Posted: Dec 24, 2012 10:28 PM
Updated: Dec 24, 2012 11:39 PM
A Casey County man says the life-sized mannequin in his front yard of President Obama holding a slice of watermelon was meant as a joke and not a racist display.
"The way I look at it, it's freedom of speech," said Danny Hafley. "I don't know how other people will take it."
Hafley bought the Obama mask on sale after Halloween and put up the display around the time of November's presidential election.
The mannequin, dressed in a grey suit, clip-on tie and blue-collared shirt, was originally standing in Hafley's yard but the homeowner decided it would look better near the road.
"That's my buddy," Hafley said. "He don't talk. Don't make no smart comments. If I had a dollar for everyone who stopped and took a picture of it I'd be a millionaire."
When asked the reason behind the watermelon, Hafley responded that he thought the figure "might get hungry standing out here."
While several neighbors didn't find anything wrong with the life-sized doll and said Hafley had the right to display it, one anonymous neighbor felt others would find it racist.
"If he wants to place it someplace else that would be fine," said the neighbor. "We don't have black people in this community but I'm sure they travel this road like everybody else does. They could be offended. I don't agree with it."
The neighbor added that the figure originally had a sign asking people to pray that Obama won't destroy America.
This isn't the first time Hafley has made such a display. He pulled off the mask and unbuttoned the suit coat to show a white mannequin with a drawn-on moustache wearing a blue-collared shirt with "Stupidville Police Department' written on the right side. Hafley said he designed it after Hustonville Police Chief Fred McCoy.
"Freddy is what I named him," Hafley said.
Hafley says he doesn't plan on taking down the display until the springtime or whenever it gets him in trouble.
"He's pretty popular," Hafley said. "If he's as popular in Washington as he is here then he's a popular man."