A Texas man, who made headlines last week for hanging an empty chair representing President Barack Obama in his front yard, took the chair down from the tree last week.
Bud Johnson, a 73-year-old from Austin, Texas, reportedly hung the chair in reference to Clint Eastwood’s debate with an imaginary President Barack Obama at the Republican National Convention.
“I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not,” Johnson told Burnt Orange Report about the racially-charged symbol after he first put it up. “You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don’t give a sh*t. If you don’t like it, don’t come down my street.”
Johnson took the chair down last Thursday, denying that he meant anything racist by it.
“I’m not racist,” he told KEYE-TV. “I don’t dislike any race.”
“It doesn’t mean anything,” he insisted. “It has nothing to do with lynching anybody.”
And when asked why he had the chair hanging from a tree, Johnson said the tree was “the only place I had to put the damn thing.”
He also claimed to have hung the chair because he wanted to cut the grass.
Despite these denials, Johnson confirmed the chair was related to President Obama when he asked the KEYE-TV news reporter, “Haven’t you heard of the Clint Eastwood thing with the empty chair?”
Johnson complained about being harassed by the media since hanging the chair and threatened to sue.
The chair is now sitting on the front of his lawn, a few feet away from the tree.
One neighbor told the local news station that the act had been taken out of context and that Johnson is a “good neighbor and a nice guy. He’s just really conservative Republican.”
Another neighbor, Robert Stephenson, thought the opposite.
“There’s no way you can take that the wrong way,” he said. “I’m glad he took it down. I just hope he don’t put it back up.”
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