Halloween Prop Causes Stir In Memphis Neighborhood (Photo)

| by Karin Sun
Halloween dummyHalloween dummy

A Halloween decoration on a Memphis, Tennessee, home has been causing controversy with neighbors, WMC Action News 5 reports.

Memphis resident Ricardo Andrade has reportedly decorated his home on Powell Avenue with a dummy hanging by a rope around its neck. The dummy, which hangs from a wooden scaffold in Andrade's front yard, is dressed in dark clothes and has a pink skull-like mask for a face. 

The display also includes a light that shines on the dummy at night.

Some of Andrade's neighbors are asking him to remove the Halloween prop, saying that its resemblance to a man hanging from a noose carries troubling racial undertones.

“I think, for Halloween, [the dummy is] still inappropriate because it’s just too much dealing with racism and stuff and all things that happened in the past," neighbor Joseph Thomas told WMC, referring to the history of lynching in the U.S. "It ain’t nothing to display like that."

Another neighbor, Allison Johnson, agrees. “It bothers me because there has been a lot of struggles in the past," Johnson said. "It’s just inappropriate."

 "I don’t think it’s appropriate for the neighborhood and the children to see," added passerby John Cannon.

Neighbors said the dummy was in stocks last year, but those are now empty.

Not all of the neighborhood's residents believe the decoration is offensive. One of Andrade's neighbors, who asked to remain anonymous, told WMC that the dummy was just an innocent prop.

"To me it's Halloween," the neighbor said. "It's got a pink face and there's nothing wrong with it to me." 

Andrade, who is from Mexico, said he didn't intend any racial insensitivity.

He told WMC that neighbors have not complained directly to him, but that he would be willing to remove the decoration if they did.

"They can tell me and I'll take it down," he said.

This is not the first incidence of a neighborhood Halloween decoration causing controversy. Earlier in October, KSL-TV reported that a similar hanged man display in Roy, Utah, drew complaints from the NAACP.

Sources: WMC Action 5 News, KSL-TV

Photo Credit: WMC Action 5 News