BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The postal service and a Long Island homeowner are in a standoff over a Halloween decoration.
Richard Beatty has been decorating his Brentwood house for years with homemade Halloween decor, including makeshift gallows and a noose with a skeleton hanging from it. On several occasions, the noose has just been swinging empty.
But this year, after the decorations went up, he heard a knock at the door.
“The postmaster himself came here and knocked on my door and said he was suspending my mail until I took this stuff down, and I said, do what you have to do because I’m not taking it down,” Beatty told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
A postal carrier on Long Island refused to deliver a Brentwood man’s mail because of a noose in the front yard among other Halloween decorations.
Beatty’s idea of trick-or-treat fun was offensive to his African-American mailman.
“I think it’s ridiculous … It’s not meant to be racist. It’s not meant to offend anybody. It’s here to be scary, spooky. It’s a graveyard. It’s spooky. It’s Halloween. That’s what it’s all about,” Beatty said.
But that’s not what the noose is all about to many. The noose has been long considered an offensive symbol of hate, recalling a painful chapter of history.
“It isn’t just a Halloween decoration. He needs to take it down because he’s disrespecting the other African-American neighbors,” one neighbor said.
“Maybe it’s just for decoration, but at the same time, you know, in the age that we live in, you never know,” another neighbor said.