Landing in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, President Barack Obama—who is en route to El Reno, Oklahoma, where he’ll become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison facility—was greeted by both supporters and protesters. The latter group greeted him with Confederate flags.
The tasteless display was organized by Andrew Duncomb, a.k.a “the Black Rebel,” an African American man who has lead several similar demonstrations in the Oklahoma City area.
“It’s not the flag that’s the symbol of the racism,” he told Oklahoma City’s local Fox affiliate during a July 11 rally. “...There might have been racism way back then with the slavery and everything else but that’s all in the history. Look at all these people they come out here and followed me out here.”
He repeated a similar sentiment to News Channel 4 during a demonstration on July 14.
“Again,” Duncomb said. “Look at these people. They all followed the black guy out here. Do you think that any of them are racists?”
In the wake of the Charleston shooting and the long-brewing Confederate flag backlash that followed, President Obama argued that the flag should hang only in museums, not outside of courthouses and public buildings.
On Wednesday, many of Obama’s supporters were visibly shaken by the presence of blatantly racist symbols like the Confederate flag.
“He should’ve had a better welcome than he had,” Sequoya Turner, a lifelong Oklahoma resident, told Politico before bursting into tears.
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Image via the AP.