We Should Never Allow Anyone In This Country To Threaten Our President With A Noose
I was instantly angry when I read the news that some moron in Georgia hanged an effigy of President Barack Obama with a noose. The only thing that could have fueled such an act had to be that infamous Georgia racism. I pulled a profile of the perpetrator out my ass. Only somebody white who watches FOX News and rolls a full size domestic pickup truck with a Confederate flag in the rear window or on a bumper sticker or on some mud flaps or on some combination of the three. This was done by somebody who has one of those belt buckles that could double as the centerpiece of some cowboy themed Sprewells. This was done by somebody so stupid they think an innuendo is an Italian suppository. This was done by a person who still insists that Mr. Obama is not an American citizen because his Hawaiian birth certificate doesn’t come from the United States.
But then I saw a post from somebody who reminded me that former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin was hanged in effigy when she was Senator John McCain’s running mate in the conservative’s bid for the White House. And then I remembered seeing pictures of Democratic Representative Frank Kratovil hanging in effigy. And while I was amazed to see conservatives celebrating the imagery of a lynching, I didn’t get nearly as incensed. In fact, I didn’t get incensed at all. What gives? Am I so racially biased that I could tolerate the symbolism of white people being lynched?
It would seem that way if somebody was to take nothing more than a scratch the surface examination of the issue. But the suggestion of a hanging black man is an image that has much deeper connotations in America than the hanging of any white man.
Yes, it is true that white people have been hanged here in America. But more often than not, a white man was hanged after he’s been charged and convicted of a horrendous crime and received the death penalty. More often than not, a white man being lynched was a state sanctioned event. Conversely, America has a rich history of black men being lynched at the whims of white mobs with nothing but hate in their hearts and without the slightest inclination for anything resembling justice. Let a black man whistle at a white woman and dude might as well wave a please lynch me sign. Better yet, let someone simply accuse a black man of looking at a white woman and his ass was grass and white people were the racism powered lawnmower.
So when I see a white person hanging in effigy, I see a political statement. I honestly don’t think there are many people who actually mean Sarah Palin harm. No, she’s not number one on a lot of people’s best friend forever list. But I seriously doubt if there are many people who actually mean her harm.
The same cannot be said about the first black President of the United States. Rumor has it that the United States Secret Service is working overtime investigating all the credible threats against America’s first black first family. People don’t even want to accept the fact that Mr. Obama is their Commander-in-Chief because they refuse to believe he’s an American citizen or some other nonsense. And these are the same people who would be more than happy to wear a loaded automatic rifle to a political event featuring an appearance by our latest President. Does anybody really know how many people were waving their signs saying that the tree of freedom needed somebody’s blood as they came to one of those public political events mad at Sarah Palin? Now does anybody have any idea how many people were waving their signs and sending subtle threats to Mr. Obama?
It can be reasonably argued that the same mentality that enabled angry white mobs to hang black men by the neck like so many Christmas ornaments is the same mentality that still threatens black people today. We occasionally here about the subtle threat of a noose against black people. And after America finally mustered the collective will to put this shameful form of race based terrorism against black people down for good, too many people from the dominant community continue to dismiss this type of thing as nothing serious. It’s just a little wholesome fun.
Whenever I see black people threatened by a noose, or with anything associated with a noose, it strikes a nerve in my psyche and puts my senses on edge. The fact that we as a country continue to tolerate black people being threatened by nooses is sad. But the fact that we would not only tolerate but will go so far as to defend somebody threatening our first black President with a noose is truly a sad commentary on our country. To threaten the first black President with a noose is to kick open all kinds of doors of racial discrimination. It can be a stark reminder that some of us see our President as little more than another black face. And we all know how some of our fellow citizens, much too many truth be told, feel about black people. Too many of us wouldn’t have a problem going back to the blatant racial disparity that this country tolerated as an institution for so long. Consequently, I suspect that too many of us actually enjoy the idea of a black man being threatened with a noose regardless of their status.
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