There needs to be a hell of a lot of hate in your heart to think lynching people on Halloween is funny. Yet here we are, Miami. A homeowner in Three Lakes, a small community in West Kendall, is celebrating the holiday by lynching two black-looking dummies in his or her front yard.
It's also impossible to ignore what's just in front of the display on the same lawn: A "Trump/Pence 2016" sign.
The Three Lakes Property Owners Association, which governs the small community off the Turnpike at SW 120th Street, has confirmed to New Times that the photo is authentic.
The two hanging figures are faceless, but their skin appears to be dark. They're each wearing traditionally "hip-hop" clothing: one with a sports jersey and a crooked baseball cap, and the other with sagging jeans.
Black activists have been circulating the photos on Facebook all day and calling for a quick response from the neighborhood.
The community's property manager, Orelys Canas, tells New Times they've contacted the homeowner and asked him or her to remove the figures. Canas confirmed the house was in Three Lakes but said she could not give the homeowner's name or address.
She says that she received a complaint about the decorations today and that the homeowner has not yet responded.
"The association takes it seriously, and everybody is concerned," she said. "We can only reach out and wait to see if the homeowner responds."
There's ignorance, such as dressing up in blackface for Halloween because you're a dumb white kid with no knowledge of the practice's racist history (though this is still extremely not OK), and then there's this. Staging a mock lynching in your front yard tells black people they are neither welcome nor safe in their own communities.
Donald Trump and his campaign have repeatedly denied that their dog-whistle politics have enabled white supremacists, racists, or anti-Semites. Trump's supporters — especially the Republican politicians who support him — have found convenient ways to dance around the fact that some portion of Trump's base is, by all indications, motivated by racial hatred.
But the proof in this case is clear. It's hanging from a tree in Miami today.
Update #1: After publication, two people called New Times and said the sign and the display were in adjoining yards. Neither would give a name. One of them, who said he hung the display, asserted that he was just making it "scary for Halloween" and that it's "not racist, nothing political." He declined to say whom he supports for president. The other, who said the Trump/Pence sign was hers, threatened to sue. "It's not true," she said. Asked what was untrue, she said, "The picture, the whole thing."
The male caller who said he was the property owner sent this photograph to clarify. He said he's posted a sign out front that reads, "Please don't be ignorant, it's Halloween!"
Update #2: Two anonymous sources sent New Times additional photographs of the display taken around 6 p.m. this past Sunday. One described himself as a conservative who said the display offended him. Both said they were black.
"I'm, like, beyond shocked," the other tipster said. "I've never experienced this kind of shock in my life. We are in 2016, in Miami-Dade County. What the hell?" She added: "Imagine a parent trying to explain a display of that sort. Of all places, Miami-Dade County?"