David Zalubowski / AP
Maintenance man David Lee of Arvada, Colo., puts the finishing touches on a sign featuring cartoon drawings of a grinning President Barack Obama wearing a turban.
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – A billboard showing President Barack Obama wearing a turban has sparked a lot of attention at the suburban Denver used car dealership that put it up.
The sign, completed Friday by artist David Lee, shows a grinning, cartoonish Obama and bears the words “PRESIDENT or JIHAD?”
Underneath the president’s image is a big yellow square with the phrase, “BIRTH CERTIFICATE, PROVE IT!” The words “WAKE UP AMERICA! REMEMBER FT. HOOD” appear at the bottom of the billboard at Wolf Interstate Leasing and Sales, about seven miles west of Denver. The sign is visible from Interstate 70.
Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. citizen born to Palestinian parents, 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.
Lee said there were plenty of honks from car horns as he painted the billboard.
“One lady came by and gave me the ‘shame, shame’ look,” said Lee, of Arvada, another suburb of Denver.
Dealership owner Phil Wolf was unavailable for comment Friday, but General Manager Wayne Means said the business has seen strong opinions about its sign.
“We’ve had people come by and say, ‘Keep it up.’ We’ve had people come by and say, ‘Take it down,'” Means said. “We can have differences of opinion. This is America.”
The left-leaning advocacy group MoveOn.org called the billboard “racist” and was asking customers to boycott the dealership. (Source)
Lee said the billboard has previously held other slogans questioning the president’s citizenship, along with routine ads for cars.
The fringe so-called birther movement claims that Obama was born outside the United States and is ineligible to be president. The Constitution states that a person must be a “natural-born citizen” to be eligible for the presidency. Birthers contend that Obama’s birth certificate is a fake, and many say he was actually born in Kenya, his father’s homeland.
Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate along with birth notices from the two Honolulu newspapers were brought forward even before he took office. State officials in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu.
Should we be really surprised at the extreme right-wing’s attempts, who’ve failed miserably at asserting Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen, to link the Ft. Hood massacre to President Obama? Should one feel shocked/surprised/angry at such tactic or should one feel ambivalent about the issue? Is it racist, as the folks at MoveOn claim. I mean, we all figured there are quite a few in this country who cringe at the sight of seeing a man of color as the American president.