by Max Brantley
Many will remember a lively discussion here about an effigy (pictured) hanging from a tree alongside Interstate 30 in Bryant. It was part of the decor for Field of Screams, an annual commercial Halloween event. Its resemblance to images of lynchings drew some people up short, even though it was displayed near advertising for the event. It was a hot topic, particularly, among many black people.
Mark Hicks of Field of Screams said the organization had fielded complaints both from people struck by its scary realism and from some who perceived racial overtones. So it was taken down last week.
"We took the prop down out of sensitivity and the fact that we are not out to offend anyone," he wrote. "It was right next to our sign, and was only meant to be an attention getter, to go along with the sign. Frankly, in this day and age, we we're shocked and dismayed that anyone would draw the type of conclusion that some drew ..." He added, "We were not out to offend anyone."