An Indiana man is brushing off the harsh criticism he's received for infiltrating a local 4th of July parade with a float depicting President Obama in a toilet, with the words "Royal Flush" and "Lying African" painted across the back.
According to the Indianapolis Star, 73-year-old Don Christy simply drove his golf cart—which was also festooned with Donald Trump posters—into the parking lot where other floats were lined up to participate in the small town of Sheridan's 4th of July parade. He had submitted any requisite paperwork to the local Lions Club, which is reportedly responsible for organizing and approving entries into the town's parade. Attempts by Fusion to contact the Sheridan Lions Club to determine why the float was allowed to continue in the parade were unsuccessful.
"I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican, I'm a patriot, " Christy explained to the Star, adding later "I apologize to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal. I have my right to say things. Isn't that what the Fourth of July's about? Freedom."
But what Christy may have felt was an exercise in first amendment, uh, something was definitely not taken as such by onlookers.
Across social media, people expressed outrage.
On Facebook, the progressive "Periods for Pence" page linked the incident to Indiana governor Mike Pence's cozy relationship with Donald Trump, writing: "If Pence is hitching himself to the racist wagon, let's let Hoosiers know! Hopefully he'll ride it right on out of Indiana. Disgusting and shameful."
Local officials appeared equally dismayed:
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions," Sheriton's Hamilton county commissioner Mark Heirbrandt told the Star. "But in this particular case I was very disappointed to see this happen."