After Norfolk, Neb. residents and the state Democratic Party decried a July 4 parade float depicting Obama’s presidential library as an outhouse, the town’s parade committee said it will not change its rules for float entries.
The float featured a wooden outhouse with a sign that read “Obama Presidential Library,” with an overall-clad dummy attached.
In a Sunday meeting, the parade committee voted against changing its policy from only banning “morally objectionable” floats that are lewd or contain nudity, according to the Journal Star.
“We all agree here that we aren’t going to tell someone what they can and can’t enter,” parade emcee Wally Sonnenschein said on Monday. “There are plenty of people who support our defense of freedom of speech.”
Norfolk resident Dale Remmich created the controversial float and defended it in an interview with the Norfolk Daily News.
“I am not a hate-monger. I am not a racist. This float was not disrespectful of the office of the presidency. I am sorry if there was misunderstanding about that,” Remmich said.
The Nebraska Democratic Party had denounced the float as one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.”
Remmich also tried to clear up a misunderstanding about the float. He said the mannequin depicted himself, not President Obama.
“I’ve got my bibs on, my walker, I’m covering my ears and I’m turning a bit green — I intended it to look like a zombie who has had enough,” he explained.