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NAACP condemns Upper Macungie auto repair station after black doll found hanging in shop

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Joseph Davis went to Getz Service Station in Upper Macungie Township on Monday morning for a routine matter: picking up a totaled car.

 

But when Davis, a Bethlehem resident and the owner of Tactical Towing, left the Getz office and walked past the garage, he noticed something odd through one of the open garage doors.

 

It was a black baby doll, apparently hanging from a shelf with a white loop around its neck. The imagery of the noose is connected to the history of lynching in the U.S., particularly in the South after the Civil War, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

 

Davis said he stayed calm, walked back into the office and brought the man behind the desk out to the garage to look at the doll. The man giggled and said he didn’t know who put it there, Davis said.

 

As Davis left, he noticed the doll was still hanging there. So he snapped a picture and posted about it on Facebook, where it was shared more than 5,000 times.

 

“There are so many things wrong with it,” he said. “What if a child saw that, especially a black child ... saw a black baby doll hanging by a noose? That has to hurt ... it’s degrading.”

 

After it was contacted about the incident, the Allentown branch of the NAACP wrote to AAA asking the organization to rescind its contract with Getz.

 

“This disgusting scene represents racial hatred and child abuse that has no place in our society or any other,” the NAACP wrote.

 

A woman who picked up the phone at Getz on Thursday said everyone at the garage regrets what happened and that the doll has been removed. The station, which repairs cars and trucks and offers 24-hour towing, was established in 1978, according to its website.

 

“We have zero tolerance for racial insensitivity,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “It really wasn’t what it appeared to be and was not racially motivated by any means. It was just one of the weird things you don’t think about.”

 

A spokesman for AAA on Tuesday said member services for Getz have been suspended pending an investigation. It was not immediately clear what those services are, but shops with AAA “approved auto repair” are prescreened for quality auto work, according to the organization’s website.

 

“We are aware of the disturbing situation and we take these allegations very seriously,” the AAA spokesman said in an email.

Barbara Redmond, secretary for the Allentown NAACP, said the image of the doll references racial hate and sends a message that the people who put it there are insensitive.

Davis said he supports the NAACP letter.

 

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