It is 2022 and people are still having to explain their outrage over Halloween decorations depicting people hanging from trees. Such was the case in Harnett County, North Carolina this week.
On Wednesday (Sept. 28), WRAL-TV spoke with residents who said an almost life-like decoration struck a visceral nerve with them. “I just rode past it and it looked so real that I stopped. If you’re passing by and you’re just glancing over, you’d be like, ‘Somebody’s hanging from a tree,’” said passerby DeAngelo McDougald.
The controversial decoration was supposed to depict a farmer. The black stuffed figure was dressed in a plaid button-up shirt, jeans, boots, and a black farmer’s hat. Its hands were tied behind its back as it hung from its neck in a tree outside of the home, which is located about 30 miles south of Raleigh in Coats.
“My daughter’s biracial. She’s Black, white, and Indian, and I don’t want her growing up seeing these things,” said resident Jenni Byrd. Like McDougald, she also felt the figure was reminiscent of a person being lynched and not just a poorly placed decoration.
Major Aaron Meredith with the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office told the news outlet he addressed the citizens’ concerns with the homeowner. “It’s a Hispanic family and they said it was simply a Halloween decoration they put up. Once it was explained to them how it was perceived, they realized that and they were very apologetic and they took it down immediately,” said Meredith.
“Maybe we did take it the wrong way,” said Byrd. However, she still believes the best outcome was achieved. “It did look a certain way that everyone was kind of confused about, but I’m glad in the end that’s not what it was representing,” she said.
You can see images of the decoration for yourself in the report below.