An Indiana resident faced accusations of racism for a Fourth of July parade float that featured an effigy of President Barack Obama in a toilet accompanied by a sign that read "Lying African." But float creator Don Christy told IndyStar yesterday (July 6) that he only intended to protest political incorrectness.
"It’s time to start changing our country back a little bit," Christy said. The float, which paraded in the rural community of Sheridan on Monday (July 4), also featured a stuffed animal head with a sign reading "African Lion" and Christy dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit. The float also displayed signs supporting Donald Trump‘s presidential candidacy.
Chisty told IndyStar that he intended for the float to be funny, and that tries to be outrageous with each of his annual floats. "Me and a guy got married [during the parade]," he said about last year’s event. "It was funny."
Several town residents complained about his float to IndyStar. "I do not want my child to think that racism is OK," said one young mother to IndyStar.
The float also raised criticism from Tony Samuel, the vice chairman of Trump’s Indiana campaign. "As described by media accounts, the depiction on the float was in poor taste and crossed a line," Samuel said in a statement provided to IndyStar.
The town’s council president also issued a statement, describing the parade’s coordination by the Lions Club service group and the registration rules that allowed Christy, who didn’t register, to enter the parade:
Town of Sheridan’s statement following the ‘Lying African’ Obama float: pic.twitter.com/OEQj4NVczr
— Ryan Martin (@ryanmartin) July 5, 2016