The float, which won the prize for most patriotic unit in the northwestern Indiana town's parade, featured a man dressed as Uncle Sam holding a leash that bound the hands of a bearded man in a robe and turban. The robe was splattered with fake blood because it was a leftover Halloween costume, said Penny Kozinski of Supporters of the Military, which sponsored the display.
The group intended to use the entry to publicize its mission of sending care packages to troops overseas.
Some who saw the float Monday or photos of it later said it was not clear who the man in the turban was supposed to represent. Some said they viewed it as an insult to Muslims in general.
"Maybe they didn't mean anything racist, but if I saw that coming down the street, I would have been offended," said Tarek Shahbandar, who was shown a photo of the float Tuesday at the Northwest Indiana Islamic Center in Crown Point.
From the WTF file...
has a story on a Fourth of July parade float that was obviously in extremely poor taste. What the hell were these people thinking? Maybe if they'd asked nice enough they could have gotten Charles Graner to be the Grand Marshall.