Racist Halloween costumes and spectacles are sparking outrage this year. Police ordered the removal of a homeowner’s racially offensive display depicting a lynching in Lansing, Illinois.
The upsetting display appeared to show a Black mannequin being hanged with ropes from a tree, an online photo showed. A 15-year-old girl found the display hanging outside of a home decorated for Halloween on Wednesday (Sept. 26).
The experience was horrifying for the girl, her mother Toya Griffin said. “My daughter suddenly said, ‘Oh, my God,’ and tried to explain what she saw,” Griffin, 37, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Griffin alerted Lansing police about the offensive display but didn’t get the response that she thought would come from the department. The officer said he didn’t think the disturbing display was offensive and was only up for Halloween, she said.
A crowd of upset neighbors also gathered around the tree with the display before the home’s owner, who wasn’t identified by name, came outside.
“The owner came outside, and my sister asked her, ‘Do you see anything wrong with this?’” Griffin said. “She refused to take it down and said, ‘I have friends who are black.’”
An officer who later arrived at the scene defended the homeowner again, Griffin said. However, he agreed to remove the display, which he said had been vandalized.
Racist Halloween displays have prompted serious dialogues across social media in recent years. African-Americans users have repeatedly expressed their pain over these kinds of spectacles and reiterated that they are racist. Yet, those displays keep popping up every fall with excuses made to explain them away.