“Hanging” The President, A Matter of Intent

November 9, 2012 by  

The following incident came into focus as President Barack Obama was preparing to accept the Democratic Nomination for president. Another incident took place only days ago. Consider the intent of the parties.

Depending on your political or cultural alliance you can easily become angry and judgmental when you hear that a man is trucking through various counties with a trailer displaying the president, among other figures, swinging from a rope in effigy. This particular expression of First Amendment speech was the brainchild of a man known as "Patriot" Phipps. Patriot? Well. it may be a good idea to listen or read what Phipps says about his mission before you label him as racist or anti-American. You may find his reasoning to be intriguing.

In case you have trouble understanding what was said, here is a print-out.

"You say it's racism. I say it's not. Absolutely not," he insisted in a YouTube video from May 2012 that explains the display. "Had we been hanging people in effigy when George Bush was president, I would have hung him, no problem. It wouldn't have been a problem at all." Phipps says that he took the display to New York City, sans President Obama, two years ago and "people hardly remember, hundreds of thousands of pictures was taken then." He says they added the president to the display after a federal case into the murder investigation went nowhere. "Wouldn't it have been better for Timothy McVey to do this, than what he done?" he asked at one point in the video. "We have nothing else." Phipps says that people don't understand how long and how hard they have fought before going to this extreme. "We did not want to do this, " he said, gesturing to the mannequin display. "Mister Barack Obama can get down, he can get his mannequin down any time he wants to, but it is a federal investigation we are after." He says the display isn't a racist display. "It is not our fault that Mister Barack Obama is President and he just happens to be black," he said in the video. "We had nothing to do with it. That was God." He says be believes most people would do the same things in his situation. A WBTV viewer also snapped a photo of the same truck on Wednesday after it was stopped by the Highway Patrol along Interstate 85 at Peeler Road near the Rowan, Cabarrus counties line. According to the viewer, the truck had a sign reading "Obama on board. Dummies in nooses." Troopers told WBTV they stopped the vehicle for a vehicle equipment violation. The driver was issued a written warning and allowed to leave.

It is good that the police were vigilant to check out the truck but also reassuring that they did not overreact. Sometimes a delicate balance is called for.


The most recent stories emerging about places hanging the president in effigy were being repeated within hours of his re-election. The curious thing was these images were being seen only in Shell stations in various parts of the country. I noticed that the mannequin representing the president looked like a duplicate of the one displayed by "Patriot" Phipps. Shell, however, can speak for itself... and it did. The company claimed that Shell had nothing to do with the effigy of the president. They went futher to reveal that at no time was the image legitimately associated with the company.

Apparently, what happened was that someone snapped a picture of Patriot Phipps truck, capturing the Obama image as he he gassed up at the station. The photograph captures the familiar colors of the Shell Corporation. The company took immediate action upon learning about the hoax. Patriot Phipps was clear about his purpose. He was trying to push for an investigation into his brother's murder. He "hanged" leaders equally. The last incident was designed to promote anger and frustration among the people. In this age where anyone with a computer and a little skill can alter public perception, it is wise to be careful about the information we are receiving. We need to seek out more than a single source. That is what I did. Based on the information I had I was ready to boycott Shell. It seemed like the hanging incident came out of their camp. Upon looking deeper, however, I saw they were victims.

I also found I could empathize with Patriot Phipps, despite his shocking way of bringing attention to his cause. I believe that he offers no threat. Things are seldom what they are projected to be, good or bad. Be mindful.


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