Kentucky Man Danny Hafley Under Fire for Effigy of Obama Eating Watermelon

(Gawker)

A Kentucky man has sparked a public outcry after he put up a statue of President Barack Obama eating watermelon. His critics say the display is blatantly racist.

When asked why he chose to depict Obama, the nation’s first black president, eating watermelon, Danny Hafley said he “might get hungry standing out here.”

Hafley told LEX18 in Lexington said he is merely exercising his right to free speech and the statue is protected under the First Amendment.

“The way I look at it, it’s freedom of speech,” he said. “I don’t know how other people will take it.”

Hafley reportedly bought the Obama mask on the statue after Halloween and erected the display around the time of the November election.

“The mannequin, dressed in a grey suit, clip-on tie and blue-collared shirt, was originally standing in Hafley’s yard but the homeowner decided it would look better near the road,” LEX18 reports.

“That’s my buddy…He don’t talk. Don’t make no smart comments. If I had a dollar for everyone who stopped and took a picture of it I’d be a millionaire,” Hafley added.

One neighbor said the Obama figure initially had a sign asking people to pray Obama won’t destroy the United States.

Several other neighbors reportedly felt there was nothing wrong with the display and said Hafley had the right to leave it up.