Justice Dept. Looks Into Flap Over Obama 'Outhouse' Parade Float

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 04:37 PM

By John Blosser

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Attorney General Eric Holder is involving the Justice Department in a flap over an outhouse float in a Fourth of July parade.

A member of the Justice Department's community relations team was sent to sit in on a meeting between the mayor of tiny Norfolk, Neb., Sue Fuchtman, four members of the NAACP, and members of parade sponsors The Independent Order of Odd Fellows — all because an outhouse bearing the words, "Obama Presidential Library" was rolled down Norfolk streets during the parade.

The float featured a zombie-looking, life-size dummy on a walker wearing overalls and, according to its creator Dale Remmich, the dummy was supposed to represent him, not President Barack Obama, and was aimed at complaining about Obama's treatment of the Veteran's Affairs Department.

"I’ve got my bibs on, my walker, I’m covering my ears, and I’m turning a bit green. I intended it to look like a zombie who has had enough," Remmich told the Lincoln Journal Star.

However, that didn't stop Kenyan native Glory Kathurima from complaining, "I'm angry and I'm scared. This float was not just political. This absolutely was a racial statement," the Daily Caller reported. 

Betty C. Andrews, head of the NAACP in Nebraska and Iowa, told the Daily Caller, "Looking at that float, that message absolutely did not come through."

Rick Konopasek, a member of the parade committee, explained that the Odd Fellows only blocks floats with nudity or sexuality, not political expression, and told the Journal Star, "We don't feel right to tell someone what they can and can't express. This was political satire. If we start saying no to certain floats, we might as well not have a parade at all."

The float, he noted, was a huge success with parade viewers.

Remmich may lose points for lack of originality — Montana's state Republican convention in 2012 featured a similar outhouse float, also labeled "Obama Presidential Library," with a fake birth certificate inside and the message, "For a good time, call Michelle," with "Michelle" crossed out and "Hillary" added in.

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