That’s Norfolk, Nebraska parade committee member Rick Konopasek, explaining that as long as the majority of people like something — in this case what seems to many to be a racist parade float depicting President Obama coming out of his presidential library/outhouse — it shouldn’t matter whether that thing is offensive.
I mean, if you want to say that 95% of your community is racist, who am I to get in your way, I guess?
Anyhow, the article in the Lincoln Journal Star is filled with absolutely mind-boggling quotes from parade organizers. Here are some of my favorites:
- “This was political satire. If we start saying no to certain floats, we might as well not have a parade at all.”
- “For the most part, this is a strong conservative community. I really don’t see anything wrong with the Obama float and I’m kind of amazed anyone is complaining.”
- "The man who built the float has been a longstanding member of the community, and people shouldn’t be quick to judge him for expressing his opinions."
- “This was a day to celebrate independence and part of that is speech and expression. He exercised his rights.”
The organizers also noted that “the parade also included a float of Pete Ricketts supporters. Had a liberal-oriented float been entered, the parade committee would have welcomed it as well.” A good follow-up question might have been whether the committee would also have welcome a neo-Nazi float.
People liked the anti-Obama float so much that the three judges of the parade floats awarded it an honorable mention. Imagine if there had been a “Go Home Mexicans!” float or a “Jews Drink Christian Blood!” float; those almost certainly would have been the day’s winners.
After all, the 4th of July is a day to celebrate speech and expression, and no one should be quick to judge someone who just wants to express his opinions. And the Norfolk, Nebraska parade is obviously the best place to express those opinions, no matter how odious they might be, right?