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A model train display in the Galleria at Sunset Mall in Las Vegas, Nevada has been taken down following complaints of racism.
The display featured two trains rolling on tracks around various scenes, one of which was three white people preparing to hang a Black man. The display was created by The Las Vegas Garden Railway Society and was up from May 30 to July 5.
The president of the Las Vegas Garden Railway Society, Sue Jerrems, apologized for the display, saying they never meant to offend anybody. “We never looked at it as a Black man before,” Jerrems told the Las Vegas Sun. “It was just part of a frontier scene. It had no racist implications. Once someone pointed out the implications of it, we took it down. We apologized.”
Residents along with the National Action Network(NAN) of Las Vegas expressed their anger with the scene with a protest outside the mall. “Community members are outraged that a racist train display showing a Black man being prepared to be hung was tolerated and allowed at the mall for hundreds of children, families & community members to see,” said NAN in a statement, KLAS reported.
Steve Sisolak, Governor of Nevada, Tweeted about the display Monday, July 11.
Racism has no home here in Nevada.
This is completely unacceptable and our community deserves answers.https://t.co/OViGQfrF9q
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) July 11, 2022
Racist train display taken down at Las Vegas mall
The mall is owned by the company Brookfield Properties. The company had apologized by saying that while the mall had approved the train display, they were unaware of the specifics of the display.
“We’re truly sorry, we want to apologize to everyone who was offended by this, and everyone should be offended. … We are horrified and truly apologize.” Lindsay Kahn, the director of public relations for Brookfield Properties, told the Sun.
Brookfield Properties has said that while the Garden Railway Society was cooperative in removing the display, the mall would not be working with them again in the future.