"Patriot Phipps" claims that he isn't a racist. But amongst the menagerie of effigies hanging from a trailer-borne gallows he pulls behind his truck is a likeness of President Barack Obama.
He brought his gallows trailer, which includes eight mostly white dangling politicians in all, to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
"You say it's racism. I say it's not. Absolutely not," Phipps said in a YouTube video explaining 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' detractors say that a white guy hanging an effigy of any black man is patently racist, but Phipps insists that they're missing the point. For him, this is a way to protest a government that he feels has let him down. Obama's effigy hangs amongst others depicting North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and Senior Resident Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons, among others.
Phipps said that he has taken to hanging effigies because he wants a more thorough federal investigation into the unsolved murder of William Henry Phipps, a family member who was shot in the back while riding in a car with his father one night several years ago.
The investigation hasn't produced results, so Phipps added President Obama's effigy to the lineup, offering that he has no other options than his unique, albeit time honored form of non-violent protest. Phipps said he took the display — minus Obama's effigy — to New York City a couple of years ago, and claims no one really noticed.
"Wouldn't it have been better for Timothy McVeigh to do this, than what he done?" he said in the YouTube video. "We have nothing else."
Solid logic, that. If they don't listen to us what can we do but hang fake versions of them in a truck? Why, the only other option would be BLOWING PEOPLE UP. This seems less racist than crazy, and the mannequin Phipps used as an Obama stand-in looks more like a Ken doll than our black President.
State police gave Phipps a ticket for some equipment violation or other and made him leave the DNC, but no one made a big deal out of it and he left quietly.
Photo credit: YouTube