Obama Halloween display causes stir in western Colorado
MACK, Colo. A skeleton pirate holding a gun to an effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who appeared to have just walked off the plank of a pirate ship, caused a stir in far western Colorado.The scene was a Halloween display outside the home of Jim and Cheryl Barnes, 955 U.S. Highway 6 & 50.Obama was constructed from a white plastic skeleton, painted dark brown, with large ears and eyes and black hair glued in place. He wore suit pants, a white shirt and a tie. On the ship was a sign, Obama for president of Afghanistan.After the Grand Junction Free Press asked the Barneses about the display Thursday afternoon, they discussed the decorations, which were only feet from the highway. And then they removed the Obama effigy and sign.We decided wed just take it down. We dont want to cause any trouble with anyone, said Mike Barnes.Its just fun. Its just a pirate ship thing. When shown pictures of the display Thursday, Mary Beth Pyle, chairwoman of the Mesa County Democratic Party, wasnt impressed.I just have no words to describe the total revulsion I have … It is just so disgusting, Pyle said. Mesa County Republican Party Chairman Gary Roahrig echoed those sentiments, saying, Its beyond words.This type of behavior is unconscionable, Roahrig continued. This is 2008. I dont know what inspires people to do things of this nature, but its entirely inappropriate.According to voter registration records, Cheryl Barnes is a Republican and Mike Barnes is unaffiliated.The Barneses put a lot of work into the display, which they said was intended as a simple Halloween decoration. The couple took the Afghanistan reference from Republican Party bumper stickers, said Cheryl Barnes.Do they think Obamas Muslim?I dont know … Id just as soon keep that to ourselves, Cheryl Barnes said. As to the color of Obamas skin, I dont care what race he is. His race makes no difference, Cheryl Barnes said. I dont like his policies, the things hes voted for.Number one, hes anti-gun, and number two, hes pro-choice. Theres several things I dont like about him. His race has absolutely nothing to do with it, she said.The only comments people offered about the display were positive, Mike Barnes added. They just thought they (the decorations) were funny, he said. A woman who contacted the Free Press, however, was not amused.I thought it was pretty disgusting, she said, asking to remain anonymous for fear of negative reprisal. It looked like a black man being hungI attribute it to racism. Its not right, she said.The Barneses live in farm and ranch country west of Mack. Mesa County is historically Republican, as evidenced by the many McCain/Palin signs in Grand Junction, the county seat, and along the rural routes of the county. The display was slightly west of Mack, 9.5 miles east of the Colorado-Utah state firstname.lastname@example.org
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