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Ask Amy: Grandson in distress needs immediate help

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My husband believes that perhaps they don't understand the deep racial implications of this statute and that we should talk to them.

I believe that, of course, these people know this, and that this statute is a message to any African Americans looking to build in our community that they should move on.

Our covenants prohibit political displays, but says nothing about lawn art.

What should we do? We don't want to live in a community that displays hate.

– Troubled

Dear Troubled: In researching your question, I’ve become aware that there is a “false history” to the lawn jockey by some who have claimed these objects were originally used as beacons of sorts by the Underground Railroad, guiding slaves toward escape.

 

This has been widely debunked. The Black lawn jockey is a racist symbol, and it’s hard to imagine any modern person seeing it as anything else.

Your neighbors have made a visual declaration: “We like this!” And so, as with any visual décor outside the home – whether it is a planting, a sculpture, a mural, or a flag – you can ask them about it: “Hi. Welcome to the neighborhood. We’re curious about this object you’re displaying in your yard. Can you tell us about it?”

You can then respond frankly: “We want you to know that this is a racist display, and it is offensive.”

Do you condo owners own the lawn outside your units? (These are often considered “limited common elements.”)

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