Attendees of the recent Tri-State Parade in Amarillo, Texas are crying racism over a float depicting President Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a cage.
“A lot of people in the black and Hispanic community are saying, ‘Why would you put a black man in a cage?’ That just sends the wrong message,” Amarillo resident Rodney Darnes told KXXV. “The fact that Hillary was in the float only sets the women’s movement further back.”
The float, sponsored by a group that call themselves the Stars and Bars, was made of wood pallets and metal bars fashioned into a makeshift cage, with a man wearing an Obama mask and woman wearing a Hillary mask trapped inside. A man wearing a Make America Great Again banner as a cape rode on the trailer tongue behind a truck streaming American flags, pictures submitted to the news station show.
The Confederate Riders of America escorted the float through the parade.
Images of the creative display were posted online, where several folks claimed the float was racist, despite the fact that it was pre-approved by a parade marshal, KXXV reports.
“I can’t believe there was not an outrage over this,” Kristy Huppertz Fuller posted in response to an Amarillo Branch NAACP Facebook post, which cut Hillary Clinton out of the picture.
Michael Bateman, president of the Confederate Riders of America, told the news site the float was purely political, and had nothing to do with race.
“It had Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama inside of a jail cell, saying they should be in prison for the crimes they have committed. It was in no way racist,” he said. “There was a sign being held right next to it that said ‘Hillary for Prison 2016.’ It had no racial intentions at all.”
Do you find this float from the Tri-State Fair offensive?
— Francis Sirois (@francis_sirois) September 19, 2016
A poll on the KXXV website shows about 60 percent of those who voted did not find the float offensive.
“How exactly is this float offensive?” Wesley Winters questioned on Twitter. “That’s an example of the minimum they both deserve! Proud of that float!”
“No, it’s not racist. Freedom of speech. Barack Obama should go to jail and so should Hillary. They are both crooks,” Jonathan Mullins added.
The situation in Amarillo is similar to an episode involving an allegedly racist float depicting Obama during a Fourth of July parade in Sheridan, Indiana this summer.
That float was crafted on a golf cart with an Obama likeness mounted to a makeshift toilet – with Royal Flush printed on it – on the back. Sheridan resident Don Christy, 73, donned a blond wig and prison jumpsuit as he drove the cart, which was fitted with bars to look like a jail cell.
On the front of the cart there was a stuffed lion with the message “African Lion” and a sign on the back, under the Obama toilet display, read “Lying African.”
Christy’s golf cart, which was not approved by parade organizers before he simply joined the festivities, was also fitted with a Trump Make America Great Again sign and two American flags, The American Mirror reports.
Christy later apologized, sort of.
“I apologize to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal,” he told the Indianapolis Star.