Home > Uncategorized > Mitt Romney Says He Wants to “Hang Obama by the Neck”

Mitt Romney Says He Wants to “Hang Obama by the Neck”



by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

Republican Presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is now trying to explain his way out of controversial and racist remarks about President Barack Obama. During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, the presidential hopeful referenced “hanging Obama by the neck” as a way to defeat him in the next election.

During a dinner hosted by Americans for Prosperity, Romney said "Reagan came up with this great thing about the ‘misery index’ and he hung that around Jimmy Carter’s neck and that had a lot to do with Jimmy Carter losing." He then said, "Well, we’re going to have to hang the ‘Obama Misery Index’ around his neck."

For some odd reason, Romney kept going down the path of no return when he said, "I’ll tell you, the fact that you’ve got people in this country really squeezed, with gasoline getting so expensive, with commodities getting so expensive, families are having a hard time making ends meet. So, we’re going to have to talk about that, and housing foreclosures and bankruptcies and higher taxation. We’re going to hang him with that, so to speak, metaphorically."

Perhaps this is the beginning of a remix of the 2008 presidential campaign, where one racist comment after another “just happened to slip” out of the mouths of politicians who’ve been trained to believe that the sensitivities of African Americans simply don’t matter. Black people are one of the few groups expected to simply “get over it” when a public figure makes a remark that is deemed to be a reminder of the atrocities we’ve experienced at the hands of Mitt Romney’s descendants. Old thinking seems to die hard in a country that continues to incarcerate and execute more black men than South Africa did during the height of apartheid.

Not only should Romney apologize for his remarks, but someone should probably help him understand why joking about hanging a black man is not a productive, funny or creative metaphor. It’s no different from joking about sending Jews to a concentration camp or making jokes about the death and devastation that occurred on September 11. Such sloppy remarks can’t be overlooked, and the fact that Romney and Donald Trump are two of the leading Republican presidential candidates tells us a great deal about where America stands as a country.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 2, 2011 at 2:00 am

    What comes out a man’s mouth is already there, Those things that happen in the past will not happen again, If black people stick together, and support one another. That racist is there,where they hide under their skin, and eventually will come out. Lying,Joking is not something to play with. A wise man once told me, A person can’t even lie, cause the truth is in a lie. Trump has everything so heated up, You be amaze what others are holding in side them.

  2. catherine
    May 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    The Black man is fighting the whole world because they won’t allow the Lord to do it for them, nor tell them how to do it. The Battle isn’t ours but the Lord’s
    Wake up Black People. Change your thinking you change our lives. There is a lot in the Bible that deals with how to bless others and how to be blessed. This is the balance to cursing others and being cursed. We hear a lot taught about God blessing you but not much taught about how you can bless others in thought, word and deed. The emphasis is on what God will do for you without you having to do anything.
    It’s time the Church taught the truth and you as suppose Christians listen and learn the truth. Christianity is not a free lunch and we are not on welfare. To be an effective Christian requires considerable effort.

    We know how the white people feel about us, yet we are doing nothing about it, but waiting on the President. What did we think the man was going to do? step in there and these white folks was going to allow him to change the whole world? Wrong. We need God to help us get off our lazy butts and do something about it. \
    We fight against each other like cats and dogs white folks stick together even if they know they are wrong. Be angry at me if you will but listen to this. What comes out of our mouth is what is happening to us. “Bitch, Whore, Low-life, Dead Beat daddy”, Thief, Punk, etc: We can’t get no where because of the white man”. The white man doe snot live in our house and nor our hearts unless we allow them. We open our mouth and the ball goes rolling. That Nigger gonna end up dead or in jail” Well the devil heard you now it’s time to wake up and give God Thanks and praises instead of all this garbage about loving Him. How can you love Him and you don’t even love you?

    There are no blessings in the Bible that are unconditional. For every blessing there is a condition that you must fulfill before you receive the blessing. In other words, this is the “if” you see so often in the verses either stated directly or understood. Deut. 28:1-2 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt (shalt not) hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set (not set) thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall (shall not) come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt (shalt not) hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. The reverse is true also; see the words in the parentheses.

  3. May 4, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Everything you’re saying is well said, Thank you.

  4. Arthur
    July 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Can you provide the quote where he actually says “hang Obama by the neck”? The quotes provided show some typically stupid things, but are contextually difficult to pin on him as racist dogwhistles.

  5. July 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Livid doesn’t adequately described my reaction to this comment. Knowing this country’s history of lynchings, it was inappropriate, insensitive, and unacceptable. There’s no way to “dress this up” and say “he didn’t mean it in a racist context” ~ bull….!

  6. Dr.Feel
    July 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I think Dr.Watkins meant Mitt Romney’s ancestors or forefathers and not Mitt Romney’s descendants.

  7. Jim Heinzelman
    July 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Romney is a IDIOT! And I’m a white dude. Obama got my vote last time and he will get it this time.

  8. July 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Even if you allot for this quote being taken out of context, I don’t think anyone can ignore the implications of saying such a thing. These are the kind of things that will prevent an already-weak GOP field from posing any kind of challenge. They may be getting ratings and successes now, but once they are finally jugded by the rest of the sensible country…

  9. jay
    July 5, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I’m so tired of the racist issue being brought up with this President. Who flucking cares what the color of his skin is? He could be polka-dotted and I wouldn’t give a rat’s bahookie about it. A bad President is a bad President. Bush wasn’t exactly great either, but our current one isn’t anything to brag about. As for Romney, bad choice of words while Obama is in office. Anything that mentions any color of skin is blown out of the water now.

  10. Mike
    July 5, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Black people are one of the few groups expected to simply “get over it” when a public figure makes a remark that is deemed to be a reminder of the atrocities we’ve experienced at the hands of Mitt Romney’s descendants.
    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action

    What atrocities have you experienced at the hands of Mitt Romney’s descendants? His children and/or grand children are committing acts of violence against you? You may have meant ancestors (how do you know his ancestors did any of this) but you used descendants. So if your article goes viral, you should be apologizing to Mitt Romney?

  11. lilly (guidry)brazil
    July 5, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Bad C
    hoice of words!

  12. michael b
    July 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I believe LGBTs are another group that are often told to ‘get over it’ when violent and hateful things are said about them.

  13. Chelley6@aol.com
    July 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I read this on facebook. Mitt and people like Glenn Beck should be feared. They preach hate, fear, and discontent. I am a 53 year old woman and also know that Mormon have and issue with people of color. As a white woman, who was raised with many mormans around, I am not fond of how they look at their women, other who do not believe the way they do, or the way they see anyone who is not white. It seems that the Republicans are reaching more and more to the extreme right….of right. If there were ever a time to come together as a people it is to stand against people like Mitt, Glenn Beck, and Palin. They are stuck in thoughts of 80 plus years ago. In my mind there is NO ROOM for these people in my government. Being raised around mormans, people of color (any color) are refered to as “mud people.”

  14. July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Well, what can you expect from a “hate group” like the Mormons that Romney belongs to.

    I just thought I’d try some stereotyping of Mormons. And I thought writing Romney jokes wasn’t going to be as fun as writing Bachmann jokes. Ha!

    Do these politicians test out their material? I would be willing to work with them for a lot of compensation I can donate to Planned Parenthood and help them with their foot in mouth syndrome.

    Tex Shelters

  15. ptrhtchngs
    July 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Making hanging jokes with African Americans is like making oven jokes with Jews.

  16. Jerry B
    July 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    in Response to “jay”
    jay said:
    “I’m so tired of the racist issue being brought up with this President. Who flucking cares what the color of his skin is? He could be polka-dotted and I wouldn’t give a rat’s bahookie about it.”
    Then you would REALLY hate it if you weren’t a racist. Obviously the FACT that white supremacist groups like American Third Position and Stormfront actively campaign and support such politicians as Ron Paul, Rand Paul, the Republican Party, and The Tea Party (who just had a great sale of tea-shirts that claim “Yup, I’m a racist!” on them) has escaped you, or you’ve ignored it, or are consciously attempting to defelct the real issue of racism in America like all the other fleabags do on a constant daily basis. So to answer your rhetorically question of “Who flucking cares”, the FACTS state that thousands of hate groups have been born during Obama’s presidency.

    jay said:
    “A bad President is a bad President. Bush wasn’t exactly great either, but our current one isn’t anything to brag about.”
    False equivalency much? Under Bush’s failed economic supply-side policies, America entered into the deepest recession since the great depression and what are the political heirs to Bush wanting to do about it? Certainly not undo the tax cuts which CAUSED this crisis (since Reagan), no, they wish to pin the bill ON YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR GRANDCHILDREN while blaming Obama. Funny, sounds like your statement. You must be a fan of Ayn Rand. And, as a side note, Obama has managed to squeeze in programs designed to strengthen America, the middle class, and help the underprivileged while facing 100% obstruction by those same Republicans who are hell bent on destroying all safety nets so Bush’s dream fascitopia can be realized. Obama is not driving this disaster off the cliff, his attempts to remedy the situation clearly point to a man who is trying to help our nation, not destroy it like Bush who only cared about revenge for 9/11, but failed to actually kill OBL, and when presented with the opportunity (3 times) directed our military personnel to NOT kill OBL.

    jay siad:
    “As for Romney, bad choice of words while Obama is in office. Anything that mentions any color of skin is blown out of the water now.”
    Amazing how you find that the only problem with what Romney said is his diction. I’m white and raised in Georgia so I have no confusion or static between my ears when I hear something like what Romney said. It’s clear, he was trying to use a dog-whistle metaphor and get caught up in being too ‘real’ in an attempt to be ‘honest’ with the people who would most likely vote for him or any conservative – the racists. Go to facebook and look up Fleabaggin’ Fake-triots. You will see endless postings from all over the right wing craposphere of example after example of not only Romney, but every other fleabagger and their racist motives.
    And THAT blows your weal defense of Romney out of the water.

  17. July 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm


  18. July 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I think if you or I had publicly commented that we intended to hang, shoot or otherwise kill Bush we’d have had FBI and CIA storm troopers beating down our door. A death threat against a president is a serious thing. I think Mitt should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We’ve already seen the effects of drawing cross hairs on Democrats! It’s hate speech, but the real point is that it is delivering a threat against a president, for the intent of intimidation, and demoralization of the American People, both black and white.

    Many Republicans belong in jail… perhaps many politicians period. I think we should demand that our laws against treasonous acts be enforced. What Republicans are doing in congress is a deliberate attack against the People of the United States, on the orders of huge corporations. Corporate presidents are telling them how to vote and that has been documented. Obama, Senator Harry Reid and a few other honest politicians are all that is standing between us and Plutocracy.

    At any rate, I’m not black but I am deeply offended and otherwise furious with Mitt over this. I am also concerned with the 4th of July bogus report of Obama’s death. I don’t think Fox was hacked. I blame them and perhaps other official Republican Groups for this entirely. It’s a threat, and FOX should be held accountable. It’s not a joke, and it isn’t funny. It should be investigated and those responsible should be prosecuted.

    I think we should increase security on Obama, and press charges on people who threaten the life of the president, no matter how rich and famous the culprits are. It’s only right, and free speech does not include issuing a threat. It is against the law.

  19. Alexandra (Venezuela)
    July 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Whereas I don’t agree with some of the points Dr. Watkins makes I too find it unacceptable and want for Ramney to be dumped from the media after this.

  20. July 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm


  21. Walt
    July 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Do any of you have any type of comprehensional skills? Or are you just so eager to pin Racism on anyone that you feel will take any type of entitlement programs away? Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican and believed in social equality and not social justice? Do you realize that the Republican Party was formed so that we had a vehicle to abolish Slavery? Do you realize that the Republican Party is the reason the Civil Rights Act was Passed and do you realize that the KKK was formed by southern Democrats intent on not giving up their slaves? Do ytou realize that by buying into the hype of this editorial that yoiu in fact are perpetuating Racism?…..

  22. David Ashton
    July 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    I’ve just been reading an article about the number of White Supremacists running for or winning office. I hate to say it, but I get the feeling America is going to burn sometime soon.

    By the way, I assume you meant Mitt Romney’s ancestors, not his descendents.

  23. Bill Brisson
    July 6, 2011 at 12:42 am

    um, scuse me but I doubts that Mr Mister twas saying
    “Hang Obama by the Neck”
    I’m sure whot the Mitster was trying to say twas,
    “Hang Obama by the Nuts”
    which is a whole different balls of wax.

  24. ORAXX
    July 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I can hardly way to see how outraged the folks on Fox News will be about this remark. Right.

  25. Michael
    July 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I will bow to no man in my hatred for Mitt Romney, but I also think the racist implications are hugely exaggerated, if not imagined. Lynching references are one thing, but this wasn’t that. “hanging ____ around his neck” is a race-neutral p…hrase that refers to the albatross from Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Coleridge, not Iron Maiden); saying that of a black man is no more racist than saying a woman of Jewish descent has “one in the oven” is anti-Semitic or expressing approval for the Holocaust.

  26. t-bone
    July 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Romney is no more or less a racist than Catherine who poted above. To wit: “We know how the white people feel”. Really? Every one of them?

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