Hanging Figure Angers Neighbors

Residents in a small Bryan County community are very upset about a human figure hanging from a noose in a neighbor's front yard. They claim it's not only disturbing to look at, but blatantly racist.

We spoke with several people on Daniel Siding Loop, west of Richmond Hill on Highway 17. What people are saying depends on whom you ask.

"We have been in Bryan County for 65 years and have never experienced anything like this," said Clarence Jackson, Jr., a local pastor.

Hanging from a noose under a tree, with a mask painted black, is the figure pictured here. Some neighbors feel this was put up to send them a message.

"It is wrong, immoral and disgraceful and it should be removed immediately," said Jackson, who is black.

The man who lives on the property, who is white, wouldn't go on camera. He said this hanging figure has nothing to do with racism. It was put there for Halloween, nothing more.

Neighbors disagree. "If it was for Halloween, it could have been a skeleton or you know, not something black," said neighbor Arthur Miller, also black. "It didn't have to be nothing white. A skeleton or a damn pumpkin, anything, but hanging a black person up there like that with his hands tied behind his back...."

People who live along the road hope their neighbor takes this figure down, but they aren't counting on it.

We spoke with several people this afternoon. Most declined to go on camera because they were scared something bad might happen to them or their families if they spoke out.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com