10/16/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
The ‘one ring’ had to be taken to Mt. Doom to be melted down and destroyed, but the ‘one billboard’ that mixed racism, homophobia and islamophobia just had to be torn off and painted over. The billboard that depicted President Barack Obama as a gay man, a gangster, a terrorist and a bandito was removed after both the artist, Paul Snover, and the billboard owner received hate mail and death threats.
The artist has stated that the person who commissioned the billboard wishes to remain anonymous, but he put his name on the artwork because it is an expression of free speech.
A local Tea Party group showed up to rally at the billboard Friday; however, they arrived too late and it was gone.
Brad Clark, executive direct or One Colorado, stated “While we do not condone threats of violence of any kind against anyone, we are pleased that the billboard has come down. The type of rhetoric it articulated has real consequences. With national attention focused on the devastating impact of bullying and harassment in our schools, adults should be setting the example, not fueling the fire. Hateful, irresponsible messages like these only serve to perpetuate stereotypes and harassment against our friends and neighbors. They do not unite a community.”
Mi Familia Vota Education Fund state director Jessie Ulibarri stated “Spewing hate behind a veil of secrecy and money allows discrimination and violence against immigrants and LGBT people to fester. Coloradans are tired of divisive politics, and we need to focus on the real issues facing our state, rather than creating false scapegoats for the ills of the world.”