Anyone driving by Danny Hafley’s home in Casey County, Kentucky recently has probably done a double take over his choice of lawn ornaments. Rather than a plastic flamingo or ceramic gnome, Mr. Hafley has erected a life-sized mannequin in President Obama’s likeness. The figure is wearing a suit over jeans, and an Obama mask that was purchased after Halloween.
The statue is holding a giant slice of watermelon, but Hafley assured a local television station that it wasn’t about racial stereotyping, but because he “might get hungry standing out there.” He also claimed, “The way I look at it, it’s freedom of speech.”
Newsflash: Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should say it. Otherwise you’ll come off like a racist jerk like this guy. This is incredibly offensive and frustrating on so many levels, not the least of which is racism. Why doesn’t he add a piece of fried chicken while he’s at it?
I have no idea how depicting black people with watermelons and fried chicken got to be a racist thing, because they’re both delicious and this white girl would eat either all day long if she didn’t have to worry about fitting into her skinny jeans. But it is a thing, and you have to have your head pretty far up where the sun don’t shine to not know that and be sensitive to others. At the very least, take the dang thing down once you figure out that it’s incredibly rude.
It’s also annoying that of all the things there are to criticize or poke fun of about Barack Obama ... his skin color isn’t one of them. Why not have him holding a piggy bank? All of our taxes are about to go up next week thanks to his refusal to work with Republicans in Congress. Or give him a Hawaiian lei or golf clubs in response to his frequent recreational activities? You know, something that actually makes a point other than “I’m a racist douche canoe.”
I’m personally miffed that people like Danny Hafley give Obama critics like me a bad rap. Agree with my politics or not, but don’t ever assume racism is a common characteristic of anyone that doesn’t approve of the president’s job performance. The vast majority of us care way more about his fiscal policy than what shade his stage makeup is.
Free speech or not, this is disrespectful to President Obama, misrepresentative of Republican values, and a disgrace to America in general. Show some decency and take it down, Mr. Hafley.
Is there any way to defend this statue? Or is it just bad?
Image via LiveLeak