WTVD-ABC - Raleigh-Durham,NC
HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fourth of July parade float is coming under fire after residents believe the message was offensive at a family oriented event.
People lined the streets of Hope Mills Thursday for the community's annual July 4th parade.
A picture snapped by a parade-goer shows a man on a tractor flying a confederate flag and pulling a wagon loaded with watermelons. A sign on the trailer read: "White History Month. Hug WTE PPL."
Town officials told ABC11 that farmer Donnie Spell applied for and received a parade permit. However, officials said Spell told them he would be pulling an antique tractor with a sign that read: "Watermelons for sale" at a nearby bank parking lot.
When ABC11 went to Spell's home, his gate was locked. A neighbor said he didn't think the man was trying to be vicious or funny.
But people that saw the float thought otherwise.
"This should be over, all that stuff should be over. I don't understand why people are still living like this," Hope Mills resident Suzanne Singletary said.
Town officials said they are considering making changes to the registration process so that this does not happen again.
From the Fayetteville Observer
The float was one of eight entered by Donnie Spell in Thursday's parade, said Kenny Bullock, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Spell could not be reached for comment Friday.
Bullock said Friday he had asked a member of Spell's family to take the signs down before the parade started Thursday morning. He said he does not know why they did not comply with the request.
He learned the signs were still on the tractor midway through the parade when people started calling his cell phone, he said.
. . . All floats in town parades are entered through the Parks and Recreation Department, Bullock said. He said the application process includes a brief description of what a float will include. Those signs were not included in Spell's application, he said.
Bullock said Spell has entered tractors in the town's parades, which also includes a Christmas parade, for years.
. . . "I feel like, in my opinion, I feel like there's a time and a place for everything," Bullock said. "Was the parade the place? I don't think so."
When exactly is the "Time and place" for this?
~ BooBooKitteh on Wonkette
I like how driver of rebel-flag-flying tractor is wearing shirt with US flag on it. Cognitive dissonance much?
~ BaldarTFlagass on Wonkette
If you disguise your message of hate with the words "hugs", it is OK
~ Native of SL_UT on Wonkette
I suppose a burning cross would have been a fire hazard.
~ Monsieur_Grumpe on Wonkette
Exactly why is this float racist? It does not make any disparaging statements about other races...
Exactly why is it OK to celebrate Black history month, but racist to celebrate White history? That in itself is by definition racist!
~ Frank on WTVD
I do not find this offensive at all. All other races have remembrance of their history. They are not ridiculed for celebrating their heritage but when white people remotely show how proud they are of their race and their contributions we are called racists. I gurarantee if we were to search through the crowd their were NAACP shirts, Malcolm X shirts, people wearing sagging pants, Sin co De Mayo shirts or flags, but no body bothers to mention those.........I wonder why?
~ ~ Randy on WTVD
why cant a white person be proud of being white with out being racist?
~ Jessica B. on WTVD Facebook
To everyone saying "well theres black history month so whats the difference?" I will tell you the difference. This was done out of hate & malice. This was not done out of "Im a proud white american"!! Its sad and distasteful in this day and age that this type of ignorance and narrow mindedness still exsists. Yes, I am a proud American, North Carolinian, and I am white, but I find this display disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves!!
~ Danyell L. on WTVD Facebook
He enters several tractors for each parade every year and has been doing so for decades. Each of his tractors has a confederate flag painted on the front of it. The watermelons he grows and sells every summer in the parking lot of BB&T. The news agencies need to include this in their story.
~ Carla M. on WTVD Facebook
Just because he's "done it for years" does not make it any more right.
~ Daniel P. on WTVD Facebook
I'm so sick of hearing the Confederate flag is racist. Learn your history slavery was a small fraction of the Civil War. Drives me nuts!!!!
~ Marsha P. on WTVD Facebook
Yes . This should be allowed just for the fact that it's a reminder that Racism is STILL alive and Kicking in AMERICA.
~ Reggie W. on WTVD Facebook