Racist retaliation

A Grand Haven-area couple who hung empty chairs in their frontyard as a protest against President Barack Obama's re-election campaign awoke Wednesday morning to find a plastic lawn chair nailed to their driveway.
Alex Doty
Nov 8, 2012


Black marker was used to write "4 more years," "racist pig" and numerous profanities on the white chair.

“I opened the curtain and saw it out there at about 9 o’clock,” Judy David said. “If the police can pull finger prints off of it, good.”

Ken David said he intends to file a complaint with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s uncalled for,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

The chair was at the end of the Davids' driveway, across the street from Peach Plains Elementary School on Comstock Street.

“I am sorry we didn’t get out there quicker to take it down,” Ken said. “I hope too many kids didn’t see it.”

Ken said the chair was likely a response to the political display featured on his property, which was the subject of numerous media reports in late September.

“Probably because they didn’t like the chairs suspended in our trees,” he said.

The Davids' chair and sign display was erected in September as a play on Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention speech in August, during which the actor berated an empty chair that represented Obama.

In response to the Davids' display, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance hosted a meeting in Grand Haven on Oct. 4, saying the hanging chairs represented racist threats against the African-American president and should be removed.

According to Judy David, the couple was left in the dark about attending the meeting.

“Nobody from the Ethnic Diversity Alliance came over and asked us to come to their meeting,” she said. “If they would’ve came over and asked us, we would have talked to them, but we’ve been shunned and it’s totally despicable.”

Ken said they aren’t racist, as the candidate they were strongly in favor of during the Republican primary election race early this year was also African-American.

“Herman Cain was our candidate, and we contributed to his campaign two different times — so how could I be a racist?” he said. “He was our candidate until he got railroaded.”

Judy said they even attended rallies in support of Cain.

“We drove around the state to see him at different places,” she said.

Ken said his lawn chair message was about promoting freedom.

“What this is about is liberty and freedom,” he said. “I believe it so actively that I displayed it actively to the 5,400 cars that went by in two hours during the two days I was down (at Washington Avenue and U.S. 31, in early October).”

The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance didn’t immediately respond to calls for comment.

The alliance issued a statement on Thursday afternoon. To read it, click here.




NO, to all your "questions" that were real questions except for you last which is a yes. Now if you want to take them one by one, lets do it. If you want an answer for every single one in this post, not going to happen. Lets take your "serious" questions and go from there shall we?


Sure, let's start with your disertation about white on white racism and how it applies to this local situation. I won't be able to participate until we know who the chair nailer is because intent would seem important to me in this case and most of us, you excluded of course, don't know the intent of the mystery nailer at this point in time. Like I said earlier it could be some old white guy who thinks Mr. David is a nitwit and decided to play a prank on him, or.....it could be a black member of the Grand Haven community who was upset with the display and decided to reciprocate in kind. Without knowing intent behind the act I'm not sure how we'll come to any viable conclusion, but don't let that stop you from sharing your opinions.


Well Less, we finally agree...kinda! What makes you believe it could be some "old white guy". Been influenced by the left's talking points I see. If it is white on white racism it could very well be some young white person who can stay up late enough to sneak in and nail a chair down in the middle of the night. LOL. All that aside, don't you want racism healed? Racism comes from many "colors". These organization that are inconsistent in their approach are just cottage industries enriching those that made careers around it under the guise of healing it. Racism equals disrespect, it does not matter the "color" of the skin.


Hey, no need to get insulting.....what is it that we agree on? What makes me believe it could be some old white guy? well maybe because 99.5% of the Grand Haven community is pasty white. Those are pretty good odds. It very well may have been white kids too. I suggested that several days ago and those darn kids probably treated the chair nailing with the same enthusiasm that would accompany a good toilet papering of a neighborhood house. I'd suggest it was more of a prank and less of an attack, but I could be wrong. Until we hear from the protect and serve guys all this discussion amounts to much ado about nothing.


Man, your thin skinned. I merely suggest you are watching too much network news and you take offense. I'm actually trying to find some common ground with you against my better judgment. You and I did not make this a big to do about nothing, we are just commenting on an article a newspaper published and a school principle put up as racism. She sure has been quiet about a chair with racial slurs all over it and how damaging it is to the kids that saw it.


And you are still standing on the edge of it..........


Yes, ready to shove you over it in a verbal sense of course!


I believe you would shove a human being over a cliff if you could get away with it.......in the literal sense of course.


No I would save someone from the edge cliff in a physical sense, but thanks once again for displaying the left ideology (implying of course) again for all of us to see.


I don't believe you for a second........and it has nothing to do with left or right ideology. It's a gut feeling.........I'm done having anymore to do with you. You're arrogant, pompous, mean, and a tad bit frightening.


That's ok, run along now, as you have been reduced to calling me names and insinuating I would physically push someone from a cliff. I truely feel sorry for you as your ideals cannot compete with reason and truth. You may someday wake up and see you were led down this illogical path. In the mean time, I'm glad we had this time to compare ideals and show those that chose to read this exchange how quickly left ideals disintegrate into gum on one's shoes that stubbornly will not go away!


Please. You know exactly what you meant when you typed your words. To pretend otherwise is to shout FIRE in a crowded theatre, and then wonder aloud what all the commotion is about.


There's no double standard here folks – nothing to see, so just move along.
Grand Haven Tribune, May 15, 2012 POLICE INVESTIGATE RACIAL SLUR
Alex Doty
“Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke condemned the incident.
“No community in the state or around the nation is immune from the hate-filled actions of those that propagate racism,” Hawke said. “The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety will investigate this case and seek prosecution for the individual responsible.”
As a result of the incident, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance is hosting a community forum from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave.
“We think this is a good opportunity, when something like this happens, to not sit on it and instead create an opportunity for dialogue and healing,” said Andre Daley, the alliance's associate executive director.
The forum will include people from the business, education, government, public sector and faith communities.
“We know how impactful it can be if we don’t address it,” Daley said.”


I saw a chair sitting in the front yard of house on Ferris with a Romney/Ryan sign next to it. I know what they meant. I saw the hanging chair in the front yard by Peach Plains Elementary and I know what they meant too. It wasn't the same thing.


I have a chair sitting in my front yard right now............Just waiting for the garbage man to pick it up, the caster broke off.....lol! Just so no one gets the wrong idea....






Herman Cain was his choice? Somehow I highly doubt that. Tea Partiers stick together, and they were all behind Santorum around here.


Why, because he's against Obama? Here we go again folks, the left ideology on display, divide us a long race lines.

Tri-cities realist

Perhaps you are right, perhaps not. I for one was a Cain supporter before he dropped out. Then I supported Santorum, and finally Obama, kidding of course. You can call me racist if you want, I supported Cain because he was conservative, AND he was black. The thought of 2 black men with widely different views running against each other for president appealed to me. I figured we could finally get over the charges of racism against anyone who disagreed with Obama. We could have focused solely on their ideas and vision for the country, rather than the color of their skin. Sadly we weren't given this opportunity, and yes I know that it was Cain's own fault. At least he is man enough to admit his faults and not blame others. Sorry for the divergent thought, hopefully it is still somewhat relevant.


LOVE IT! He's sorry that kids might have seen the swear words written on it but he's not sorry that he hung it in view of the public as a sign of lynching African Americans and specifically directed at our commander in chief.

FOUR MORE YEARS! Suck it up Ottawa County.


It's not Ottawa County you should be worried about. We'll do fine, just as we always have. Four more years? I'm not so sure our friends the Israelis are too fired up about that. I kind of agree with
Dick Tuck, 1966 California senatorial candidate when he said "the people have spoken, the bastards".


WOW RainX, I completely don't hear a word you're saying! I mean, you're a survivalist, but I guess you have to be one when your party keeps getting bumped from a Presidency for 2 straight years running now. And, your quote from a 1966 Dick is so, unconvincing. Yup x, you're an unreal contender for sure.


If I were blind, deaf, and unable to speak or feel, then possibly I might consider Ken and Judy Davids' claim, that the "Hanging Red Lawn Chairs" in their front yard trees across the street from Peach Plains Elementary School, were simply decorations they decided to hang right after the Republican National Convention where speaker, Clint Eastwood brought onto the stage an "Empty Chair" which he had a conversation with an invisible Barack Obama. Ironically, on Wednesday, November 7th, the day after President Obama was reelected President for a 2nd 4year term a White Plastic Lawn Chair was nailed to Davids' driveway and in black magic marker there were many words written, I'm assuming were directed for the Davids' that read, "4 more years," "racist pig" and numerous profanities on the white chair in which Judy David commented, "if the police can pull finger prints off it, good." It's simply amazing how some people try to push and force others to either believe the way they do or else they are evil. I mean, who am I to say that the Hanging Red Lawn Chairs that David hung with a rope was a "Racist" display intentionally put up by David? Perhaps I'm not, but there are a whole lot of other people who are labeling Ken and Judy David racists. If you give, then be ready to receive.


Excuse me, but the Davis' had the courage to express their views in plain sight of the world, and took complete responsibility for them, whereas the coward who nailed the chair to their driveway did so under cover of darkness with the expressed desire to never be known...

The Davis' supported Mr. Romney while we can only assume the anonymous trespasser supported President Obama.

In my mind, that speaks volumes.


Excuse me - their last name is David.


Obama, Obiden, what's the difference?


So, these are your people and you can't even be bothered to show them the common decency of getting their last name right? Wow, with friends like you they don't need enemies.


I'm going to jump in and say that I think we all know deep down inside Ken David's hanging effigy of Obama aka, empty chair, was, if not totally racist in his mind, an aggressive code for Obama haters and bashers, and which was appealing to the racists among them. The white chair nailed to the driveway was actually rather funny, and was the equivalent of an aggressive code for Obama supporters that in effect was saying, "na- na na na- na na" .


Come on Lan, written racism vs implied racism.....Tresspassing!! Forget all that if you like, what happened to the concern over the kids witnessing said racism??? What could have truly been an opportunity for LEDA is now further feeding the "racism issue" What an opportunity to demonstrate to the kids how racism comes with guilt and lack of sensitivity on both sides. Your na na comment is juvenile and I thought you would stay above that. Sigh.



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