

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

Cheryl Welch

Mr. Conservative: We tried to give you a chance for civil discourse, but it appears you can't help yourself from writing profanities. If you'd like to reinstate your account, please e-mail or call me and let's have a conversation.

Wingmaster

Thank you.

43°North

sweet. Big Brother...or Big Sister as it was.

LessThanAmused

Thank you Ms. Welch. I'm a bit dismayed you'd consider reinstating his account, but a break at least from his daily rants is appreciated. Props to Zeke also who seems to be the one most responsible for Mr Conservative's head exploding. Sorry I missed the show.

snlfan

All the comments above where you are mixing religion and goverment functions I find objectionable. I am an Atheist and find mixing any religion with our government a problem. I support 110% your choise to participate in your make believe god world in you chruch (that really is a business and should be taxed as such), but, I don't buy into it and do not want to support it on my public land/vacations/adminstration costs/etc... God is hate, just ask the 911 pilots who are now in a pile of virgins, because someone told them they would be.

Wingmaster

Look at the back of your dollar bill!

snlfan

Yup, my point exactly... get rid of that stuff...

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