Man who hung Halloween dummy in noose apologizes, joins NAACP
By Chris Franklin | For NJ.com
The man who put up a hanging dummy decoration outside his house in Salem County apologized during a local NAACP meeting Thursday evening.
Mannington resident Ryan McDonald had been decorating for Halloween when he placed a prop of a man hanging with a noose around its neck and hands bound behind its back. The face area was a dark complexion. A State Trooper was sent to the home and asked McDonald to take the dummy down. The Salem County NAACP called for an apology for the decoration, which the group called a “hate crime.”
“I sincerely apologize to the community and everybody here for offending anybody,” McDonald said during Thursday’s meeting. “That was clearly not the intent.”
McDonald said that he constructed a gallows for a display he was working on for Halloween and did not expect it to have a negative impact.
“If you look for any DIY on Facebook or any other attraction they have all around the country, they all have a bag over their head. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a burlap bag. It was a pillowcase that I had to go over its head. The dummy that I did make did, in fact, have Caucasian hands that were visible in the pictures. There was nothing that would signify any racism whatsoever that was involved in this.”
McDonald adamantly said he is not racist, and that the exposure of this incident has affected his family, friends, and his community.
“You can call me a lot of things, and a lot of people have, but a racist is not one of them. That is what I will stand to until the day I die. That is the way I was brought up in my family.”
Salem County NAACP President Nelson Carney Jr. thanked McDonald for appearing at the meeting.
“We had a similar incident two years ago in Alloway that did not go as well as this one,” said Carney Jr. “It took a lot of courage for you to come out, and we really appreciate it.”