A Fourth of July float meant to depict the legacy of President Barack Obama as an outhouse has attracted attention, but likely not for the intended reasons.
Some spectators have described a float entered in the annual Independence Day parade in Norfolk, Neb., as racist, according to the Omaha World-Herald. It portrayed Obama as a zombie with a green face standing outside of a wooden outhouse with a sign that read: “Obama presidential library.” The figure wore denim overalls over a suit coat.
The Nebraska Democratic Party called it one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen,” according to the local Omaha newspaper.
The City of Norfolk issued a permit for the parade, but it did not sponsor or coordinate the event.
“We recognize and respect our citizens’ differing political beliefs and their rights to express them freely; however, we are disappointed that the occasion of this family-friendly celebration of America’s birth was used in a way that disparaged the office of the president,” Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman said in a statement. “This incident and the controversy it cause does not reflect the character and spirit of our city or our state.”
Hundreds of people, including children, witnessed the display last Friday, which was affixed to a trailer pulled behind a blue pickup truck. The owner of the float has not yet been identified.
A three-judge panel awarded the parade entry with an honorable mention, according to local news reports.
The Montana GOP Convention two years ago similarly exhibited an outhouse, with the same sign, featuring implied bullet holes. A fake birth certificate reportedly was placed inside of the structure.