Over the past few months, numerous sightings of nooses hanging in the District and surrounding areas have occurred. Two were hung at the National Museum of African American History and Culture — one inside of the gallery and the other outside on a tree. Days earlier a noose was found outside of the Hirshhorn Museum. A noose, along with bananas, was found on the campus of American University and another at the University of Maryland. Last week, a noose was found hanging at a construction site in Southeast across from an elementary school and this past weekend one was found hanging from a lamppost near the National Gallery of Art.
Nooses are showing up all across the country, as well, at places as far away as West Oakland, California, where longshoreman walked off the job after finding a number of nooses placed on a fence, the ground and on trucks. At Purchase College in New York, a noose and swastikas were found outside of a dorm, and late last year, nooses were found at a Calvert County construction site and last month in front of a window at Crofton Middle School in Maryland.
A noose is an intimidating and threatening symbol of racism and violence known all too well by Blacks. While former President Barack Obama was deeply criticized for not speaking out on the issue of race, Americans cannot let this president escape from speaking out on the issue of racism and the racist acts occurring almost in his own backyard. His weak response to the growing acts of intimidation and violence against Blacks and Muslims only serves to tacitly condone it.
Trump’s message to his supporters that he would “Make America Great Again” has manifested itself in his appointment of mostly white men to positions in his administration in violation of equal employment opportunity laws, and has served as a green light to those who feel it’s their duty to support their president by sending racist messages to Black Americans in the form of a noose.
Mr. Trump, Americans need to know where you stand on ending racism and racist acts impacting innocent Americans. Unless you formally react to these racist incidents, your silence will speak volumes, which becomes yet another reason why you must go.