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These black body bags were meant to be Halloween decorations

These black body bags were meant to be Halloween decorations but some thought they were "racially offensive."

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Yes, Halloween is right around the corner and you probably wanted to go the extra mile to make your house extra spooky this year, but what if your decor was thought to be "racially offensive"? A homeowner in Hanford, California said, she took down her Halloween decor after local police mentioned that they were "racially offensive." The black body bags hanging from the home caused many to question whether or not the Halloween decorations took things too far. Hanford Police told the homeowner that several people had complained to the NAACP about the trash bags she used to hold the "dead bodies" in.
Fresno State Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Africana Studies, Dr. De Anna Reese explained how easily some could have misinterpreted it.

Anytime you have something black particularly simulating a body hanging from a tree is completely synonymous with lynching.
Dr. De Anna Reese, Fresno State Associate Professor of Africana Studies

The homeowner stuffed the bags and hung them up on a tree by the feet Sunday. The homeowner decided to take down the decorations after her conversation with officers. Despite being in the Halloween spirit, Dr. Reese explained how some people could've viewed the decorations as inappropriate regardless the color of the plastic bags.

“In this case they were black bags. I think even if they would have been clear bags. Anytime I see a rope around a branch of a tree it only leads me to think about one thing. We have to be clear that who are the bodies historically hung from trees. It is not to say that other ethnic groups were never lynched because they were. But the great majority were people of African descent,” said Dr. Reese.

The homeowner told affiliate KMPH that it wasn't intended to mean what some thought.


Our affiliate KMPH in Bakersfield, CA contributed to this story.

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