Bars and the burning effigies

Bar patrons in West Allis, Wisc., are reportedly being investigated because they burned an effigy of President Barack Obama.

“In my eyes it’s a form of racism,” one person-on-the-street told the local TV station.

In January 2009, some college kids burned an effigy of George Bush:

And it’s likely that most presidents since the discovery of fire (all of them ) have had their likenesses defaced in some way or another. But Obama, of course, is the first African American president and a racial meaning is often attributed.

If you’re a bar full of drunken Wisconsinites, what would be the proper way to express dissatisfaction with a president?

  • bsimon

    I’ll put it in the category of flag burning: crass, offensive & within the free speech rights we all enjoy. I think the President’s race, or religion, if we imagine a future Jewish president, or gender if we imagine a future female president, should not make a difference. The President is a public figure, and will be subjected to critisims, some a bit over the top. But such criticism should not be treated as racially (or religiously, or gender) motivated. Unless they were dancing around in hoods shouting “Burn the N*****!”