A Norfolk, Neb., Independence Day float stirred up quite a bit of controversy for depicting Barack Obama‘s presidential library as a dilapidated outhouse. The float took the blatant presidential degradation a step further by depicting a likeness of our nation’s leader as a zombie-like creature who stood outside the makeshift building guarding it, according to The Omaha World-Herald.
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The parade, which is held annually, included the float that was pulled by a pickup truck. The wooden-like structure that clearly resembled a place where a pit toilet is usually housed had the words “Obama Presidential Library” posted across its side. The eerie figure that stood outside guarding the structure was dressed in overalls and stood next to a walker. The ghoul’s head and hands were green and there were miniature American flags affixed on top of the float and on the pickup as well.
According to one parade attendee, Liz Guthrie, who took a photo of the float to post on social media, the crowd laughed and applauded as the float passed them by. However Glory Kathurima, an African-American Norfolk resident, failed to find any humor in the float. Kathurima was reportedly so offended by the depiction of our president that she e-mailed the town’s mayor, chamber of commerce, and the Norfolk Daily News to voice her disgust at what was displayed at the parade. Kathurima said the float seemed to be calling the president stupid, and the message seemed clear: “I don’t like Obama,” she told The Omaha World-Herald.
The float drew the ire of the Nebraska Democratic Party with many local politicians referring to it as one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.” Yet there are still those who are defending the float as just a bit of political tongue-in-cheek humor that should not be taken so seriously, according to The Omaha World-Herald.
On the other hand, Parade committee member Rick Konopasek, who seemed to condone the blatant display, told the Lincoln Journal-Star, the float was put together in fun and not meant to offend anyone. He also said the outhouse float was the most popular one in the parade, and the three judges awarded it an honorable mention.
To date, no one has come forward to claim the controversial float No. 29 that apparently has a phantom sponsor as well.
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