Richard Beatty, a homeowner from Brentwood, New York, is currently on a heated debate over with his local postal office due to his “offensive” Halloween decoration that featured a skeleton hanging over a noose in a makeshift wooden plank resembling gallows.
Beatty states that he has been decorating his house in Brentwood for quite a few years now, and he specializes in hand-making his decorations each year before proudly plastering them outside every Hallow’s Eve.
This year, however, had been different, when he received a knock at his doorstep.
“The postmaster himself came here and knocked on my door and said he was suspending my mail until I took this stuff down, and I said, do what you have to do because I’m not taking it down,” he says in his interview at CBS2 with Carolyn Gusoff.
“I think it’s ridiculous … It’s not meant to be racist. It’s not meant to offend anybody. It’s here to be scary, spooky. It’s a graveyard. It’s spooky. It’s Halloween. That’s what it’s all about,” Beatty retaliates.
But his mailman and a few neighbors do disagree to his statement, and believe the decoration was quite off-putting, as the symbolism of the hanged man is often considered racially offensive to the African-American race whereas the symbol had a deep history of lynching on America’s painful history.
“It isn’t just a Halloween decoration. He needs to take it down because he’s disrespecting the other African-American neighbors,” a neighbor said.
“Maybe it’s just for decoration, but at the same time, you know, in the age that we live in, you never know,” another person said.
“If it’s not in danger in any way, I mean, slip and fall on ice or if there was a dog here or something like that, nothing,” Beatty’s neighbor, Stephen Ondrusek said.
“It’s a prop. It’s just a prop, like all these other things,” Beatty finally states, and believes that his mailman is just overly-sensitive to the matter.