Obama hanged in effigy at UK campus

An investigation is under way in Lexington to determine who hung an effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama from a tree on campus. 

The effigy was discovered this morning by a faculty member who saw it hanging high in a tree and contacted police, according to the Associated Press and the Herald-Leader

The incident has prompted a response from a number of elected officials around the state – 

 “I strongly agree with President Todd’s statement this morning about this embarrassing and unfortunate incident. This was not political speech. It was simply hate. It was profoundly wrong and deeply offensive. This incident does not reflect who we are as a flagship institution of higher learning or a Commonwealth. I appreciate the university’s resolve to investigate this matter and ensure that such actions will not be tolerated.” – Gov. Steve Beshear

 “At this point in our history, one would hope that such actions were forever in our past. I know this does not reflect the beliefs or values of a significant majority of the state citizens, but this is a reminder that there are those who harbor such disregard and hate. We must continue to be hopeful and grasp every opportunity to strive to make Kentucky a place receptive to all people and not reinforce the negativity that does not reflect our true progress or what we can ultimately achieve — and that is to be free from the bonds of racism.”state Sen. Gerald Neal

“The outrageous action discovered on the University of Kentucky campus this morning has left us hurt, disgusted, and in disbelief that it could take place in this day and time.  This should in no way reflect poorly on UK, and we pray that it will not cast a false light on the good people of the Commonwealth.  We hope those responsible are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” – Joint statement from state House leadership

“Those behind this small-minded, despicable act deserve to be punished severely, for what they have done is dredge up a horrible reminder of the past that so many of us have fought to overcome but that unfortunately still exists in some dark corners of society.  I want to thank Dr. Todd, President of the University of Kentucky, for his quick response, and for putting extra effort in recruiting and retaining minorities on its campus.  I also want the world to know: This crime does not represent the Kentucky I know and love.”state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville

“This is a despicable act of violence that is intended to instill fear, to intimidate, and to cause panic for the citizens of Lexington, Kentucky.  This should be treated as a hate crime, and those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest.  All citizens of Fayette County should condemn this act of senseless hatred.”state Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, D-Lexington

It’s a sad day for the University of Kentucky and for the Commonwealth.  The majority of people of Kentucky are outraged by this act.”state Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort

“There are times when the body politic needs to be shocked into recognizing and admitting what some parts of the body know to be true.   The Kentucky we want to believe exists, and the Kentucky that does exist for many is not the same Kentucky. 

 “The hate-filled, cowardly and despicable actions of whomever was behind the planning for and committing of this crime should serve as a reminder to each of us that we must be honest with ourselves, and work diligently to wipe out the flames this act is designed to fan.  I urge the authorities at the University of Kentucky, and the relevant federal and state authorities, to investigate this crime, find the person or persons responsible, and to prosecute the matter to the fullest extent of the law.

 “I also urge each of them to reach out to the African American students and other students of color at the University of Kentucky and in the Lexington community to assure them of their ultimate safety and protection today, and in these days leading up to the General Election.  Any and all steps should be taken in the Lexington community to ensure this act does not have a chilling effect on the community’s safety as they go to the polls next Tuesday.

 “President Lee Todd and his staff, deserve to be recognized for having the sensitivity and understanding to respond quickly and comprehensively to this threat to the peace and tranquility of all Kentuckians, regardless of color.  

“Finally, I want to say to Senator Barack Obama, Michele Obama and their entire family that this act is but one more on a long list of obstacles, challenges, yes, threats, you have faced as you have climbed the rough side of this mountain.  I am deeply hurt that the state and the people in Kentucky whom I love would be represented to you, and to the country, in such a dishonorable way.  We understand this is a symptom, and the best way to treat this symptom is for the Nation to have a successful General Election on Tuesday, and prove, once and for all, that we recognize the character of the man, the strength of his heart and the power of his convictions are the cure American needs to end this sickness. God bless and keep you and your family safe.”  – state Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville

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  1. […] incident prompted a strong response from many elected officials in the […]

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