Man Says Obama Mask On Monkey Not Racist

Craig Co., VA - A Craig County man has stirred up some controversy with a political display-- that includes a monkey statue with a President Obama mask on it.

Curtis Caldwell says he cannot stand the President - but claims the monkey itself has nothing to do with the President's race.

So he enlisted the help of one of his fake front yard animals, Moe the Monkey, to help get that message out.

"I wasn't trying to make any racial comments about Obama, I just think he's a horrible President. Gotta be defeated. Need to get rid of him," said Caldwell.

The current Moe is a reminder of another monkey, named Moe, that Caldwell's unit had during the Vietnam War.

The new Moe normally sits in a chair greeting people as they come to Caldwell's house.

"He's more than ready to go back to his duties over there. He didn't like this idea in the first place," Caldwell joked.

Not a chance just yet. Caldwell has a lock on his monkey to make sure he stays put.

"My monkey is expensive. I bought him in Florida a few years ago and I don't want anyone walking off with him," said Caldwell.

There is no denying that this display is provocative... as it sits beneath a confederate flag for all to see. But he insists the monkey and the man are just coincidence.

After all he has other animals in his menagerie... however no other quite fit in the display properly. Still leaves wide open one obvious question:

Reporter: "But you gotta understand there's a history of racists linking monkey's to African Americans. You can understand that?"

"I do understand that, yes, but if I had a kangaroo or a bear, I would have put the mask on the bear or kangaroo. I just happened to have a statue of a monkey," answered Caldwell.

Caldwell says the only way he will take that display down before the election is if members of each major party donate $500 to the Craig County Sheriff's Department Christmas Food Bank.