Obama banner sparks outrage

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Despite all of the anger and outrage over a banner that depicts President Obama as the Joker from Batman, the city says it's not illegal for it to be on display. The owner of Club Velvet, who put the image up, says it expresses his displeasure with the Obama administration.

"I couldn't believe it. It was just sad that somebody would do that," said Joy Parker.

The NAACP, which organized the protest, says the picture is offensive and disrespectful.

"Not only is it an attack upon president but also all men and people of African descent," said King Salim Khalfani, NAACP Executive Director.

"He's black - he's president, who cares. I don't care if you're Chinese or purple - just do your job. I think the administration is a joke and that's the theme behind the picture," said Frank Singleton.

Some who showed up here didn't take a side, but rather reminded folks about the importance of freedom of speech.

"I defend everyone's right to enjoy the freedoms of this country. This constitution protects me and him and our president and you can't pick and choose," said resident Craig Johnson.

The owner of the club did issue a statement which in part says, "Anyone who believes his banner is racist... Is an ignoramus, and that just because the president is part black doesn't mean he can't be criticized."

Kaitlyn McGee, who works at Club Velvet, says she wants the poster to come down.

"I like Obama. I have no problem with him. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I would not have put it up," said Kaitlyn.

Just because some don't like the image doesn't make it illegal. A city spokesperson says this banner does not violate any city code.

The NAACP says it will continue to protest and voice its dissatisfaction with this image that's on display.

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