TRABUCO CANYON (CBSLA.com) — Some neighbors of a Trabuco Canyon resident are decidedly upset by some Halloween decorations they deem racist.
The decorations including a skeleton hanging by a noose, a South Texas sign and a Confederate flag.
The home is located in the 30 block of Homestead Drive in the Wagon Wheel section of Trabuco Canyon.
KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin reported from the location Sunday and said the controversial decorations have definitely divided the neighborhood.
While many said the images were upsetting, others maintained it’s all in keeping in the spirit of Halloween.
Edgy and funny? Or simply racist?
Next to the lit-up ghost and the “Happy Halloween” signs, there is a large Confederate flag and a skeleton hanging from a noose.
Many neighbors said the images were neither funny, scary or spooky — just offensive.
“I was extremely offended, I can’t believe they think that’s okay or that it’s a holiday joke,” said one woman.
She didn’t want to be identified, but says before the neighbor switched it out, the person hanging from a noose wasn’t a skeleton but a black person.
“If they think it’s a joke, there’s a million other things you could do on Halloween than hang a black person from a house and put the Confederate flag up,” she said. “I mean, I’m appalled.”
The homeowner who put up the decorations declined to go on camera but told Nochlin it was all meant to be innocent fun.
He took the dark red mask off the skeleton when he heard from some neighbors that people were offended. He said the dark mask on the skeleton was never supposed to be a black person.
And the neighbor says there are plenty of people on his side.
“It’s the depiction of a movie, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, one of the funniest Halloween movies ever,” said a neighbor named David.
“As a Hispanic Mexican, I’m not offended. It doesn’t mean nothing to me up there. It’s just a scarecrow in my eyes, I’ve lived here for three years and he’s been up there every year and now all of the sudden it’s an issue,” said Mike, another neighbor.
Others are coming down in the middle of the debate. They recognize the homeowner’s First Amendment rights, but question his motives.
“If you want to make changes, you gotta start with something as simple as this,” said one offended neighbor.
There’s nothing illegal about the decorations so ultimately it’s up to the homeowner to decide if they should stay up, Nochlin reported.