The Austin, Texas man who hung an empty chair representing President Barack Obama from a tree in his front yard took it down Thursday in front of a news crew, but insisted the display was not a lynching nor racial in any way.
Swearing repeatedly at the KEYE-TV crew and warning them not to set foot on his property as he fumbled with the rope holding the chair up, Bud Johnson reaffirmed it was related to Clint Eastwood’s empty chair routine from the Republican National Convention.
“No it has no other meaning,” Johnson said when asked about the racial connotations of his display. “I’m not a racist, I don’t dislike any race….it’s not a lynch.”
By the time he took the chair down, Johnson had added a small American flag to the display. No flag was present when a photo of the chair was first published on the Texas political blog Burnt Orange Report.
Asked by KEYE why the chair was hanging from a tree, Johnson responded, “because it’s the only place I had to put the damn thing” and said he couldn’t put it on the ground because he likes to keep his grass cut.
“It has nothing to do with race,” he repeated.
Later in the day, Johnson told a columnist from the Austin American-Statesmanwhy he chose to take the chair down: “I decided to make the change because some people are stupid.”
Asked whether he planned to put the chair up again, Johnson replied, “Not unless I want to.”
Johnson previously told TheBlaze that he is a Republican and put the chair up to express his feelings about the president.
“I don’t support Obama and the empty chair and that’s why,” he said.
On Wednesday, Johnson told Burnt Orange Report that he didn’t “really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not.”
“You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you,” he said. “I don’t give a sh-t. If you don’t like it, don’t come down my street.”
Watch KEYE’s full interaction with Johnson here.