A town hall meeting is being held tonight in Washington, D.C. after a noose was found hanging from the doorway of a house under construction in the southeast section of the city. The incident is the latest in a spate of discoveries involving the symbol of racial hatred in the nation’s capital. Police are investigating, and the city’s mayor is speaking out.
“We do not take these incidents lightly, and we will not accept that signs of hate are signs of our time,” said Washington, D.C. mayor, Muriel Bowser.
Recently, The Smithsonian found two nooses on its grounds. The most disturbing occurred at the National Museum of African American History and Culture where the noose had been placed in an exhibit.
The museum’s Founding Director, Lonnie Bunch expressed his concern on Twitter. He tweeted: “Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face. This was a horrible act, but it is a stark reminder of why our work is so important.”
A guard found the other noose on the grounds of the Hirshhorn Museum.
Nooses are being used at an alarming rate to intimidate all around the country. Once considered a relic from the Jim Crow era, nooses are reappearing on college and high school campuses.
Perhaps, the most talked about incident occurred at American University in Washington, D.C. shortly after an African American woman was elected student body president for the first time in the history of the University. Bananas were hung from nooses which had been tied to trees.
The FBI is now part of the investigation along with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Both agencies are working with campus police on what they call a hate crime. In a statement, University President Neil Kerwin said, “We are working as hard as we can to identify those responsible for the egregious, racist, hateful act.”
In the Midwest at Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, administrators opened an investigation after a noose was found hanging from a tree. The noose was quickly removed. University President Richard Myers described the act as “intolerable.”
The hate is not confined to college campuses. Four students at Wakefield High School in North Carolina are accused of hanging a black teddy bear by a noose, and at a high school near Lafayette, Louisiana police are investigating a noose hung from a tree on the Westminster Christian Academy campus. According to the school, the three young men allegedly involved are no longer students.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said in a press release, “This kind of incident should not have happened and will affect both sides the rest of their lives.” He added, “Jokes or actions like this are hateful, humiliating, and degrading to the persons who they are directed to and will cast a very dark shadow on the students that performed the actions for the rest of their lives.”