Frederick Leaves 'em Hanging

Maybe there's a better way of hanging them

By Chris Needham
|  Saturday, Oct 31, 2009  |  Updated 7:35 AM EDT
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Spooky Or Offensive? Hanging Dummies Taken Down

NBCWashington.com

A Frederick halloween display has upset residents.

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Spooky Or Offensive? Hanging Dummies Taken Down

Dummies hanging from a tree in Baker Park in the city of Frederick have been removed, but residents are still raising concern.
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Editor's note: The scarecrow-like dummies have now been placed on a city park bench and at the base of two trees.

Just a quick note to the probably well-meaning folks at the Frederick Department of Parks and Recreation: It's probably not a good idea to decorate for Halloween by hanging dummies from a tree.

The Department put three stuffed dummies -- dressed in regular clothing -- high up in trees at a local park.  Although they're not hanged with a noose, the first-glance impression certainly could lead to that conclusion, especially after dark.

Hanging something from a tree works if it's a ghost or a demon or some other imaginary creature.  But when it looks more like a human, well, some people tend to bristle at it, reports the Frederick News Post.

The head of the local NAACP chapter, Guy Djoken, asked that the dummies be taken down. 

"A dead man hanging in a tree, that takes us back to a dark day we don't want to go back to," he told the paper.

A different city resident, Reid Feister told the paper: "It instantly reminded me of the pictures of the lynchings that happened in the '20s and '30s in the United States. I found it very offensive as a white person."

More than a dozen residents have complained to the city about the dummies. Mayor Jeff Holtzinger ordered them taken down Friday afternoon, but said they would still try to make them look scary.

That's a picture of the mayor placed on one of the dummies' faces.

 

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