What would you think if you saw a life-like figure dangling by its neck from a tree in your neighborhood?
Natalie Diaz and her father said that when they made the hanging dummy out of PVC pipe, they thought it would be a scary Halloween decoration for their Riverside home. The figure writhes and wheezes.
But their decoration has drawn a lot more attention than they thought it would, and for all the wrong reasons.
“I understand it’s a Halloween decoration to that family, but in other people’s eyes, they don’t see that,” said Mary Bailey, a neighbor. “They see a form of racism.”
Bailey, whose children are biracial, said the image of a man hanging from a tree digs up gruesome images from America’s past racism-fueled violence against black men and women.
“It hits home because my family is a part of that history,” she told NBC4.
Others in the community said they understand Bailey’s point of view, but don’t think the decoration is racist.
Chris Atencio, a neighbor who is part black, described it as “fun” and “creative.”
The homeowners with the decoration say they have no plans to take it down before Halloween.
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