A float dubbed as “political satire” in a local Independence Day parade has tongues wagging in Norfolk, Neb.
A pickup carrying a dummy in front of an outhouse which read, “Obama Presidential Library,” has stirred massive controversy over the annual “Odd Fellows Lodge Fourth of July Parade,” according to local CBS affiliate KMTV-3.
Glory Kathurima and her daughter were enjoying the parade until she said the float made her fearful.
“It’s definitely a personal issue for me,” she told KMTV. “This image and the words stamped across an outhouse were trying to equate the president, a black president with what you do in an outhouse. It’s disrespectful to a sitting president and incredibly racist.”
Mayor Sue Fuchtman said the city of Norfolk does not organize the parade, but only allows the Odd Fellows Lodge to use city streets.
“They’ve been doing this for many years,” she said, telling KMTV the City’s only involvement is granting approval.
“I don’t believe that there has ever been a question by the Odd Fellows as to who should be allowed to be in the parade,” Fuchtman said. “I believe this has become very controversial because of a lot of different opinions.”
Lodge member and parade emcee Wally Sonnenschein denies that the float was racist.
“It was registered as political satire and people thought it was funny,” Sonnenschein said, adding that the float had the most audience support and won an honorary mention. “The owner was practicing freedom of speech.”
The Nebraska Democratic Party expressed its disappointment in the town of Norfolk, calling it an “act of blatant disrespect to the president,” according to the Omaha World Herald.
“We have seen many times when Nebraskans disapprove of the president, but this clearly crosses the line,” NDP Executive director Dan Marvin told the Herald, calling it “the worst shows of racism for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.”
“It’s beyond disappointing the city of Norfolk, its officials and citizens would allow such a thing,” he said.
Watch the report here via KMTV-3:
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