UPTOWN CHARLOTTE — He’s one young Obama hater in a sea of Obama lovers at the Democratic National Convention, and he seems to enjoy every sneer he gets.
Tuesday evening, Grant Robison, creator of the website youngobamahaters.com, sat in the middle of Obama Country USA, the intersection of Stonewall and College streets, just outside the Charlotte Convention Center, hawking black T-shirts emblazoned with “My Country My Future” on the front and “Deport Barack Hussein Obama” on the back.
The 23-year-old Robison, an Idahoan, also held up a sign that said: “Give me 1 good reason why Barack Hussein Obama should be given another 4 years.”
“Yeah, I’d love to hear it,” Robison said as legions of Democrats made their way up College Street to Time Warner Cable Arena to hear Michelle Obama kick off the first night of the convention.
“I figured I would ask the question, but I’ve gotten so far is, ‘You’re a (compound obscenity),’ and, ‘Because he’s black,’ and, ‘To keep the Republicans out of office,’ and, ‘Bush sucks.’ But nobody can give me a real reason.”
Robison, who graduated from college last spring, has spent all his time (and his money) since then traveling the country, spreading his gospel and his shirts. “I’m on a road trip until Election Day,” Robison said, “pushing for a new president.”
His nomadic lifestyle is an uncertain one. He didn’t know where he was staying Tuesday night. “The Motel 6 I stayed in last night for $80 wants $200 for the same room tonight.”
He began his mission, Robison said, after he complained to a preacher-adviser in Idaho about his hatred for the president. “He asked me, ‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’ ” Robison said. “So I made T-shirts, because hardworking Americans don’t deserve to be enslaved by this evil man, Barack Hussein Obama.”
The Democratic faithful streamed by, some seeming not to even notice, some reacting with horror or anger. But once in a while, an Obama-supporting passerby stopped to chat and to shoot a photograph. Robison gladly posed, flexing his right arm for effect.
The front page of his website includes this message: “$2 of every shirt sold is donated to Future Farmers of America. (Disclaimer: FFA is not affiliated with YOH. We just have the same vision for our country and we want to support them.)”
“I’m farming, but in a different way,” said Robison, who grew up in an agricultural community. “I sell a shirt, and hopefully I plant a seed and that seed will grow.”
But just how many T-shirts, priced at $20, $25 and $30 depending on the size, has he actually sold?
“That’s confidential, for tax and other reasons,” Robison said. “I want to keep Obama and the IRS guessing.”
Tony Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (704) 247-2912 or on Twitter at @tonymecktimes.
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