An Illinois family’s Halloween decorations that appeared to depict the lynching of an African American family, and the police made them take them down, Northwest Indiana Times is reporting.
Halloween is coming up in a few weeks, and every year, stories like this make the rounds of the media. One family’s decorations may be graphic and terrifying; another’s may be too spot-on politically and offend the neighbors; and more than one Halloween decoration has been called racist. Such is the case with an unnamed Illinois homeowner.
In Lansing, Illinois, which is in the Chicago-Northwest Indiana region, a teenager was walking to school when she passed a house with Halloween decorations that terrified her, but in the completely wrong way. The unnamed teen says that the front yard was decorated with, among other things, a body hanging from a tree by a noose. The body was black, and the teen – and her mother, Toya Griffin – both believe that the decoration was intended as a racist symbol evoking a lynching.
“The hands were tied behind the back. The feet were tied around the ankles. It’s the same manner as a lynching.”
As it turns out, however, there’s some evidence that, as the homeowner would later claim, it wasn’t intended that way. It seems that the figure was, at first anyway, sporting a “Jason” mask (from the Friday the 13th horror franchise), but that it had been stolen, revealing a black garbage bag beneath.
This is outrageous!— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) September 26, 2018
This is hanging in a neighborhood in Lansing. Heshima mace, a black woman saw a neighbor hang this in their yard. She contacted the Lansing Police Department but they refuse to make her neighbor take it down so she posted this to social media.
RETWEET THIS! pic.twitter.com/tg9jNY2qEd
So was it a celebration of America’s racist past, or simply a poorly-executed nod to a classic horror franchise?
The homeowner insists it was the latter. Though she was reluctant to speak on the record, she says that the display was never intended as racism.
Griffin says that, intentional or not, the homeowner should have seen this coming.
“It’s a shocking feeling to see something like that. It represents a feeling. It represents a belief. It represents a harsh time in history that affected everybody. If you see something like that, it brings a fear and it brings emotions.”
Griffin called the cops.
The homeowner says that the police were sympathetic to her – after all, in general, Halloween decorations can’t be criminal offenses. Nevertheless, the homeowner took the decoration down.
As mentioned at the beginning of Fort Campbell soldier’s Halloween display was considered so “gruesome” and “racist” that, as the Inquisitr reported at the time, the Army made him take it down.