Obama Hung in a Tree for Halloween

Kathleen Thompson has an interesting photo on her blog. The yard you see here sits across the street from Colleyville Elementary School. No matter your political affiliation, you have to applaud the effort. But the tableau does make me wonder. Even if spiderwebs and clowns are involved, is it ever a good idea to hang an effigy of a black man in a tree? And if you support Romney, should you depict him as a spider? Charlotte was a good spider. There’s Anansi. But in general spiders don’t connote “leader” or “trustworthy” or “doesn’t use Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying taxes.”


  • LOL

    That’s awesome! Wish I’d thought of it.

  • Tom

    Looks like Gov. Romney is riding a spider. Not sure what that means, but hanging the president from a tree is fairly clear.

  • Tom

    Also, will this affect Colleyville’s ranking in the 2013 “Best Suburbs” contest?

  • D. Shapiro

    Come on, Tim, hanging an effigy of our President just shows how progressive we are and how we have left our nation’s history of racism in the past. Or…regardless of the person depicted, it’s in incredibly poor taste, and no, it’s never a good idea to hang an effigy of a black man in a tree. America.

  • colleyville

    @Tom: yes, I’m pretty sure this will take Colleyville’s rank down several notches.

  • Albert

    And then there’s the guy who got in trouble for hanging an empty chair…

  • Celia Morgan

    The Elementary School has to step in. if this display is viewable to one child, especially one that isn’t a child of the homeowner, its incredibly inappropriate.

  • mike

    The only part of this I approve of is Biden as a circus clown.

  • Samantha

    @Celia Morgan And the elementary school is going to do what? The display is on private property.

  • Brown Bess

    Conservatives have no imagination.

  • Long Memory

    If the President were the dictator that his enemies claim him to be, these people would disappear overnight. Hmmm. I can’t decide whether I want that to happen or I don’t. It’s a conundrum!

  • Glenn Hunter

    He’s not “hung in a tree.” He’s trapped in a spider web, alongside a circus clown.

  • Brandon

    Glenn is the only one that looked closely at the picture. Romney (the spider) put Obama in his spider-web. Spider’s don’t typically hang people from trees.

  • Jennifer

    Highly inappropriate for the PRESIDENT of the supposedly “UNITED STATES” of AMERICA to be depicted in this manner. Just shows how far WE have to go as a nation. I feel sorry for the people that did this and for the people that agree with depicting an obvious racial slur to the community. I am not a diehard democrat or republican but this is a disgrace. I will no longer be supporting D Magazine for advertently encouraging ludicrous behavior.

  • blue pencil

    That’s not entirely clear, Glenn, because of the tangled metaphors here. The sign clearly reads “Shutting down the circus!” and I’ll assume, along with mike, that the clown must be Biden, and I notice that the president also seems to have a red nose, so he, too, is a clown in what seems like a very small, two-clown circus. Yet they’re both trapped or hanged from the tree/web. So, I guess, this traveling circus got trapped in a web of national debt. But didn’t Obama CAUSE all that debt, even though a large chunk came the Bush wars? And Romney seems to be riding the lead spider. Does that mean he created all this webbing? Is he supposed to be Spiderman? And what about that conveniently located spiderleg rising up from Romney’s lap?

  • Dano

    Very poor taste. If something should “happen” to her halloween exhibit, I would not be suprised.

  • Vseslav Botkin

    Look at poor Obama trying to unravel Romney’s complicated web of tax shelters. He can’t do it!

  • Larenda

    I agree Jennifer – All Halloween and politics aside; when did racism become amusing…….only in the South would ignorance be so tolerated

  • Avid Reader

    Race War.

    Obviously Obama is stuck in the web. What feigned outrage can we come up with later today so everyone can get their every 4 hour yell of racism worked in?

  • Sam

    I partially disagree with Brown Bess: the display does show a degree of imagination.The spiders made from black garbage bags and plastic utility piping are pretty cool, DIY props.

    The limitations seem to rest with a collision in themes and jumbled use of metaphor. Are we at the Big Top or in a natural setting of gigantic proportions? The web looks like a collapsed circus tent, so are the spiders part of the circus or are they taking over the circus or are they only interested in covering the circus with webs? If I drove by and didn’t read the signage carefully, I probably would have assumed the spiders were Shepard Fairey’s infamous Kochtopus and that the webbing represents a web of deceit related to the widespread reports of voter registration fraud we won’t find in local media reports (i.e., Nathan Sproul).

    As far as what is going on with the effigy of Obama, I would really would have to view this in person to make a determination. One thing is for certain, the display is a thicket of higgledy-piggledy political metaphor.

  • Neal

    @Jennifer – You and your hair-trigger outrage will be missed.

  • J bennett

    I am totally with Jennifer….I love creativity…I love cleverness I loathe the dark NASTY uncivil tone this has taken on…childish…mean spirit…why does it always have to be so meanspirited and undermining?

  • Celia Morgan

    @Samantha: School boundaries super-cede private property. At least in Arlington they do. For instance, if a school is within 500 feet of a home property (or vice versa) some restrictions applicable to campuses are also valid for homes. Like the one I have lived in my entire life is on a junior high school boundary. So, when I was in junior high, the school prohibited the off-campus distribution of church pamphlets to minors. There was a local church that would practically chase you down to hand you one of those orange testament books, the parents of students were infuriated, and the church was asked to take their handouts outside of a 500 foot radius of the school. I feel that if my child attended this school, I would complain, until the school did something. I wouldn’t want my daughter to witness such a display. It seems as vulgar to me as vulgar as pornography. There are some things, while entertaining, that are just inappropriate for a child’s viewing- accidental or otherwise. (I hardly find this accidental, they know they are close to a school with small children.)

  • mynameisbill

    The depiction of Biden as a clown is a somber reminder of our not so distant past concerning the way they(clowns) were treated here in the south. I thought we as a society had moved past this overt clown racism, but it seems we have not…

  • @Celia: “as vulgar as pornography” Really? You can earn some credibility now by backing away from that a bit, explaining that you were very worked up (or have never seen a porn), and going back to arguing that the display is rather silly.

  • Miss Muffet

    And Romney is raping a giant spider?

  • Sam

    @Michael J. Mooney

    Think it depends. Is it pornographic because it’s a terribly rendered political statement children might encounter or because the hose directly under Romney’s crotch has lost its mooring? Or, a combination of both?

    Detail shots at

    “Trick or treat” indeed.

  • Archie

    This is an amazing display – look at all the different ways we are interpreting the visual. The best part is, unlike other countries we can be proud to be able to voice our opinions without worrying about a fatwa being put on our head.

    This display to me seems party agnostic – it’s laying down the facts. We have unemployment and debt spiraling out of control. The incumbents are fighting what appears to be a loosing battle to get us to a better place. The challenger Romney is looking to solve the problem by adding more web so that our current problems will feel like a cake walk compared to what we face once he is done with his 8yrs.

    Silver line: we solve the immigration and border problem. No one is going to wan to come to the USA anymore 🙂

  • mike

    @Larenda – I’ve lived or spent significant time in the liberal enclaves of Boston, Vermont, and Philadelphia where I can say categorically that there is no racism.

  • towski

    Ah, the tired old circus clown v spider analogy. Yawn.

  • Albert

    But Obama is caught in a web, not hanging from the tree.

  • america

    It’s obvious Obama is stuck in a web, not ‘hung fro ma tree.’ It’s October. Halloween is less than a month away. The election is close as well. I’m happy to be in a country where people can decorate thateir homes however they want for Halloween. As for the people who don’t wants their children to see it, why not? Are you afraid of exposing your children to politics? Yes, I mean, it IS scary, but, come on… Also, I don’t see how this display is any worse than showing other scary Halloween scenes involving blood and gore. Grow up and get a life people.

  • ConservativeGuy

    For those of you that are harping on this display, I’ll point to a great quote from the movie, “The American President”. It says, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” Seems like all I hear anymore is how the left screams that the right is intolerant, but by their very own actions they seem to complete embody the essence of intolerance. Instead of acknowledging someone’s right to free speech, they would rather silence that individual by any means possible. It may take the form of vandalism, yelling empty hollow names of, “racist!”, or intimidation. Whatever the method, the message that they don’t agree with simply cannot be tolerated! For those that see racism everywhere, you find it because you want to – whether it exists or not. For those that don’t see racism where it DOES exist, you turn a blind eye. How about a little intellectual honesty and independent thought for once?

    In context, I see nothing wrong with this display. They have a constitutionally protected right to do this. No one has a constitutionally protected right NOT to be offended. If you don’t like it, get some thick skin and move on.

  • So_by_extension_Guy

    By that line of reasoning, I can’t wait to put up my display of ConservativeGuy’s mom being raped for Halloween.

  • The Redhead

    Except at that point it really would be a porno. What with all the rape and stoof. O.o

  • ConservativeGuy

    Typical liberal response. Nothing intelligent to add.