must have been a slow day........
September 28, 2009
About three dozen people attended a lunchtime protest today outside a downtown Richmond strip club that has a new banner depicting President Barack Obama as the Joker of “Batman” movie fame.
Virginia NAACP Executive Director King Salim Khalfani told the protesters that his group arranged the protest because it took offense to “the abomination that’s on the wall behind us.“
The poster, unfurled over the weekend from the roof of Club Velvet at 15th and East Main streets, is about 8 feet wide by 10 feet tall. Looming over the busy intersection, the poster shows Obama’s face superimposed over that of Heath Ledger, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the Joker in the Batman sequel “The Dark Knight.“
Obama’s face on the poster has the same eye black and smeared red lipstick that Ledger made famous in the movie. Below Obama’s face is the word “socialism” in large, black, bold letters.
Club owner Samuel J.T. Moore III declined to be interviewed but released a statement saying he put up the poster as part of his constitutional right to free speech.
Moore, who identified himself as a Libertarian, said he was unhappy with the direction of Obama’s eight-month-old administration, particularly on financial issues.
“This country is going to hell in a handbag,“ Moore said, “and the current administration is making things irreversibly worse.“
Earlier this year, the city of Richmond dropped its claim that a large, yellow banner at Velvet that protested placing a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom was illegal because it exceeded size limits outlined in the city’s zoning ordinance.
Moore’s club is awaiting a state Alcoholic Beverage Control hearing on alleged violations. Earlier this year Moore was convicted of three misdemeanor charges related to having sex with a minor and another woman at his apartment in the club, and filming it illegally.
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