A skeleton wearing an Obama/Biden T-shirt hangs by a noose in front of a Springfield Township, PA house. The owner, George Vucelich, says he put up the Halloween decoration as an expression of his political beliefs and never considered race or lynching. He just doesn’t like democrats. He thought it was a joke, but as with anything Obama-related there is no room for kidding around.
Vucelich put the skeleton up on Sunday afternoon, and by that same night the police were at his house because someone called 911 and complained. It’s interesting because generally 911 is used for emergencies, but in this neck of the woods it apparently is also used for logging complaints about lawn decorations. The police did not take any action as a result of this call.
No one from the township has asked Mr. Vucelich to remove or alter his Halloween display, but several neighbors have expressed their displeasure. Some take pictures while others complain to the city. One female resident, who wants to remain anonymous, was quite upset by the skeleton.
“At first blush, I found it kind of disturbing and was embarrassed that it was near our house. It’s his house and his tree, so I guess he can do what he wants, but I think it’s wrong, mean and not right.”
So it is both wrong and not right. Got it. The neighbor said she did not initially think the skeleton had racial overtones, which begs the question as to why she found it disturbing in the first place. Thankfully her friend was available to help her think.
“It did not come to my mind right away, but when I mentioned it to a friend of mine, it came to her mind right away,” said the neighbor. “She said, ‘Does he know what he’s doing?’”
Vucelich is adamant that there is nothing racist about his decoration. The former democrat that campaigned for George McGovern in his failed 1972 presidential bid is angry at the party he feels let him down.
“I left the party because I felt it had become too extreme. I was a conservative Democrat and there wasn’t a place for me. They’re fascists. If you do something and they don’t approve, you’re evil. I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me,” he said explaining his motivation.
Because Vucelich is white and Obama is black more than a few people have made a racial connection. To that he says:
“I certainly hope we have gotten past that in America — people playing the race card all the time. It shows where they are if that’s what they think. In this day and age, I didn’t think people would make that association.”
When I look at the skeleton, I don’t see the lynching of a black president. There’s no Obama mask or anything that would suggest an effigy. It’s just a pile of bones wearing a T-shirt. Clearly it’s a representation of a mindless liberal getting his just reward.
This story broke mid-week and shockingly Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton haven’t called for a boycott of the entire state of Pennsylvania yet. I started an office pool for when these two will get involved. I’m keeping my fingers crossed: I’ve got Friday for the win.
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