It’s important when celebrating freedom not to cross into the realm of “freedumb,” but at an Independence Day parade in Norfolk, NE, that line was crossed. The parade included a float depicting President Obama’s nonexistent Presidential library as an outhouse and, of course, a mockup of the President.
The float did not identify its sponsor or provide any information other than it was “entry #29.”
The Nebraska Democratic Party called the float one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen,” and city councilman Dick Pfiel made it clear that “The City of Norfolk doesn’t condone that.”
Residents have spoken out about this disgusting display, as well.
“I’m angry and I’m scared,” resident Glory Kathurima said. “This float was not just political; this was absolutely a racial statement.”
Parade committee member Rick Konopasek defended the float. “We don’t feel its right to tell someone what they can and can’t express,” he said. “This was political satire. If we start saying no to certain floats, we might as well not have a parade at all.”
He says that the float was one of the most popular in the parade, and the three judges awarded it an honorable mention.
“It’s obvious the majority of the community liked it,” Konopasek said. “So should we deny the 95 percent of those that liked it their rights, just for the 5 percent of people who are upset?”
“This was a day to celebrate independence and part of that is speech and expression,” Konopasek said. “He exercised his rights.”
“For the most part, this is a strong conservative community,” parade announcer Wally Sonnenschein said. “I really don’t see anything wrong with the Obama float and I’m kind of amazed anyone is complaining.”
Kathurima, however, disagrees.
“We are supposed to be celebrating independence, but people are quick to forget about 300 years of history,” she said. “My daughter keeps asking me, ‘Why?’ and I don’t have an answer for her. We made this place our home, but right now it doesn’t feel like it. It’s shameful.”