Nooses at Universities vs. Nooses during Halloween

November 16, 2007

Firstly, nothing is sadder than the fact that there is an abundance of material available for us to even consider such a ridiculous comparison.

It seems that nooses are the new (nazi) swastikas. They are popping up everywhere I turn. Some cowards hang them up anonymously. While others believe it to be a harmless Halloween season decoration. They claim that nooses in these cases do not carries a racist significance and that one is only looking to get offended if they assume so.

Here are some examples before we begin the conversation. First at the Universities:

(N.C. State University) Campus Police responded to a report of a noose being hung last Thursday, after which the news of the incident began to spread around campus and media outlets. (link)

University of Delaware police are investigating a report of a noose spotted on campus, as school officials reaffirm their zero-tolerance policy on hate crimes. (link)

On September 7, a noose was found hanging from a tree outside of the multicultural center at University of Maryland. (link)

Police are trying to find out who hung four nooses in a classroom on the Central Michigan University campus. A student discovered the hangman’s nooses in the Engineering and Technology Building on Monday. (link)

Did anyone catch that? I didn’t even need to allude to the incident at Columbia University. But I digress. Let’s now look at cases involving nooses during Halloween season.

A Gahanna man removed a noose from a display after hearing complaints from those who considered the decorations offensive. (link)

A Stratford family became the focus of attention when their Halloween display, featuring a figure hanging from a noose, offended some people. (link)

A Halloween-happy man discovered this week that decorating his city trash truck with nooses was a bad idea, especially in light of recent events nationwide. (link)

Will you help me figure out what is worse? Because I can’t decide. The fact that the perpetrators at the academic institution are aware of nooses’ history in America as primarily being used to lynch black folks. Or the fact that a certain population of this country is ignorant of this piece of history and unintentionally offend many.

I come to the conclusion that you should face some criminal charges if responsible for either scenario. Intentional or unintentional, ignorance is never an excuse to offend anyone. And neither is knowledge.

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4 Responses to “Nooses at Universities vs. Nooses during Halloween”

  1. Abdul Kargbo Says:

    “Will you help me figure out what is worse? Because I can’t decide. The fact that the perpetrators at the academic institution are aware of nooses’ history in America as primarily being used to lynch black folks. Or the fact that a certain population of this country is ignorant of this piece of history and unintentionally offend many.”

    I know you weren’t trying to be funny but I couldn’t help chuckling as I read this last paragraph.

    You are so right.

    But, put yourself on the other side of the debate. How dare us hypersensitive minorities ruin all the fun by getting offended at everything. :-)

  2. Blair Says:

    The news media has also begin sprinkling nooses througout articles that have no connection to the controvesy over noose-hanging incidents. Just yesterday, I noticed a headline that read, “The Noose Tightens on Subprime Mortgages.” Other example include artilces about special forces “tightening the noose” around terrorists in Afghanstan. Can this just be a coincidence, or has the press become racially insensitive?


  3. Abdul,

    Firstly, I’m humbled you visiting my lil ol blog site. Thanks.

    I’m genuinely concerned for the kids who simply consider themselves white… or American (with limited knowledge of their true history). The real confidence you gain from knowing of your background allows you to move forward as a person that otherwise would have an influenced personality. You certainly don’t want that.


  4. Blair,

    Although that’s a popular name, I’m curious if you’re my friend from college. If so, I can’t thank you enough for being there for a vegetarian. For real, for real.

    I actually have seen such headlines in the news. And yes, that is not cool. I am a person in the newspaper business, and have to come up with creative headlines for stories often. But I know to not cross a line to prove a point.

    I think having the word subprime in a headline alone is enough to attract the concerned. Why insult a bystander in the process?

    But, really, thanks for bringing up the point I hadn’t originally considered.


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