[Update after the jump.]
As reported by Art Pope Exposed yesterday and on the Blend, the Meck Deck, an official blog of the Art Pope-funded conservative John Locke Foundation, published a ridiculous and offensive post with a racially-charged and homophobic image of President Obama to go with author Tara Servatius’s piece on POTUS’s opposition to North Carolina’s Amendment One, “Obama Goes Pro Gay Marriage to Get NC on Election Day.”
You won’t find the image on the site now because after a flurry of Tweets and Facebook posts went out linking to the coverage, it quietly disappeared from the site without any explanation. But a screencap grabbed by Art Pope Exposed is evidence of the blatant racism and homophobia that courses through an organization that describes its mission in this manner:
The John Locke Foundation employs research, journalism, and outreach programs to transform government through competition, innovation, personal freedom, and personal responsibility. JLF seeks a better balance between the public sector and private institutions of family, faith, community, and enterprise.
Yeah, right. Freedom for everyone except people of color and gay folks.
The North Carolina NAACP’s Rev. Dr. William Barber, who wrote a powerful open letter to the state’s voters about why they should vote against Amendment One spoke about the Locke imagery of the President:
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 afront to the black community, the civil rights community, the LBGT community, but every North Carolinian.
As I said in yesterday’s post, Servatius whined about Barack Obama’s political strategy here in NC on the Locke blog, complaining that the state has gone Purple and that the Obama campaign is targeting educated professionals (the “creative class”), and concerned that the GOP hasn’t targeted this demographic. The NC GOP has such disdain for the creative class that they cannot wrap their minds around the thought of moving to the center from the fringe-right to appeal to them. Servatius is someone to keep your eye on – Chris Kromm of Art Pope Exposed and director of the Institute for Southern Studies asks a pertinent question (my emphasis:
Servatius, a former right-wing radio commentator for Charlotte’s WBT AM, is a regular contributor to the Meck Deck and Servatius also runs the MeckDeck Twitter account, and authors a good share of their posts. How involved was Servatius in the decision to post the Obama image, and keep it up for two days? Last year, a Charlotte blogger noted that Servatius was a speaker at an event for the neo-Confederate group the League of the South.