Parade float causes controversy

Published: Jun. 21, 2019 at 9:14 PM CDT
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The celebration of Highmore's 50th annual Settler's Day was a success.

"It's just a wonderful time to get together and come back home," said Vikki Day, the Mayor of Highmore.

But one parade float did get people talking.

"I had to think about it with the mask of Obama, coming out as racist," said Jeff Damer, the creator of the controversial float.

The float portrays former President Barack Obama in a cage with Hillary Clinton, while current President Donald Trump stands on the outside.

"I just wanted to put it out there, it was just my view that I feel that they should be charged, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton," said Damer.

Damer's float has stirred up a lot of talk on social media. Highmore Mayor Vikki Day says city officials have received a lot of messages from people who think she shouldn't have allowed the float.

"My stance, and the city's stance is that every person has a right to the first amendment, to express his or her speech, and the expressions of it, we do not regulate that," said Day.

Jeff Damer tells me his biggest regret is shedding a bad light on the town that he loves.

He has been in conversation with South Dakota blogger Kevin Woster, who thinks the float came off very offensive.

"Well when I saw that, to me it was objectionable," said Kevin Woster, opponent of Damer's float.

Woster and Damer have spoken about the float, and it's message.

"He was civil the whole time, he tried to moderate his page, cussing, insults, this and that, he deleted a bunch of some really hateful things," said Damer.

"We've stayed in contact, and I think we got to talking pretty good, and I think we're making some progress," said Woster.

Both men are pleased they have been able to find some common ground. Both hope this isn't a black eye on Highmore for a long time.