Why It’s Not Shocking To See This ‘Impeachment Now’ Billboard with Giant Black Testicles

America has collectively gone nuts. Among other things, garment-rending mobs from the far-right to the far-left to all points in between appear to be blaming President Obama for almost literally everything, so given the context it’s really not too shocking to see a brutally racist billboard in Cleveland calling for Obama’s impeachment and featuring a gigantic pair of black, well, nuts.

The billboard’s message is printed in bold, all-caps text reading: “ENOUGH WITH THE LYING,” “IMPEACHMENT NOW” and “YOU’RE OUT OF CONTROL,” with a jet-black caricature of the president. It continues with the text, “DOES ANYONE IN CONGRESS HAVE A SET OF THESE?” And just above the words “TESTICLE FORTITUDE” is a jet-black, weirdly penis-less scrotum labeled “The Big Kahunas,” an obvious reference to Obama’s childhood in Hawaii.

Cleveland resident Nancy Sysack — yes, “Sysack” — who operates Harry X. Sysack Sign Co., posted the billboard to attack the president and, as with most of the screeching about impeachment, to grab a little attention, “Sometimes you’ve got to put things out there in order to make a point and get people to turn their heads,” she said, “There’s more graphic stuff in the art museum.” Well, the graphic stuff in an art museum is in a museum , not along a street in Cleveland, and considerably less racist/obnoxious than this.

testicle_billboard

Credit where credit is due: at least she had the, um, kahunas? to include the name of her business and its phone number on the sign (it’s (216) 351-6111). Not many racist trolls would take credit for something this truly awful — and posted at a time when the United States is gripped by racial tensions in Ferguson, MO.

Oh, and by the way, it’s not the first time Sysack has been responsible for a racist billboard. Back in 2002, Sysack produced a billboard showing MLK with his arm around Osama Bin Laden. Obviously Sysack wasn’t a fan of the Martin Luther King holiday and wanted to illustrate her objections by depicting the civil rights leader with the world’s most-wanted terrorist at the time. What happened to this sign? Someone burned it to the ground.

Whether it’s Iraq, Gaza, Ferguson, Ukraine, the Ebola outbreak or the immigration crisis, there’s nothing particularly unusual about various hot spots cropping up around the world. Sure, each situation is more harrowing than the next, but it’s the reaction to all of these things that’s particularly nuts right now. Maybe it’s the prevalence of social media and its ability to spread outrage at hyper-speed, or maybe it’s the click-bait news headlines that exaggerate the truth and serially mislead the public. It’s difficult to know exactly why it’s happening, but Americans are particularly loaded with piss and vinegar right now.

Honestly, I’m shocked no one tried to blame Obama for what happened to Robin Williams. Sure, Limbaugh came really damn close, but I was braced to hear from at least one crackpot who’d go there. And they might as well have. Nearly every news item that drops, it’s a race to see who can contort the thing into a consequence of Obamacare or the president’s alleged abuse of power or his golf game.

How nuts are we? A lot nuts.

–The House Republicans have taken a break from demonizing frivolous lawsuits in order to conduct one of their own as a means of thwarting the president’s traditional use of executive orders — in spite of the fact that he’s signed the fewest of any two-term president in history. One faction of the GOP supports legal action, another faction supports impeachment, while a third faction of extremists want both. In this category, the viral derangement cells have multiplied into a full-on pandemic.

–Elsewhere, the NRA has responded to a lengthening chain of massacres by producing videos in which they endorse free government-subsidized ammunition and, yes, gun permits for blind people. (The latter item was too nuts for even the NRA and so the video supporting guns for the blind was removed.)

–For her part, Hillary Clinton gave us a preview of the forthcoming psych-ward group-sessions that will be the 2014 presidential primaries when she ludicrously simplified the president’s foreign policy as “don’t do stupid stuff.” She knows better, but why educate the public about the policy you yourself had a hand in crafting when there’s a huge pile-on in progress?

–As for the reaction to Ferguson, and depending on who you ask, the president was either too sympathetic to the protesters or he was too ignorant to care, interrupting his not-out-of-line-for-a-president vacation to issue a statement about Robin Williams before issuing a statement about Michael Brown, as if this represented an intentional snub to the African-American community.

–Is there any stronger indicator of mass psychosis than “Rand Paul: Presidential Frontrunner”? The states’ rights nullificationist, whose father was a laughing stock in two presidential primaries, is now the ostensible leader of the GOP and his party’s would-be 2016 nominee. And how might he achieve this? With the support of the naive far-left, of all people, who don’t seem to mind elevating someone who’s repeatedly poo-pooed the Civil Rights Act.

The list goes on and on. Bottom line: we’ve clearly lost our shpadoinkle, and I’m not sure we can get it back.

Once again, does the president have a spotless record? Hardly. However, the tone of the discourse at this point has made the time that guy hurled shoes at President Bush’s head seem centered and rational by comparison. Yes, there are things you can blame on the president. But a great many of the figurative shoes being hurled at his head right now are reactions to events that are entirely out of his control.

So no wonder there’s a racist testicular billboard in Cleveland demanding that Congress impeach the president. We’re so far down the rabbit hole, so thoroughly wrapped up in our flailing political dementia, that it’d be shocking if there wasn’t such a billboard. But let this be a wake-up call. Perhaps we all need to settle down. Unfollow Gawker and Buzzfeed. Unfriend your conspiracy theorist former college buddies. Close your Twitter app. Have a tall drink, perhaps a little sex with your partner and chill the fuck out, America. Seriously. The world is watching.

(ht Karoli)

  • Christopher Todd

    Let’s look at the evidence: This sign doesn’t appear to be the product of a slick ad agency. If limited to a red, black and white palette, which color should woman have used to outline the president’s silhouette? Is not the HAT more representative of Bush jr.? As far as the balls go, well, the vast majority of Congress members are white. As much as I know you guys just LOVE branding everyone with that big R, umm… Sorry. I don’t see it.

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

    “America has collectively gone nuts.”

    That’s the opening sentence in Bob Cesca’s column. Correction, Mr. Cesca. It’s not all of America that’s gone collectively nuts. It’s WHITE America that’s gone collectively nuts.

    I don’t recall similarly racist billboards put up by African-American, Latino, Asian or Native American critics of ANY of President Obama’s white predecessors.

    Have you?

  • jack

    ha I didn’t see Obama on the billboard but rather a silhouette of a guy in a cowboy hat till I read that’s him.

  • jack

    ha I didn’t see Obama on the billboard but rather a silhouette of a guy in a cowboy hat till I read that’s him.

  • jack

    ha I didn’t see Obama on the billboard but rather a silhouette of a guy in a cowboy hat till I read that’s him.

  • nerdnam

    David Horowitz over at Redstate; this is just as hysterical and nutty as that billboard:
    http://www.redstate.com/diary/davidhorowitz/2014/08/18/hell-obama-white-house/

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    So should progressives erect a giant billboard with an anus and a caption reading :This is where todays republicans find their talking points”?
    Hey, it’s on the same level of immaturity only without the blatant racism.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      My unleashed id would totally go for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    Balls not brains is the message.

  • 1933john

    Could it be a message from a
    salivating latent Teabagger?

  • Aaron M. Litz

    Nancy Sleestack is all I can say about that woman. And that is a slander against the Sleestack.

    “Someone burned it to the ground.” Good for them!

    Government subsidized ammunition?! Food for the poor is a satanic overreach of an evil government, but, by God, free welfare ammunition is pure, wholesome, rainbow-flavored goodness only a Commie could hate!

    I just can’t take it anymore. Between the trolls accusing everyone of being racists on other comment threads, and the actual news, everything I’ve read today has made my eye tic faster and faster; I think I better just completely get off the Internet for a few days and go play some Brutal DOOM for a week or so. I seriously need to gib some demons after all this bullshit. Maybe jokingly pray to Yog-Sothoth that something positive comes up. Or maybe play with the new puppy. I can’t take any more of this.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I can’t help but wonder how much hair on fire screaching we’d be seeing on Fox if someone had put up this exact same billboard with respect to impeaching Bush.

  • aynwrong

    Great piece. Reads like one of Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comments.” Which is appropriate for the subject. And the times.

  • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

    We’re doomed. The center cannot hold against all the weirdos trying to tear it down and replace it with their extremism.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      They could be turning off moderates in droves. This could be a turning point. It’s violent and nasty, but this could be the throes of a dying philosophy.

      • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

        There are hardly any moderates left. We are totally polarized.

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          I think that it just looks like that.

          • Toolymegapoopoo

            Agreed. In a room mostly filled with rational self-controlled people it is just the drunk blithering idiot that everyone notices.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            It’s good to stay positive.

  • muselet

    Rs are seething over losing the presidency, which they see as theirs by right. I’m convinced any D president would be on the receiving end of similar insanity.

    Any D would have been accused of elitism and communism and incompetence and all the rest, just without the scary scary blah person element tossed into the mix. Barack Obama’s race certainly adds to their madness: every nightmarish Righty fantasy about those people has been projected onto a smart, professorial, self-deprecating man who happens not to pass what Roy Edroso calls “the paper bag test.” And if Hillary Clinton were president, every nightmarish Righty fantasy about ball-busting bitches—and PMS and menopause, not to mention The Return Of The Clenis—would be projected onto her, and the discourse would be just as bad.

    Every side that loses an election or two is understandably unhappy about it, but the bitter resentment—even fury—on the Right is at a level I’ve never seen before. It’s not healthy, and I’m not entirely sure that self-government is even possible in such an environment.

    –alopecia

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Unfortunately, the paper bag test was a colorist instrument used by blacks to exclude darker blacks from high-brow functions.

      • muselet

        Understood, and I meant no offense by using the term (I doubt Edroso is trying to be offensive, either).

        –alopecia

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          No offense taken, here. Racism and any other ism can be internalized. It’s sad.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    This is going to continue as long as elected officials, candidates for public office, and people pretending to deliver “the news” on cable TV, continue to encourage and enable it.

    • Christopher Todd

      I’ve been saying pretty much the same about these nerdy little spree-killers for years, but does anyone listen?

  • Bosma

    So….(hi Dennis) does the whole balls thing go along with liberals calling right wingers teabaggers? Are they now cool with that..??

    • formerlywhatithink

      Uh, you do know the teabaggers used teabaggers to describe themselves first, right?

      http://www.think-magazine.com/images/stories/teabag-jesus.jpg

      • Bosma

        Absolutely. And I remember the epic butthurt they had once everyone else not them pointed them in the direct of urban dictionary to see what we were laughing at them for..

  • Mike Gesing

    The neighborhood this is in is primarily white – and moran.

    • Toolymegapoopoo

      Moran? I had to check UD. I had totally forgotten about that guy.

  • ruth crocker

    Bob, thanks for this post. I agree the country has lost its mind. Employment is up, the economy is growing, healthcare is covering millions and lowering health care costs, the deficit is half of what is was in 2012. Gay rights are being strengthened every day. We’ve taken huge steps to control carbon emissions. Financial and NSA reforms have been enacted (maybe not as much as some people would like, but sheesh – can’t we give credit and build on this?) We are not sending troops by the thousands into any overseas conflicts. We have made it clear we will not give a free ride to screwed up, corrupt governments, like Malaki’s, and he stepped down.. Europe and other countries are stepping forward, finally, to do their part. Yet everyone from all political orientations is convinced the country is going to hell in a hand bag, and that the world is exploding because of Obama – not what he’s doing or not doing, but because of the way he’s something??!! Polls agree with his policies, until you attach his name to them. He should be more _______!!! He needs to be less _____!! God god, he’s playing golf! Pundits write elaborate scripts for him to deliver, which he by and large already has! At this point, what else can he do? He should try something one of my first husband’s teachers did. Faced with a class that would not pay attention, on the last day of class he said, “I have something extremely important to tell you that will help you all in the future.” Finally the class leaned forward and payed attention. Then the teacher said, “YOU’RE ALL STUPID!”

    • nerdnam

      It might be the very fact that things are going well that is (1) allowing this country the luxury to go nuts on Obama and (2) really griping the racists.

  • Jason E

    Cleveland is just prepping the crazy for the 2016 GOP convention.

  • don

    What color of balls do you prefer here? Imagine if they were white balls. That would be 10 times more offensive I would think. Sometimes when you are drawing cartoon balls there is just no way to please everybody.

    PS … they are hairy too …. i feel victimized. You figure that one out. :)

    • Bosma

      What color should the balls be? How about brass, to match Boehner’s face..?

      • don

        LOL … but brass balls don’t cry.

        • Bosma

          Correct, because the balls are obama’s…

    • ruth crocker

      i think the “we need to castrate this guy” message is not too difficult to figure out.

      • don

        Just for the record, it was woman who put the billboard up. No balls involved.

        • ruth crocker

          most women have more balls than you could dream of.

          • don

            Not sure what that means or why you are dribbling on me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

            Don’t make me put my hands on my hips— that scares the boys.

      • FlipYrWhig

        But the “message,” such as it is, doesn’t work if it’s the president’s balls.

        Mostly it looks like those “truck nuts” to me. And the message is that the would-be opposition is neutered.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Make them green because you have to be from Mars to believe that Obama is “out of control.”

  • Rockin69

    Yup it’s getting pret-ty weird out there. We shouldn’t be surprised really that white America would go bonkers after a black President. It could have gone much worse really.

    • Razib_Taif1

      what is this homogenous ‘white america’ you allude to? tens of millions of whites voted for President Obama. I don’t think that phenotype is the best indicator here. Perhaps a slightly more complex definition should be used that includes more variables to describe the subset of persons you are alluding to.

  • D_C_Wilson

    The only thing surprising about that billboard is that every word was spelled correctly, although the correct phrase is “testicular fortitude.”

    • judi

      Interesting, too, as well as gutsy to put this up in Cleveland., since there is a LARGE number of blacks in Cleveland……but that is probably the point.
      But hey……HASLAM still owns the Browns and another one is still governor of my state. As long s you’re white…………

    • Aaron M. Litz

      Yeah, I noticed that too. The idiot can’t even get her moronic insults right.

      • Christopher Todd

        Name-calling. You lose by default.

    • Christopher Todd

      ‘The only thing surprising about that billboard is that every word was spelled correctly, although the correct phrase is “testicular fortitude.”’

      Sounds more than just a little elitist, D.C. I reckon you tell yourself that THAT’s different, though, huh?

      • Regina Wanassa

        And perhaps, Christopher Todd, you tell yourself there’s something uniform about elitism as it pertains to “persons exercising the major share of authority and influence” and the improper formulation of an elitist as one with the capacity for “grammatical precision.”

        Nice Anti-Intellectual deflection from the real crisis posed by the obscenely wealthy elite. Chalk up another debilitating fear that heralds the impending doom: Good Grammar. Thank you for your illuminating commentary.

        • Christopher Todd

          And thanks to YOU, Regina for your entry into this week’s ‘Most Pedantic Non Sequitur’ contest. Congratulations… you won!

          • Regina Wanassa

            Well, a pedant you’re not; so there was no competition there. Nothing too meticulously insightful about your comment, so I’ll cheerfully accept those pedantic laurels. But the Non-Sequitur portion of the competition you won handily. You’ll note I replied to your usage so my comment does properly follow. Your elitist comment, however, did not properly follow. So, you win the Non Sequitur laurels. And now we both win and we share the glory. Delightful!

            “Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schoolboyes and sour prentices.”

      • D_C_Wilson