SPRINGFIELD, Ore — Many neighbors felt a black inflatable doll dressed in a jumpsuit hanging from a tree was too far away, even for something intended to be a Halloween decoration.
Many residents of the Thurston area said that, regardless of the intent, it could easily be interpreted as racist. A neighbor saw the doll while he was taking his son to school. Once he saw the decoration, he took a photo of it and felt it needed to be removed.
He said: “I took a closer look, realized the details and practically understood the fact that it couldn’t be anything other than a racist action.”
The neighbor said this reminded him of lynchings that had occurred in the southern United States.
Other neighbors also said the decoration was too much and crossed some boundaries. Many are happy that the owner decided to remove the decoration. Neighbors believe much of the controversy could have been avoided if it had been just a hanging skeleton or scarecrow instead.
One neighbor said, “I think it would have been a little… more in the realm of decoration if it was something like that.”
The owner of the house who put up the decoration said that this is all a misunderstanding. They said they had used the same decor in a different neighborhood for a decade without problems.
Neighbors felt it was in poor taste and that something so overt had never happened before in this Springfield neighborhood. However, there have been more subtle cases of bullying.
According to residents in the area, someone had once put thumb tacks in the driveway trying to burst tires. On another occasion, a can of beans was thrown in a neighbor’s driveway and some wonder if a racial element played a role in that. The neighbors hope that with this episode people will be more considerate in the future.
Julio Mora Rodríguez joined the KEZI 9 News team in October 2022 as a news reporter. If you have any story ideas, you can email Julio at firstname.lastname@example.org.