A Centreville man who hung an empty chair from a tree in his backyard with a sign reading “Nobama” attached to it denies that it was meant to represent any inference to lynching or had any racist connotations, though he did manage to “get on the radar” of the Secret Service.
Doug Burger said he was “Eastwooding,” according to local Washington news outlet WJLA.
“I loved Clint Eastwood’s speech” at the Republican nominating convention, he said.
Mr. Eastwood delivered a free-form speech on the final night of the convention in which he addressed an invisible President Obama supposedly sitting in a chair next to him on the stage, drawing applause from some but ridicule from others. “Saturday Night Live” lampooned the incident during its TV season premiere on Saturday.
Mr. Burger said that people always steal his political signs, so he thought he’d at least make them work to take it away this time, and that he failed to see what all the fuss is about.
“I am not a racist in any fashion,” he said. “I know how to build a noose, really. If I wanted to make a noose, I could do that. I did not. I had no intention for that to occur.”
He has taken the chair down from the tree, but said he felt the whole hubbub was “really an attack on free speech.”
Mr. Obama is scheduled to make a Friday campaign stop in Woodbridge, Va.