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Parade float generates discussion

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Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 9:22 am | Updated: 11:16 am, Mon Jul 7, 2014.

An example of political humor? An expression of freedom of speech?

An inappropriate parade entry? A racist message?

The rural Norfolkan who created the float in Friday’s Fourth of July parade — which has generated considerable discussion ever since — said the point of the parade entry was to express displeasure with President Barack Obama’s oversight of the Veterans Administration and the treatment of individual veterans.

“I am not a hate-monger. I am not a racist. This float was not disrespectful of the office of the presidency. I am sorry if there was misunderstanding about that,” said Dale Remmich, a longtime Northeast Nebraska and military veteran.

The float in question depicted a cartoonish figure in overalls with a walker standing outside an outhouse labeled the “Obama Presidential Library.”

Remmich said some people mistakenly believed the mannequin to be the president. It wasn’t — it was Remmich’s representation of himself.

“I’ve got my bibs on, my walker, I’m covering my ears and I’m turning a bit green — I intended it to look like a zombie who has had enough,” Remmich said Monday morning in an interview with the Daily News.

Remmich said he had an uncle who was died in 1942 after Pearl Harbor, as well as a brother who died in the jungles of Vietnam. His father fought in World War II, and Remmich himself joined the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s.

Remmich said he is greatly upset with the way veterans are being treated in some VA facilities and frustrated that President Obama hasn’t done enough to solve the problems.

“The float was political satire and an expression of political disgust — no more, no less,” Remmich said. “There was no racism involved, no hate for anyone.”

Remmich said he felt a need to more fully explain the intent behind the float because once a photo of it was posted on the Internet on social media sites, a wide-ranging discussion began, including those who believed the float to be racial in its message.

Glory Kathurima of Norfolk was one of many who shared her opinions with the Daily News already Friday, expressing her concerns about the float. The majority of the comments received were from individuals not from Northeast Nebraska but living in Omaha, Lincoln or other parts of the United States.

Rick Konopasek of Norfolk, a member of the Odd Fellows organization that sponsors the parade, said the float in question was accurately described as political satire on the parade entry form.

“The entry rules for the parade were followed,” he said. “The Norfolk Odd Fellows does not agree or disagree with the content.”

Konopasek said he believes many people who attended the parade or who subsequently commented on the float have mistakenly assumed the mannequin standing in front of the outhouse was a depiction of the president.

The parade’s volunteer judges awarded the float an honorable mention award following the conclusion of the parade, Konopasek said.

“We don’t feel it’s right to tell someone what they can and can’t express,” he said. “This was political satire. If we start saying no to certain floats, we might as well not have a parade at all.”

But Konopasek said the Odd Fellows, which have sponsored the Fourth of July parade for 39 years, do plan to meet in the near future to discuss whether parade entry rules should be changed for future parades.

But Kathurima, for one, did not appreciate the float.

She moved to Nebraska from Kenya when she was the same age as her 9-year-old daughter Malaika and became a naturalized citizen a few years ago. She’s raised her daughter in Norfolk and has found ways to explain the meaning of skin color.

“I’m angry and I’m scared,” Kathurima said. “This float was not just political; this was absolutely a racial statement. My daughter keeps asking me, 'Why?' and I don’t have an answer for her. We made this place our home, but right now it doesn’t feel like it. It’s shameful.”

Not everyone agrees with her.

Wes Meisinger of Norfolk was among those who shared their opinions with the Daily News.

“The Spirit of the Fourth of July is, ‘We the people. . .’ And with that goes the right to criticize my president. I couldn't care if my president is black, yellow, red or white; if he does a good job, I'll cheer for him.”

Wally Sonnenschein, who served as the parade announcer, said, “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.”

State Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk, whose full comments can be found on today’s Commentary page, said he hopes future parades will be restricted to entries that reflect positive support for the United States and its military.

“This parade should not turn into a forum for political discourse about its leadership, regardless who the president may be,” he said. “The parade must continue to be a positive and uplifting experience for everyone.”

© 2016 The Norfolk Daily News . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • BobL posted at 11:11 am on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    BobL Posts: 1

    A great example of "Nebraska Nice" I guess.

  • Bob Smith posted at 12:17 pm on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    Bob Smith Posts: 67

    You can defend this anyway you would like but nothing makes it less racist or less hateful. While it may not be officially sponsored by the City of Norfolk or The Visitor's Bureau, it is indicative of how "95% of the community feel."

    I would hope to see the Mayor, Chamber President, Head of the Visitor's Bureau and even you Kent Warneke make a strong and public condemnation of this float and the sentiments behind it. You're in the public eye now and how you react to this is a prime example of the city's character.

    Is Norfolk a progressive city that welcomes all or a backwood hick town with echoes to the KKK because that is what this float really is -- no matter how thinly veiled.

  • Clanman posted at 1:26 pm on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    Clanman Posts: 1

    I would be interested to know why, if freedom of speech is the issue, the persons responsible for the float are not stepping forward to take credit for it. I also wonder if the parade judges will grant awards to any group who would like to ridicule political or even religious views. First Amendment Rights, after all! Or would it be better to honor our nation's birthday by leaving political commentary out of our public holiday celebrations?

  • palooka posted at 11:42 pm on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    palooka Posts: 1

    Its gone viral on all the liberal social media sites including calls for boycotts of anything related to Norfolk or Nebraska. There is the obligatory elitist posters who think Midwesterners are stupid, uneducated and unenlightened because how dare anyone not like this president. Of course the same commentators were AWOL when Bush had even worse fare. Its only racist in the eyes of people looking for racism to confirm their own paranoia belief system. Maybe its because of a lousy president with low approval ratings?

    Realistically, it did seem out of synch with a 4th of July parade and probably should not have been there; but I'd have more sympathy for the offended if they had the same anger when Bush was taunted. That will never happen though as Democrats adhere to their double standard of arrogance and consider anyone who disagrees with them as racist, phobic or backward.

  • Peg S posted at 9:41 am on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Peg S Posts: 55

    Who pays for Presidential Libraries? This may be all we'll be able to construct.


    The Outstanding Public Debt as of 07 Jul 2014 at 02:35:35 PM GMT is:
    $ 1 7 , 6 2 1 , 0 3 5 , 9 8 0 , 4 0 3 . 4 9

    The estimated population of the United States is 318,566,729
    so each citizen's share of this debt is $55,313.48.


  • laytonian posted at 9:52 am on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    laytonian Posts: 3

    I am married to a man from Nebraska, and we've visited Norfolk several times.
    NO MORE.
    My husband is a proud Vietnam Veteran and he is absolutely offended by this prize-winning float.

    I see that someone called "palooka" is calling people like me "obligatory elitist". NO.
    People like me do not like to see the President of the United States degraded. I worked for the Department of Defense for 27 years, and took an oath to not only respect the President but protect him. It was wrong when Bush was taunted BUT Bush never faced the racism and hatred that this President and his wonderful family has.

    There are times and places to protest the actions of a President (ie, the ballot box) but a parade celebrating our wonderful nation is not it.

    I worked for every President from Johnson through Clinton and have never seen the hatred in our country.


  • Devilsnest posted at 9:55 am on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Devilsnest Posts: 1

    My immediate reaction to the photo was the float entrant was trying to capture Edvard Munch's "The Scream" from how they posed the Mannequin. I didn't see anything racial. Unfortunately, people are too quick to pull the "race card" to draw attention. This was pure satire. I agree with Palooka, if it said GW Bush's Presidential Library, it never would have gone viral.

  • Maddy posted at 10:38 am on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Maddy Posts: 72

    Will someone please explain the 'racist' aspect of this?? I totally agree that it wasn't really appropriate for a parade - but I just don't understand why people are screaming racism?!?!??!?! Did it read anywhere on the float about skin color? Or was race mentioned anywhere on the float?? If you want to argue inapporpriateness - I totally agree. But PLEASE DON'T PLAY THE RACE CARD ON THIS!!!

  • darrelbradley posted at 10:46 am on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    darrelbradley Posts: 1

    I really don' t understand where the race issue comes into play. I do feel that we are hypersensitive to racial issues with our President failing in many people's eyes and that saddens me. I am not blind to the fact that racism exists, I am simply saddened that we seem to pull that card so quickly.

    As for the float, these are my thoughts, for what they are worth. It doesn't matter if I do or don't find the humor in the float. It doesn't matter if I approve or disapprove of the job that my President is doing. It doesn't even matter if voted for our President of the United States of America or not. What does matter is that this was not the forum for this type of political satire. Independence Day is a day to reflect on our freedoms and that includes the leader of our great country that continues to defend our freedoms as our leader. Like him or not, like past Presidents or not, July 4th is a day to reflect the work that has been done to protect our independence and freedom, not knock it down.

    I am in a position where I don't normally get caught up in politically driven discussions, because I have employees that have their own opinions and many people that I work with in the community having differing opinions as well and I don't want them to feel uncomfortable around me if we have differing political opinions. That's what makes The United States of America the greatest country in the world! You don't have to agree with the President. I don't have to agree with the President. You have the right to make a public statement against the President and I get to publicly support the President's decisions, even though I might not agree with them.

    These are the things that we should be celebrating on Independence Day! We should be celebrating the fact that I get to watch my children grab candy off of the street next to other children of any other race or religion, etc. during that parade! We should be celebrating our civil rights, including freedom of speech. We should be celebrating the fact that our President and every President before him, has done everything they know how, to protect these rights and liberties. You don't have to agree with him or even understand why he does what he does to protect them, but I feel that we do need to understand and celebrate the fact that we have freedoms and there are individuals and groups, such as our armed forces and The President of the United States of America that deserve to be recognized for their efforts, like them or not.

    I am completely ashamed of this incident, simply due to its timing. It doesn't matter if I think it's funny or if I agree with my President or not. The bottom line is it was tasteless on Independence Day. It's sad to think what our lovely little community, that I am proud to call home, looks like to the rest of the world, now that this has made national headlines! Shame on us for allowing this to happen on a day that we are supposed to be supporting and celebrating our great country and the things that have been put in place to make it great, including the President of the United States of America, that you don't have to agree with, because he continues to protect those rights! Shame on us!

  • freightfan14 posted at 10:48 am on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    freightfan14 Posts: 3

    Despite how people feel about this we live in america while not perfect its still a great place to live. We all have freedoms along with that we can express our thoughts without persacustion or fear of retribution from our fellow citizens or our goverment. While this is not always the case remember freedom of speech goes both ways. Those who use it in a parade or those who choose to commet about said parade float.

  • landon posted at 12:26 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    landon Posts: 19

    Bob Smith, yes we should encourange community leadership to admonish the man who made the float, anyone who says anything that doesn't reflect well on the current leadership should be repremanded and put in their place...

    we should also go back in time and do the same to everyone who did anything similar regarding Bush'43

    there was a book about killing bush'43 it was nonstop defimation towards 43 and 1 guy makes a political satire parade float and we're going to jump off the deep end?

    the bottom line is the country as a whole doesn't approve of this president, recent polls showing 25% of people who voted for him admit Romney would have been better for the country, debt has increased, welfare has increased, more people are taking a govt handout than are paying in right now, that is the country we live in, there should be MUCH MORE outrage and if this guy wants to make a float that is satire good for him, you should not attempt to remove his freedom of speech because he is displaying his feelings on the current situation we find outselves in

  • MN Teacher posted at 1:55 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    MN Teacher Posts: 1

    I read somewhere that the person who created the float was frustrated with the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Given the situation, I think you have every right to be frustrated. What about the float sent that message? The image itself evokes concepts of black history such as the days where blacks were slaves working on plantations or free slaves living in poverty. That is what is racist.

    Although President Obama isn't popular with everyone, he still is our President of the United States. The office itself demands respect. I would venture a guess that with all of the coffee shop chatter that may occur in Norfolk that some there may believe they could do a better job. Please run for office. According to the Constitution you need only be 35 years old, a native-born citizen, and live in the U.S. for 14 years. The voters can determine the rest. Barack Obama was elected and re-elected. He may not have been your choice but he is your president.

    I am a school teacher charged with stopping "bullying" and "teasing". How do I do that when significant portions of populations such as those in Norfolk, Nebraska can't see that the float was wrong? Free speech or not--it was wrong. The other night a senior citizen stopped by our table as we were out for supper and declared how disrespectful youth are today. Hmmm....I believe the youth get it. Most would not have created that float and understand it was wrong. What about the adults? If you want to teach respect, and get respect, maybe you should be respectful! This society should not be a "do as I say not as I do" one. There are so many good people in the world and even those that did this have redeeming qualities--I am sure of it. However, this isn't right. It wasn't right in 1814, 1914, or today in 2014. Last year our school put a policy in place where students couldn't wear hats in school so we could teach them to be respectful. Do the people in Norfolk, Nebraska need to establish a policy where they need their parade taken away? Is this really how we must act? I truly believe we can do better.

  • Peg S posted at 2:27 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Peg S Posts: 55

    If you want to make the outhouse political, you can buy George W. Bush toilet paper online. It's satire people--don't take yourselves so seriously.

  • PR123 posted at 2:35 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    PR123 Posts: 1

    What strikes me, and what seems to be so apparent now, is that the day of the parade, parade watchers did not know that the figure on the float represented Dale Remmich, the designer of the float. Dale Remmich's story was not known to the public on the day of the parade. Parade watchers were laughing and applauding not because they knew it was Dale Remmich, but because they thought it was Obama. Dale Remmich's story does not excuse the people of Norfolk. This is especially true since children of various ethnicities, including African-American children, were at the parade and watching. A 4th of July parade is NOT the appropriate venue for politically charged messages. The 4th of July is meant to draw people together to celebrate our common freedoms, not expound messages of hate.

  • Peg S posted at 2:37 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Peg S Posts: 55

    “This parade should not turn into a forum for political discourse about its leadership, regardless who the president may be,” he said. “The parade must continue to be a positive and uplifting experience for everyone.” --State Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk

    As a voter, this comment is frightening. Suppose a religious float makes me feel like an inferior sinner, that I need to join a particular church to go to Heaven or all around makes me feel bad (hurts my feelings). We don't have to agree on every issue, but we all need to be heard. The very idea that any discourse is forbidden is un-American

  • dhmagician posted at 3:07 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    dhmagician Posts: 1

    The IOOF is a tax exempt organization and as such shouldn't be getting involved in any political cause or public discourse as it could put that status at risk.

  • Passerby posted at 4:57 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Passerby Posts: 1

    Hey, Daily News. You just did an editorial on July 3 about how to best celebrate the 4th of July with unity as Americans. Remember that? You quoted Daniel Webster along the lines that the 4th of July is the time to put away partisan rancor and enjoy being an American. Now you say that this float might have just been a bit harmless except for kids? Do you read your own editorials? This float was exactly the opposite of what you said should be the point of our celebration. Remember?

  • laytonian posted at 5:27 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    laytonian Posts: 3

    Why was my comment not published?
    As an American citizen married to a born-in-Nebraska Vietnam Veteran, why can *I* not comment on this?

    The tax-exempt IOOF should be ashamed of themselves. Not for the racism BUT for the total disrespect for our President and his wonderful family.

    By the way, to the above poster: Presidential Libraries are privately funded.

  • Curt Luedtke posted at 6:24 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Curt Luedtke Posts: 2

    I recently read an article related to the Norfolk, Nebraska 4th of July Parade and a Obama float that some found offensive. I have a lot to say about this float.
    First of all I am all about people speaking their minds. That's one of the great rights we have in this country. When reading this article the man who created the float stated he wanted to " make a statement". The parade MC stated that 95% were not offended and only 5% were. Not sure where he got his numbers but I am sure he pulled them from his a%$. He actually seemed shocked that people were making such a big deal of it.
    Here is where it is a big deal. This Parade is a family day event where everyone comes together as AMERICANS. I understand that there may be some political candidates campaigning or government officials in the parade but it should not be a political event to "MAKE A POINT". This man's hate for our President took "center stage" for an event that should of been all about our country, our military, our families, diversity and patriotic duties.
    I am sure if you ask anyone at that parade what they will remember, and everyone will remember that hateful Obama float. They are not going to remember the hard work all of the other volunteers and participants of the parade. Sadly people will only remember this float. This is quite evident by the news articles and comments.
    If this man has such a hatred for our President, I respect that. That is his right. What this man does not have the right to do is diminish all of the hard work that went into putting on this parade and the actual meaning of an event that should have been for the People of Norfolk and surrounding area plus a representation of the people of Nebraska.
    My mom The Late Lola Norman Luedtke taught us tolerance and that "Hate" was wrong. I will never forget her for giving that gift to us. I remember the 1969 ARCADIA LABOR DAY PARADE and her going after one particular church and parade officials plus posted articles in the paper when this church decided to post a hateful saying on the back of their float. The saying on the float stated " The disasters of the world". Below that phrase was hurricanes, floods, fires, tornados and JEWS.
    I never saw my mom so mad and she never let it go. She did not believe that Family Parades like this should be used to teach hate or be used as hateful tools for religious or political groups.
    We all need to learn a lesson from Lola Norman Luedtke.

  • Jack Kodak posted at 6:32 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    Jack Kodak Posts: 54

    I think it's ridiculous that there are so many people making sweeping generalizations about the entire city and state based on a parade float. The people who were laughing were either doing so because they felt uncomfortable or because they understood the satirical commentary being made about Obama's policies leading this country into the toilet.

  • onlyiowa posted at 8:02 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    onlyiowa Posts: 2

    Is it really necessary to have political discourse at an event for children and families. Do you want future parades with political satire from all sides. Next big election Citizens United will be putting a float in the parade. If the gentlemen is angry about the VA that is justified. Also nothing about the float mentioned anything about the VA. I think he is trying to find any excuse that will work. As someone that likes to shop and visit your city this does not make a very good impression.

  • lindynj posted at 8:51 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    lindynj Posts: 2

    To all of those people to want to boycott Norfolk, Nebraska, relax, no one planned on going there anyway.

  • John Gault posted at 11:58 pm on Mon, Jul 7, 2014.

    John Gault Posts: 24

    Where were all you hyper sensitive progressives when President Bush was vilely attacked on a daily basis? I don't remember any of you posting outrage at all the abuse he took for years, and still does. If it is racist for anyone to disagree with the policies of any elected official than this country is lost to the PC Nazis I never fully agreed with much of anything Bush did and policies he pushed. I sure do not agree with the direction the country has gone with the current regime.

    Was the float in bad taste for some? Perhaps, but those of you who are supposedly offended are the same people who raise hell to defend the right of others to burn the flag, spit on vets returning from war and are squealing support for the multitude who are entering the country ILLEGALLY.

    When I look at the president and see the policies that I do not agree with I see the WHITE half of his ancestry when I am complaining. I could care less about the black side. Now call me a racist. The word is so overused that is has completely lost its true meaning. It has become the liberal mantra for name calling when they can not reconcile the fact that their champion in the white house is truly heading to be the undisputed worse president in this nations history.

    Now, unless you are white, you have no right to disagree with me. You do not have the right to ridicule my views, question my motives or call for any sanctions against me. If you are not white and you do not agree with me, YOU are a racist by your own definition. Hypocrite. As far as those of you who are white and disagree with me. Tough, you have every right not to pay any attention to me or what I have to say.

    Try growing up just a bit. The real world is a terrible place. Look at it as it really is, not as you wish it would be.

    Maybe we would all get along better. I am offended by stupid people I am forced to interact with everyday. I have learned not to care what people think of me. Who really cares? I don't. Life is much better that way. I look at it as Stupid is as Stupid does. Some people are just too stupid to get all upset about. I just hope they don't reproduce and pass those stupid genes on to another generation.

    So get over some idiot and his stupid float. Stop being self righteous and get over it.

  • steeho posted at 6:50 am on Tue, Jul 8, 2014.

    steeho Posts: 3

    Totally disrespectful and totally rascist!!!!!

  • Maddy posted at 8:51 am on Tue, Jul 8, 2014.

    Maddy Posts: 72

    please PLEASE PLEASE explain how this was "totally racist"!?!?!
    I'm begging you. I am really trying to understand the thought process of the
    people the are saying this was racist/racism. I'd really like to know. Seriously.

  • Peg S posted at 9:51 am on Tue, Jul 8, 2014.

    Peg S Posts: 55

    @laytonian Presidential Libraries are NOT privately funded. Here is the website (hint: the top level domain is .gov) www.archives.gov

    The Office of Presidential Libraries is the program office of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

  • steeho posted at 6:38 pm on Tue, Jul 8, 2014.

    steeho Posts: 3

    Maddy, This is a continuation of diminishing this President and mocking him publicly! A parade float mocking him on Independence Day no less! You can disagree with Obama politically but these antics would not have been done if he was white. Some people just cannot get over the face that he's been our President since 2009 and he's BLACK. It's so disrespectful on many levels.

  • Maddy posted at 6:22 am on Wed, Jul 9, 2014.

    Maddy Posts: 72

    Stuff like this has happened to previous presidents for decades! One late night talk
    show host once put up a picture of GW Bush that had the words "assasin wanted"
    below it. Was that racial? There was a joke Arkasas quarter picture going around that
    disparged Bill Clinton - was that racial? I remember the '$3 bills' going around in the
    early 70's with Nixon on them - and then again in the 90's with Clinton - were those
    racial? There was NOTHING on this float indicating Obama's ethnicity. Nothing.
    For people to read into that there was? That does damage to minorities when TRUE
    racism happens. And yes - I know it still happens. Thank God we've come a long way
    from the 30's and 50's and 70's. But I'm telling you, when people hear minorities scream racism over something like this - where there was NO racial element at all - it makes it hard for minorities to get help when TRUE racism happens. The left has done more harm to this President and minorities by claiming 'racism' every time somebody disagrees with him. Let me ask this. Was it racism when the African Americans were calling Collin Powell and Clarence Thomas "uncle Tom" just because they didn't fit the 'norm' of many other African Americans (ie conservative vs. liberal)?

  • Curt Luedtke posted at 9:59 am on Wed, Jul 9, 2014.

    Curt Luedtke Posts: 2

    Everyone is forgetting what these parades are about. Independence Day is all about cerebrating our country, our Founding Fathers who risked their life's for us, our military and our hard working American spirit. Is it too hard for just ONE day forget about the partisan issues and come together as Americans?
    There is a time and place for political satire and this man is within his rights. The problem is his selfish behavior diminished the entire Parade because every one is only focused on this float. He also gave the wonderful people of Norfolk and the dedicated volunteers and Parade participants a black eye by creating this distraction.
    The wonderful folks that sponsor this parade need not censor this parade. Only remember what the objective is.

  • CORNFED 528 posted at 11:41 am on Wed, Jul 9, 2014.

    CORNFED 528 Posts: 4

    To all you Skeptics and Hypocrites (I apologize if you're not in these categories) this certainly is not the first time that any Presidential library has been portrayed in this manner or form so please get off your race card soap boxes. Good grief! Are you really that thin skinned? I thought the news article by Kent Warneke was an ample explanation of what happened, unlike some of the other biased news media racial blow-by. This is America you know, and so far you still have your 1st Amendment rights. I've read enough comments on face book and news media sites the last few days that were racist, hateful, untrue, and vicious comments from touchy over sensitive Hypocrites that showed their sanctimonious true colors. Thus it makes Dales outward disapproval of the President's handling of the VA and the VA's actions look pretty small. Get over it and grow up America.

  • Peg S posted at 11:49 am on Wed, Jul 9, 2014.

    Peg S Posts: 55

    Quoting Curt Luedtke:
    "Everyone is forgetting what these parades are about. Independence Day is all about cerebrating our country, our Founding Fathers who risked their life's for us, our military and our hard working American spirit. Is it too hard for just ONE day forget about the partisan issues and come together as Americans?
    There is a time and place for political satire and this man is within his rights."

    What better time for political satire than in a parade celebrating our unique rights as Americans. You mention our "Founding Fathers who risked their lives.." They certainly weren't shy about speaking or acting on their displeasure with the burdens England put on them. Some have become so fearful of offending someone that they no longer voice their opinions. Public discourse means you have the right to speak and be heard. We don't have to agree (and can choose to be offended) but it is an American right of free speech.

  • CORNFED 528 posted at 4:46 pm on Wed, Jul 9, 2014.

    CORNFED 528 Posts: 4

    I concur with your above statement Peg S.! Also Curt L. you are right about there is too much partisan issues going on and that is what is really one of America's biggest problems. What do you think our Founding Fathers would say about the way the United States of America is being run? I would be so bold to say the Founding Fathers would not be happy with any of the male bovine excrement that has been allowed to happen by either party. The Founding Fathers did not want a big bloated bureaucracy for a Federal government with tons bureaucrats and regulations restricting our freedoms at every turn, nope it was a small Federal government that they constructed.
    If anyone deserves a black eye from what Dale did it is the American people with their crude and rude remarks against the people of Norfolk and Nebraska, certain news media outlets that painted an erroneous story about the float, and our country's politicians for letting our American Veterans down.

  • freightfan14 posted at 1:06 pm on Thu, Jul 10, 2014.

    freightfan14 Posts: 3

    To mn teacher, you dont have to visit nebraska or norfolk for that matter.

  • freightfan14 posted at 1:10 pm on Thu, Jul 10, 2014.

    freightfan14 Posts: 3

    To all you who have now shunned nebraska and will not be visting us thats fine.,Nice knowing you.

  • Maddy posted at 2:22 pm on Thu, Jul 10, 2014.

    Maddy Posts: 72

    I'm still waiting for steeho or anyone else to tell me what specifically was on that
    float that was racist.

    still waiting

    still waiting

    still waiting

    still waiting

  • CORNFED 528 posted at 12:47 am on Fri, Jul 11, 2014.

    CORNFED 528 Posts: 4

    Maddy! There is totally nothing disrespectful or racist about the float! A question that might be asked is; if it is racist is it against Caucasians or Blacks since President Obama is both? I think the float has to do with Mr. Obama's not doing such a good job and that has nothing to do with race as we have had other Presidents who failed also and I won't mention their names just in case there might be someone reading this that might be offended by my mentioning of those Presidents' names. Maddy you should read all the hate comments on the Huffington Post and some on youtube, these comments here are mostly civilized and you should consider these folks your good friends! Many people have put Mr. Obama on a pedestal and consider him infallible in a sense, almost like a King and incapable of error and have failed to acknowledge his ineptness to govern the nation, so there is not much that will satisfy the anger felt by the President's supporters. The float is not disrespectful or racist and as I have said in a previous comment here on this form that many of our Presidents have had their Presidential Libraries depicted in the form of an outhouse by political cartoonists and the likes of a float or billboard, in fact I think you can still buy toilet paper with Bush's face on it on the internet. Mr. Remmich's depiction of Obama's Presidential Library is simply his expression of disgust with the Presidents handling of the Veteran's at the VA and for not doing his job properly, and has nothing to do with the color of the President's skin. The float was Political Satire nothing more!

  • Maddy posted at 8:21 am on Fri, Jul 11, 2014.

    Maddy Posts: 72

    While I don't think the float was appropriate for the parade - I just want to know from the people that are saying it was racist, what specifically was on the float that was racial/racist. Read my previous posts on this.

    I just want someone to explian to me what was racist - specifically racists - about this particular float. Please.

  • CORNFED 528 posted at 9:58 am on Fri, Jul 11, 2014.

    CORNFED 528 Posts: 4

    I did rot see the parade, and I'm sure some folks were taken aback by the float. My sister told me about it and I started exploring the subject. Maybe Dale needed more explanation on the float? I think as a Veteran Dale was frustrated with things he has no control over. There is nothing wrong or racist about the float, just the racist people that said it was racist.

  • Figment posted at 10:39 pm on Fri, Jul 11, 2014.

    Figment Posts: 41

    People who have never had cultural experiences outside of their own because they simply haven't been exposed to them are not racist. That doesn't mean those people are correct.
    Simply step outside yourselves for a moment or two and consider the original image without the context provided by the maker of the float. With no direct mention of the VA, the majority of people who saw the float believed the person portrayed on the float to be Obama. That was the perception for three days. The parade was on Friday. Dale Remmich explained it on Monday.
    The old zombie farmer in overalls could easily be taken as a reference to a slave. You know, when white men owned black men and had them do all their work. There was also a name they called them during those days. It's a very racist name that we no longer use.
    It's not very hard to jump to that conclusion, especially when an explanation isn't being provided. Perhaps the maker of the float should have stepped back and looked at his creation and the judges should have looked from all angles prior to the parade.
    Remove the zombie, nothing wrong with the float other than it being a tactless way to celebrate Independence Day. Add the fella with the overalls and that changes.
    Both sides of thus argument make valid points. But they both fail to listen to each other. Therein lies the biggest problem, which has become our nation's biggest problem as well.
    We are a nation based on empathy, compromise and a willingness to be our brother's keeper. This argument, which has become simply an argument for the sake of arguing and being right, proves that.
    Perhaps we need to listen to each other, work together and move forward rather than berating the first person who doesn't see the world through our eyes.

  • Figment posted at 10:41 pm on Fri, Jul 11, 2014.

    Figment Posts: 41

    Argument proves that is no longer the case. My apologies.
    Love each other.

  • klondykekat posted at 10:00 am on Sun, Jul 13, 2014.

    klondykekat Posts: 18

    to bob smith, did you ask 100 percent of norfolk residents how they feel about this to get your 95 percent or is this just what you think. deal in facts not your own fiction. i know for a fact you did not ask me for my feelings on this so do not speak for me or anyone else you never contacted. thank you.

  • klondykekat posted at 10:04 am on Sun, Jul 13, 2014.

    klondykekat Posts: 18

    nobody would be complaining if obama was white. so come off it people quit playing the racist card.


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