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Some stories require a bit of background and context to fully comprehend.  This one doesn't

John Hood, president of the conservative North Carolina-based John Locke Foundation, has apologized for a very special graphic that one of his bloggers, "Hot Talk WRNN co-host Tara Servatius," included in her post for the think tank’s blog this week.  What is the controversy? All it did was show "President Obama in chains and drag with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken."  What is the controversy?  Everyone loves Kentucky Fried Chicken!  And look, Tara Servatius says she "didn’t think about the racial implications of the picture when I posted it. I simply don’t think in those terms." She’s a fun one.

Link to Wonkette story

And what does the blogger who posted this disgusting image have to say?  WRAL Television in Raleigh, North Carolina reports this afternoon

"I am genuinely sorry my inclusion of the photo along with my blog post has caused controversy for the John Locke Foundation.

"If it has offended anyone, I sincerely regret that.  That was certainly not my intention and I would feel awful if that was the case.  It was meant to illustrate Obama's southern political strategy, nothing more.  An honest reading of the piece itself shows there is nothing offensive in it...

"PS: At the time, I was searching for a picture of the president in drag to illustrate his southern political strategy of courting young voters, 70 percent of whom support gay marriage.  It was one of the first photos to come up on Google Images.

"Regrettably, I didn't think about the racial implications of the picture when I posted it.  I simply don't think in those terms.  Unfortunately some people do.  To me, fried chicken is simply a Southern Cuisine."

Link to full story

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber issued this statement
"We at the NC NAACP have learned of the disgusting picture of our President on the John Locke Foundation blog and website.  What we have seen so far has both racist and homophobic overtones, both of which are contrary to the fundamentals of our democracy. It's outrageous and it shows the kind of racialized, mean-spirited and divisive political attitudes that still exist in the South.

"On Thursday we will demand to know who authorized and developed such a racist and bigoted portrayal to be placed on the site of an organization that seeks to have so much influence into the shaping of public policy in NC.  Whoever did it is completely over the line.  It is reckless and dangerous.  And should not only be an affront to the black community, the civil rights community, the LBGT community, but every North Carolinian."

Link to full story on WRAL web site

Tara Servatius resigned earlier today from the Locke Foundation's Meck Deck blog.  It might help her if she took a few courses in American history - particularly about the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

Update #1: As had been mentioned in one of the stories I linked to earlier, the President of the John Locke Foundation John Hood met with the NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber this afternoon.  

I think this guy is largely clueless as to why so many found the image in question to be racially offensive and insensitive

The image wasn't noticed for two days, but foundation President John Hood had it taken down as soon as he found out about it late Wednesday...

Hood said the John Locke Foundation, one of the Southeast's leading conservative think-tanks, has several paid bloggers and generally trusts their judgment.  Although he didn't find the story offensive, he said Servatius made a bad call on the image....

At an NAACP conference in Raleigh, Barber said the image is part of a disturbing pattern in political discourse.

"You got this.  You got people who are carrying guns to presidential events.  You got a thing out there now talking about 'let's don't renig,'" Barber said. "The language and the rhetoric can set up other things – violence meanness and hurt."

Hood said he also is concerned about the tone of political debate these days.  He said it has become increasingly extreme, personal and vitriolic across the political spectrum.

Link to WRAL story posted this evening

Update #2: WRAL also posted a video on their web site a few minutes ago.  I cannot seem to figure out how to embed it.  You can watch it here.  

Look under 'Foundation exec meets with NAACP over Obama blog image' and then click the red tv camera icon next to the story 'Altered Obama image in blog outrages civil rights advocates.'

Update #3: hat tip Scarce, who sent me this video by the Raleigh, NC ABC affiliate ABC11-WTVD.  Thanks.

Originally posted to JekyllnHyde on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Southern Action, Black Kos community, and Barriers and Bridges.

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