Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ghost Display At Zoo Racist

Ghost Display At Zoo Racist, A ghost display at the St. Louis Zoo has been taken down after community members complained the display was racist. The display, which featured faceless, black-headed ghosts hanging from trees, was part of the St. Louis Zoo's annual Halloween decorations. Chris Burchett lodged a formal complaint with the zoo when he saw the display on Facebook.
He told KYUE "it was like a complete outrage to me, it was very hurtful ... The picture appeared to be black people hanging from a rope. It's impossible that you could not see that that's racist you know, there's no way."The ghost display at the zoo was not created by St. Louis Zoo personnel and was designed by an outside vendor. At night, the display looks different because the ghosts faces light up and produce an eerie glow in the trees. Wyndel Hill, Vice President of Internal Relations at the St. Louis Zoo, said that "we've looked at what we've seen in terms of photographs, we've discussed and we've made the decision that we'll take them down."

The St. Louis Zoo also posted a message in the comments section of its Facebook page:

'Please know that our Halloween decorations were never intended to offend anyone. The faces of our new ghostly beings floating amongst the trees were designed to glow in the dark during our Boo at the Zoo Nights event starting Friday. In daylight, these decorations have a different look, and in order to prevent any misunderstanding or possible offense, we are removing them. We do apologize for any concerns this may have caused.'

Facebook users also weighed in on the controversy:

"Aren't these decorations for a nighttime Boo @ The Zoo event? If so, then the black cloth on the decorations will blend in @ night & all you'll see is the clothing, floating above. It's an old theater trick. Nothing intentionally racist here."

"The faces should NOT be black. You are missing the whole point!! To many Black people, it sends a subliminal msg...negroes hanging from a tree/lynching! Don't tell someone not to complain if you don't understand why they are complaining! They should've hung up Casper & called it a day! Oops, then some of you people will get mad if Blacks liken Casper to the KKK!!! Give me a break with your bulls#&! excuses for the zoo. They took it down because they knew it was offensive. Don't make me call Al Sharpton!!!"

"Holy crap people, REALLY?! This type of hyper-sensitivity is getting out of hand. Do people really walk around and look for things that they find racially insensitive? Would it have been better, or more appropriate if these "ghosts" had Asian faces? Or white faces? THEY'RE FREAKING HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS, FOLKS. Get a grip on reality and whats important. Put that pent up energy into something worthy."

"I understand what they were trying to do. But I must easy that when I saw the picture on my news feed, that's the first thought that came to mind. Yes, it is 2012. However racism, the kind that led to lynchings in the not so distant past, still exists. It is easy for people who have not experienced it first hand to not understand."

Like most issues dealing with race, emotions run high on both sides. As of now the display has been taken down and the controversy will no longer haunt the St. Louis Zoo.
Title: Ghost Display At Zoo Racist
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