A photograph from a Halloween corn-maze in Tennessee is causing controversy on social media. The image is entitled “Hung up,” and features a white man stringing up what appears to be an African-American child with a noose. The child, however, is actually white and wearing blackface.
One visitor to the corn-maze, Timothy Moore, told WMC-TV’s Action 5 News that “the issue is you have a Caucasian man with a young boy, not even an African American boy, but a young boy with black face. [It's] almost like minstrel times just hanging from a noose. It’s something that shouldn’t be tolerated.”
Chris Taylor, who owns the corn-maze, says that it’s “a medieval scene,” and that “[t]here’s a little bit of black makeup on his face. He sometimes wears a mask, but it’s more camouflage.” Although execution by hanging was the most common form of execution in medieval England, it is unclear why the victim would be wearing camouflage.
Taylor insists he never meant for the scene to offend, but Timothy Moore says “I’ve had relatives that were lynched and my great grandmother was a slave. So, to see something that depicts slavery and not only slavery but the ugly side where lynches occurred, it was so insensitive to the African American community.”
Taylor told Action News 5 that he has no plans of making any changes to the maze.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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