RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It's been called offensive and hateful. An anti-Obama bumper sticker is generating some very strong reactions from people across the board, regardless of political party or race. The ad uses some provocative language to encourage people not to re-elect the president.
We found the bumper sticker, along with t-shirts bearing the same slogan on a website. Photos of them have been making their way across the web, stirring up quite a storm.
The sticker is incendiary.
"Oh my God that is so racist," exclaimed Britny Warlington. "Who would do that?"
It provoked responses from black and white people alike.
"I think it's awful," Ted Carter said. "It's disgusting."
It uses part of a word most people won't utter nowadays. We brought the picture to Matthew Freeman, who works with companies to build more inclusive environments.
"Using a word that's as inflammatory and provocative as that is clearly is beyond personal attacks and it's taking it to a racial slur we wish nobody would be using anymore," he explained.
The imagery alone is enough to evoke a reaction. It includes the symbol associated with President Obama's campaign.
In the political season, we expect ads to get nasty, but most people we talked to said this goes beyond the usual campaigning.
"It has nothing to do with any kind of platform or any kind of policy and it's purely about race and it's the worst kind of race baiting," Carter maintained.
Freeman thought the sticker has broader implications for society.
"I think it's evidence that there's a whole lot of work that we still have left to do," he said. "There are a whole bunch of folks who still have prejudice, who still feel racism and are not afraid to express it."
If you search for the slogan, you can find the image online. It seems the website selling the stickers has been taken down. We're told Facebook also removed many of the posts with this picture.