Patriot Freedom Alliance, a Hutchinson, Kansas Tea Party group, is coming under fire for making a racially-tinged Obama skunk reference. An offensive illustration comparing President Obama to a skunk was posted on patriotfreedomalliance.org, the website of the group, with the caption: “The skunk has replaced the eagle as the new symbol for the president. It is half black, it is half white, and almost everything it does, stinks.”
It was removed from the Patriot Freedom Alliance web site after being highly criticized for its racially charged message by the NAACP.
Local newspaper the Hutchinson News reported that Thomas Hymer, who maintains the web site, defended this message saying: “It’s satire is what it is. Satire in a politically incorrect form.”
Area NAACP president Darrell Pope told the paper that the caption attacking President Obama is “a blatant statement of racism[...] intended to be malicious.”
Hutchinson Tea Party supporter Chuck Sankey defended the photo as a pointed political statement, not hate speech. Regarding the uncomfortable racial undertones of highlighting Obama’s biracial ancestry, Sankey stated: “What’s wrong with the truth?”
Sankey also claims that Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin has fared worse critiques from the left.
Hymer put up the photo near the time of the Thanksgiving holiday. It was reported on by the Hutchinson News on December 10 and removed from the web by the time the story was spotted by UK paper the Daily Mail on December 12.
This photo is the last in a series created by right-wing extremists, which includes a picture depicting the president on a “food stamps dollar,” and an image of the White House with watermelons planted on the lawn.
The fact that racial stereotyping in photos that attack the president is an ongoing tradition on the right speaks louder that the denials of these Kansas Tea Party leaders.