A float in the Norfolk Odd Fellows 4th of July Parade has sparked a heated debate about freedom of speech and respect for the office of the presidency.
The float carried on top of a flat-bed pick-up depicted a man in overalls standing in front of an outhouse with the words “Obama Presidential Library” on the outside.
Odd Fellow organization member Wally Sonnenschein says the individual who entered the float registered it as “political satire,” and insisted the character does not represent the President Barack Obama.
“It appears to be a working man, a farmer or someone of that nature, who is fed up with the way things have gone,” Sonnenschein tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WJAG. “The individual is simply expressing his freedom of speech.”
Sonnenschein says the person responsible, who he won’t name, entered the float as political satire. Sonnenschein rejects the Nebraska Democratic Party insistence that the float was “racist.”
“That was one of the first things that we asked the man who made the float,” says Sonnenschein. “And he absolutely assured us that there was no intent to be racist, that the figure that is on the float is even white or tan colored. It is not black. It is not depicting anyone of the black race.”
Paul Hughes, WJAG, contributed to this article.