A raucous crowd of supporters and protesters from both ends of the political spectrum showed up outside President Barack Obama's appearance in Phoenix, Ariz. on Tuesday, with some of his detractors turning to racially charged attacks to express their opposition.
From the Arizona Republic:
Obama foes at one point sang, "Bye Bye Black Sheep," a derogatory reference to the president's skin color, while protesters like Deanne Bartram raised a sign saying, "Impeach the Half-White Muslim!"
The Republic reported that hundreds of people gathered outside Desert Vista High School as Obama unveiled a plan to overhaul the nation's mortgage finance system. Some protesters came from Obama's left, urging him to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline and take other actions on climate change. But a prevailing theme among many in the protest appeared to be issues of race. Some even suggested that Obama himself was to blame for racial tensions.
“We have gone back so many years,” Judy Burris told the Republic, arguing Obama had taken the nation back to pre-Civil Rights era levels of racism. “He’s divided all the races. I hate him for that.”
Others carried signs calling for Obama to be impeached, Tucson News Now reported, though despite the negativity, the majority of those in attendance were Obama fans.
Inside, Obama's speech focused primarily on the housing market, though he did at one point attempt to link his proposal to immigration reform, arguing that Congress -- which is now in recess -- could help housing prices rebound by finalizing legislation that has already been passed by the Senate.