‘Cuervo Gone Wild’ Blamed for Burning Obama in Effigy
May 21, 2010
(ChattahBox)—West Allis, Wisconsin known for its frigid cold winters and as the birthplace of Olympic skater Dan Jansen and Las Vegas entertainer Liberace, is now known for something else. The small town of about 60,000 people recently made the national news, when a bartender at a NASCAR-themed honky tonk bar burned a statue of President Obama in effigy, with duct tape wrapped around his neck, resembling a noose, as a roomful of inebriated bar patrons cheered and hollered. Was it a racist act? It sure seems like it. But however you want to characterize it—Burning Obama in effigy inside a crowded public bar is violent, offensive and disrespectful to the office. The bar’s owner, claims too much was made of the incident and she blames it on “Cuervo gone wild”
The effigy gone wild happened early Saturday morning on May 15 at the Yester Years Pub and Grill, a NASCAR joint known for its cover bands and $2.00 cans of Old Milwaukee. On Friday the drinking starts early with the bar’s 7 a.m. “Famous 3rd Shift Party” and lasts until 2:30 a.m. The Yester Years’ Friday festivities, also include “door prizes, free pool, free taco and nacho bar, and Bladder Buster Parties.”
Later that night, into the wee hours of the morning, the bartender decided to wrap duct tape around a bust of Barack Obama and set it aflame. Bar patrons can be heard shouting: “Here it comes–ready???” And another patron, says “Obama’s made of plastic,” as country music can be heard blaring in the background, amid a cloud of smoke.
The owner of the bar, Karen Schoenfeld, told Milwaukee TV station WISN, the burning of the President in effigy was “blown out of proportion” and was a case of “Cuervo gone wild.” “I have to take full responsibility because it did happen at my bar,” she said. “But it was not racially motivated.”
Jerry Ann Hamilton, the President of Milwaukee’s NAACP, is not so sure it wasn’t racially charged. Hamilton, said she was “outraged” by the “offensive images on the video and believes it was racially motivated.
President Obama is our nation’s first black president and the town of West Allis happens to be 94.03 percent white.
A bar patron disturbed by the incident, took a video of the burning and delivered it to a local TV station. When the video became public, the Secret Service and the Milwaukee County District Attorney conducted an investigation, but no charges were filed.
On its website, the Yester Years Pub and Grill promises “a unique atmosphere, like no other.” That’s an understatement.