“Oh, I thought you said to put up some NASTY decorations!” is the only thing that could explain how this story happened.
Florida woman Susan Lamerton is in trouble with her neighbors after she decorated her lawn for the spooky season with a Nazi-themed display, featuring, as local station WFLA put it, “skeleton after skeleton, saluting Hitler with concentration camp identification numbers on their arms and a Star of David on their chests.”
Take a look:
Why? Why???? I cannot explain the premise of the display—why are the skeletons saluting Hitler if they’re Holocaust victims?—but as for explaining how we got here, it turns out it all boils down to the fight Lamerton, who says she is Jewish, is having with her homeowner’s association. From WFLA:
She claims she’s been battling them over landscaping for months.
We asked her - why would put this in front of your home?
“Because they’re trying to take my house,” she yelled. “Don’t you understand?”
She also told WFLA that she’s Jewish, and this is her right to free speech, her way of protesting the HOA.
“I have freedom of speech, they have freedom of speech,” she said, glancing across the street as passersby stared in shock. “They need to leave my property.”
The website HowStuffWorks has some tips for dealing with your HOA that Lamerton might find useful, including, “Communicate with Other Members” and “Stay Involved.” These are the sorts of basic steps that may have avoided this terrible situation.
My message to Lamerton would simply be that this seems like a premature escalation of her argument with the HOA, and that, though there is occasionally cause in the course of reasonable debate to compare some things to Nazis, it is very rare for those times to overlap with HOA-related concerns. Any time you’re comparing your opponent to the Nazis, you’re essentially trying to shoot the moon. Similarly, any time you’re setting up a decorative Holocaust-themed display, for any reason, you gotta be absolutely sure it’s going to land; it’s probably best left to the experts.
But hey, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.