Man Defends Display of President Obama Holding a Watermelon

Kentucky resident Danny Hafley wants you to know the mannequin he put in his front yard of President Obama eating a watermelon is totally not racist.

"The way I look at it, it's freedom of speech," said Hafley of Casey County, Kentucky, who added he included the watermelon not to play on any racial stereotypes, but because the mannequin "might get hungry standing out there."

This is far from the first time the President has been depicted by critics with a watermelon or other racial imagery. Back in 2009, Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, California resigned following an email he sent that showed the White House lawn filled with watermelons alongside the text, "No Easter egg hunt this year." Like Hafley, Grose said there was no racial motif behind the card.

Earlier this year, a Santa Clara, California resident placed a chair with two watermelons in their front yard, along with a noose and a sign set up to look like a teleprompter that read, "Go back to Kenya."

During the 2008 election, the New York Times quoted one white worker in the South as saying, “He’s going to tear up the rose bushes and plant a watermelon patch. I just don’t think we’ll ever have a black president.”

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