Halloween Just Seems to Bring Out the Racist in (Some) People

Another story for the “some people just don’t get it” file.

A homeowner in the Fort Hamilton section of Brooklyn, NY, thought it was a cute idea to hang a scarecrow with dredlocks from a noose in a tree in front of their home.

Okay, so it’s Halloween–a time for grisly decorations meant to scare passersby–which, neighbors who are defending the dangling straw man say this was surely meant to be. Not racist, they claim, but “all in good fun.

City Councilman Charles Barron saw the Halloween decoration and complained to the NYPD, reporting the demeaning decor as an obviously racist message. “This is racist,” Barron said. “It’s sick, it’s not funny, it’s not trick, or treat. It’s madness.”

Since the tree was on city property,  police confiscated the scarecrow without the homeowner’s permission.

Neighbor Martin Williams, who wears dredlocks himself, said he found it extremely offensive. “This is a very racist statement in the neighborhood,” he said. “This is just outrageous.”

Another passerby said she didn’t think the dummy was racist. “It’s a Halloween mask and there’s blood on the feet and hands … I don’t think that portrays lynching. It’s Halloween,” said Nicole Clemente.

Barron said it doesn’t matter what race the dummy was supposed to be — simply hanging a scarecrow is offensive.

“It doesn’t matter what race it is — white people weren’t hung. Black people were hung in this nation. Lynching was for black people in this nation.”

If the homeowner who strung up this scarecrow had put a straight, blond wig on it, I might have been leaning towards cutting them some slack. But when they put that dredlock wig on him, they knew exactly what message it would send.

It is the 21st century. Americans elected a black man to the highest office in the nation. And we are still dealing with this kind of  idiocy. –kathleen cross



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