Kentucky man defends watermelon-holding Obama

    An anti-Obama effigy is being staged at a Kentucky man’s house, involving a full-size caricature of the president holding a watermelon.

    Danny Hafley, of Casey County, Kentucky, seemed unfazed by the rash of criticism. "The way I look at it, it’s freedom of speech," Danny told WLEX in Lexington. "I don’t know how other people will take it."

    He also told the television station that the display has been very popular. "He don’t talk. He don’t make no smart comments," he said. "If I had a dollar for everyone that stopped and took a picture of it I’d be a millionaire."

    Danny defended the cartoon-like figure holding a watermelon — an obvious allusion to an African-American stereotype — saying, "Might get hungry standing out there."

    This is not the first protest to attack President Obama based on antiquated racial stereotypes. Anti-Obama effigies and even mock-lynching ceremonies have been happening all over the country ever since our first African-American president’s 2008 run.

    But one of Danny’s neighbors, an anonymous woman, has expressed disdain for the display.

    "We don’t have Black people in this community, but I’m sure they travel this road like everybody else does," she told WLEX. "They could be offended. I don’t agree with it."

    Despite the backlash, Danny says he has no plans of taking the statue down anytime soon.

    Watch more about the display below.

    —Jacob Rohn


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