Ask President Obama’s critics about their signs showing him as a clown, monkey or bone-in-the-nose witchdoctor, and they’ll quickly inform you that they have nothing to do with racism.
So why would anyone expect anything different about the latest larger-than-life caricature of the nation’s first African-American commander in chief, a billboard showing a cartoonish, grinning Obama wearing a turban, and accompanied by the following question: “PRESIDENT OR JIHAD?” and “BIRTH CERTIFICATE? PROVE IT!”
Of course there’s nothing racist about the billboard, says Wayne Means, the general manager of Wolf Interstate Leasing and Sales in Wheat Ridge, Colo., which is about seven miles west of Denver.
"We've had people come by and say, 'Keep it up.' We've had people come by and say, 'Take it down,'" Means told The Associated Press. "We can have differences of opinion. This is America."
And, while the nation is experiencing deep, collective pain over the shooting by a Muslim officer in the U.S. Army, artist David Lee include the following on the anti-Obama sign: "WAKE UP AMERICA! REMEMBER FT. HOOD." The reference was to Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. citizen born to Palestinian parents, who has been charged in the Nov. 5 mass shooting at the Army post in Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded.
Several people, including groups such as MoveOn.org say the billboard is clearly racist and are urging potential customers to boycott the dealership.