Bigotry and Violence: Hey, It’s for the Laughs!

via WCPO.

via WCPO.

he small town of Aurora, Indiana is in an uproar after a local man entered a float in the annual Farmers Fair Parade depicting Hillary Clinton sitting in an electric chair with rival Donald Trump about to pull the switch.

According the creator of the float, which also featured a grim reaper and an Easter Island moai head in blackface labeled “Obama,” he entered it in an effort to get laughs, reports WCPO.

“It definitely was all for laughter. We’ve always had floats for laughter,” explained 76-year-old Frank Linkmeyer. “There’s never been anything else but that,” while denying there was anything racist about his creation.

Okay, fine, leave the racism out, Mr. Linkmeyer. The violence and misogyny, that’s funny? I’m amazed you made it to 76 years old without learning one damn thing.

According to one woman who was marching in the parade with her daughter’s Girl Scout group, she didn’t find anything about it funny.

“For us to be in 2016 and have our president depicted as an Easter Island statue in blackface, which doesn’t even make any sense, but it’s just racist as can be,” explained Jackie Reynolds. ““But knowing that we are marching alongside displays like this really makes me question whether or not we will be participating next year.”

Said local Penny Britton, who didn’t attend the parade but saw pictures of the float after they were posted to Facebook, it was “disgusting.”

“It instantly turned my stomach,” Britton stated. “One of the pictures shows children seeing the float go by and staring at it.”

In a statement from the Lions Club, which approves the floats, officials kept their distance stating, “the parade is a public venue which does not reflect the views of the Aurora Lions Club. As a member of a worldwide service organization, we are proud and standby our record of service to this community.”

As for float designer Linkmeyer, he said he could have reversed Trump and Clinton, saying, “I could’ve taken and put Donald Trump in that float and had Hillary pull the handle. Nevertheless, I would have never pleased everybody and it was definitely all for laughter.”

Linkmeyer did not explain how that would have meshed with the Trump/Pence or hand-written signs listing so-called Clinton “scandals.”

As for the Obama statue in blackface, “We were getting ready to get in that parade and this thing was sittin’ in front of this gentleman’s building down there and they said, ‘Let’s put that on there,’ and I didn’t give it a thought,” he attempted to explain.

Didn’t give it any thought. Gee, I think we’ve diagnosed your problem, you vile bigot – you don’t think.

The float was part of the Aurora Farmers Fair Parade Saturday morning in the small Ohio River town 35 miles west of Cincinnati. It’s sponsored by the Aurora Lions Club, according to its website, and touted as Indiana’s oldest street festival. The theme of the parade was “Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future.”

According to the Rules & Regulation on the website, Fair officials “reserve the right to reject or evict any entry from the parade line-up that they deem unsuitable.”

So, this inhumanity float got by everyone as suitable. For someone who commented (See WCPO) that it was no big deal, there are good and bad people, and as long as you don’t hang out with racists, it’s all good. To that person, I’m just going to point out that you are hanging out with racists. Another person wanted to know where the racism and sexism was in the picture. Some days, I just don’t have much hope.

Via WCPO and Raw Story.


  1. says

    As for float designer Linkmeyer, he said he could have reversed Trump and Clinton, saying, “I could’ve taken and put Donald Trump in that float and had Hillary pull the handle.

    Funny thing, it’S not what he did.
    Yeah, welcome to “let’S pretend context doesn’t exist la-l-land” where you do that and deny that you’re reinforcing the message of a violent man who has called for his followers to kill Clinton several times by now.

  2. says

    It’s like he was trying to prove Scalzi’s dictum “the failure mode of funny is ‘asshole'”

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to make “I was trying to be funny” a blank check. (Kicks a cop: “I was just trying to be funny!!)

  3. says

    People like Mr. Linkmeyer (and one of my grandfathers) were the trolls and shitlords of their day. None of the current shit is new, it’s old as the sun. If anything, those of Mr. Linkmeyer’s generation, and the ones before, were much more dangerous. You can look at that laughing face, and realize he’d have the same look on his face if he was helping to lynch another human being. It’s chilling, and it’s no comfort they are reduced to things like parade floats now.

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