Danny Hafley of Casey County, Ky. said this week that people are reading the mannequin in his front yard depicting President Barack Obama eating a watermelon completely wrong.
"The way I look at it, it's freedom of speech," Hafley said, going on to state that he had included the watermelon not in attempt to play to any racist stereotypes, but because the statue "might get hungry standing out here."
According to Hafley, the display is "popular" and a frequent draw for people passing by to stop and take pictures. Watermelon imagery has been utilized by anti-Obama efforts in the past, usually by those claiming there is no racist sentiment behind the choice.
In 2009, a mayor of Los Alamitos, Calif. resigned after sending an e-mail showing watermelons in front of the White House, alongside the text "No Easter egg hunt this year." He maintained that he wasn't aware of the racial stereotype that African Americans like watermelon.
And earlier this year, a resident of Santa Clara, Calif. included a watermelon in his anti-Obama display that also featured an empty chair -- a reference to Hollywood starClint Eastwood's bizarre Republican National Convention speech -- a noose, and a sign telling the president to "go back to Kenya you idiot." The owner of that setup declined to comment at the time.
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