By now, it’s not much of a surprise to see Tea Party Republicans calling for President Barack Obama’s impeachment. But when one starts calling for Obama to be hanged for treason, that stands out a bit more.
Meet Joshua Black, the 31-year-old ex-street preacher eager to represent a Tampa Bay district in Florida’s House. On Monday – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it should be noted – Black (who is African-American) enthusiastically agreed with a supporter’s suggestion that the president of the United States of America be tried for non-specific treason and then executed via hanging.
â€” Joshua Black 2014 (@JoshuaBlack2014) January 20, 2014
When fellow Republican Chris Latvala incredulously asked if Black was serious, he responded “Execution is the appropriate punishment for traitors. #BenedictArnold #ReadAmericanHistory #criminalpoliticians.” Black appears to be unaware that Benedict Arnold, a Revolutionary War general in the American army who defected to the English side, was not executed by the United States for treason, but instead lived out his days after the war in England, where he died of gout at the age of 60.
Naturally, something like calling for the president’s execution attracted plenty of attention, and when scrutinized for his statements, Black doubled down on Facebook, again saying that Barack Obama should be hanged:
"To everyone who was offended that I said that the POTUS should be hanged for treason, this is the man who droned Al-Awaki [sic] on 'suspicion of terrorism'--not proof--and later killed his 15-year-old son for nothing more than being his son.
This is also the man who sought to have Bradley Manning and Eric [sic] Snowden executed for treason when they didn't kill anyone, nor does the US government pretend to believe that they cost any spies their lives
This would be exactly what the President has done to others, and, as Jesus said, 'the measure ye mete, it shall be meted to you again.' I make no apologies for saying that the President is not above the People. If ordinary Americans should be executed for treason, so should he.
So, don't stop at impeachment. Remove him. Try him before a jury (the very right that he arbitrarily denied to al-Awaki and his 15-year-old son), and, upon his sure convictions, execute him. Thus has he done, thus it should be done to him."
Once again, Black’s Facebook post seems to be playing fast and loose with the facts. Obama, for instance, has not called for the execution of either Edward (not Eric) Snowden or Chelsea (no longer Bradley) Manning.
Black’s noose-happy outlook doesn’t end with the president, either. Commenting on a post comparing the income tax to Soviet communism, Black stated that “Murderers and child molesters should be executed.” Other posts on Black’s Facebook page include image macros decrying welfare, abortion, the Farm Bill and the liberals he brands “criminal politicians.”
To his credit, though, Black appears slightly less bloodthirsty than some of his followers. When a supporter responded to his suggestion to hang Obama with “drawn and quartered always worked for the Brits!” Black politely declined to have the president torn apart by horses.
“Not here, though. That's cruel and unusual punishment. Leave that in the Dark Ages,” Black wrote.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.