A float in a 4 July parade featured an image of US president Barack Obama inside a toilet, with the caption "Lying African".
The parade, which took place in the small town of Sheridan, in Hamilton County, Indiana, was attended by families from around the town who were shocked to see the racist float.
Darryl Brownie, 31, who snapped a picture of the float, told the IndyStar: "The parade, it's for kids. This is Independence Day. It was just wrong."
But the man who was driving the float – who wore a mask during the parade – told the paper he didn't believe the float was racist and was not intended to offend anyone.
Don Christy, 73, said: "I apologise to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal. I have my right to say things. Isn't that what the Fourth of July's about? Freedom.
"I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican, I'm a patriot."
It is believed the septuagenarian did not officially enter his float in the parade, instead just lining up alongside the official entrants in order to take part.
His float also featured a Donald Trump banner on top of the cart, with an image of a lion on the front, with the caption "Africa Lion" and "Lying African" on the back.
But he was neither barred at the start of the parade nor pulled out in the middle, forcing spectators to watch as the float went by.