You may remember that conservatives kept it super-classy at a Fourth of July parade in Nebraska by featuring an “Obama Presidential Library” float mocked up to look like an outhouse, complete with zombie effigy. People objected to the float (including a woman from Kenya, don’t you know!), and the Nebraska Democratic Party called it “one of the worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.”
Now, conservative media outlets like Twitchy, and supposedly legitimate conservative news sources like The Daily Caller and The Washington Times, are up in arms because President Obama’s Justice Department is “investigating” the float. From Twitchy:
‘Pathetic’: Citizens amazed at what Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. considers worth investigating
…A parade float? Yep. The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly investigating the threat to the Republic that was recently posed by an Obama-mocking parade float
From The Washington Times:
DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
Eric Holder Gets Serious About Limiting Speech, Investigates Obama Outhouse Parade Float
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a float that appeared at the annual Fourth of July parade in the small town of Norfolk, Neb. because the float featured a blue flatbed truck carrying a zombie-looking mannequin in overalls on the door of an outhouse labeled “OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY.”
As all three articles note, with varying degrees of clarity, the Justice Department sent a member of its Community Relations Service Team to a meeting in Norfolk, Nebraska, to “investigate” the incident, and though they all somehow managed to avoid bringing up the New Black Panther Party, what none of them did was take a look at just what, exactly, this “Community Relations Service Team” does, and does not, do:
WHAT WE DO
Community Relations Service Consulting
The Community Relations Service provides confidential mediation, facilitation, training, and consulting services to help communities enhance their ability to independently prevent and resolve future conflicts. CRS also works with police chiefs, mayors, school administrators, other local and state authorities, community-based organizations, and civil and human rights groups. CRS does not take sides in a dispute, and it does not investigate, prosecute, impose solutions, assign blame, or assess fault.
As it turns out, the meeting was, apparently, productive. The people behind the float explained themselves, and agreed to maybe try not to have something like this happen again:
(Iowa-Nebraska NAACP President Betty) Andrews said the NAACP representatives outlined the concerns they have received about the float and the stated intention of its creator that it was designed to be an example of political satire, expressing frustration over the Obama administration’s handling of problems within the Veterans Administration.
“I would bet no one at the parade saw (the) float as a crack on the handling of Veterans Affairs,” Andrews said. “We shared why many felt the symbolism in the float had racial connotations and the messaging missed the mark.”
…Andrews said the meeting resulted in the Odd Fellows organization pledging to review and update their float process, including diversifying the committee members who approve entries.
Let the healing begin, and let conservative news reporters take solace in the fact that they have something very important in common with Eric Holder’s Community Relations Service Team: none of them investigate.