CASEY COUNTY, Ky. (WLEX) - A Kentucky man says people who believe the life-size mannequin of President Barack Obama eating a watermelon outside his house is racist simply don't get the joke.
Danny Hafley says he created the display of President Obama intending to be funny. But with the racial overtones that come with the watermelon association, some are not laughing.
"I thought he might get hungry standing out here," Hafley said.
Hafley said he's seen many people standing on his front lawn, taking pictures with the mannequin.
"That's my buddy," he said. "...He don't talk, he don't make no smart comments."
Hafley bought the Obama mask on sale after Halloween and put the mannequin up around election time. The Obama mannequin originally stood in Hafley's yard. But he said he thought it would look better closer to the road.
According to an anonymous neighbor, the mannequin originally carried a sign.
"'Let's pray that he don't destroy America,' or something to that effect," the neighbor said.
Sign or not, the neighbor said Hafley's display could be seen as racist.
"We don't have black people in this community, but I'm sure they travel this road just like everybody else does. They could be offended," the neighbor said.
Hafley said the Obama mannequin was meant as a joke.
When asked how long he planned on displaying the Obama mannequin, Hafley said he might take it down in the spring, or whenever it gets him into trouble.
"The way I look at it, it's freedom of speech," he said.