During a parade in North Carolina on July 4, a “White History Month” float stirred up controversy.
In a time when you would think racial insensitivity would have faded, an Independence Day float in North Carolina had spectators outraged and shocked. A float filled with watermelons and pulled by a John Deere tractor ran through a parade for the national holiday in Hope Mills. The sign on the float said “White History Month. Hug WTE PPL.” The tractor itself was decked out with a confederate flag, apparently celebrating racism.
The intent seemed to be blatant disrespect for the African-American community and a reminder of a time when things weren’t as peaceable. It’s things like this that only fuel the cries of racism across America.
Hope Mills, North Carolina resident Suzanne Singletary told ABC News, “This should be over, all that stuff should be over. I don’t understand why people are still living like this.”
Apparently the permit for the “White History Month” float had been authorized before the owner changed his plans. Local farmer Donnie Spell had applied for and was granted a permit to participate in the parade, and the sign was supposed to say, “Watermelons for sale.” He had apparently been planning to change the terms of the permit and turn it into a blatant show of racism.
Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner received numerous complaints about the float and plans to have the review board look closer at the permit application process in the future so such atrocities as this don’t happen again. She said we all need to be sure we are sensitive to all people’s feelings.
One can only hope that the North Carolina law enforcement will see fit to punish Donnie Spell for his apparent change of terms in such a public display so as to discourage anyone from trying something so offensive again. Displays such as this make everyone look bad on both sides of the fence.
What do you think of the “White History Month” float in North Carolina on July 4? What should be done to prevent it from happening again?