A noose knot hanging from a tree can be a stark reminder of the days of white and black segregation, racism, and lynching for the African-American community in America. Partisan politics has some defending Kathy Griffin’s Trump beheading photo by comparing it to the old Barack Obama noose photo that made waves during Obama’s presidency. Meanwhile, someone is actually placing a real noose at the Smithsonian’s African-American museum, and it’s the second time it’s happened in recent times!
This past Friday, a Smithsonian police officer found a noose hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum, an art museum in Washington D.C. near the National Mall. Then, on Wednesday, the second noose was snuck into an exhibit on segregation in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
“The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity — a symbol of extreme violence for African-Americans,” wrote Lonnie Bunch, director of the African-American museum, according to Smithsonian magazine’s website. “Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African-Americans continue to face.”
Smithsonian museum secretary David Skorton wrote that the institution “stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance,” which they found especially “repugnant” since the noose found at the African-American museum was a direct attack on an organization which supports the “American values of inclusion and diversity.”
“We will not be intimated. Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do,” wrote Skorton.
Smithsonian magazine’s article pointed out that the noose has been appearing in alarming numbers across the United States. These dark reminders of lynching day have been found on college campuses, schools, and even fraternity houses all the way from California to Maryland. It’s claimed these incidences are a “part of a larger wave of violence, intimidation and hate crimes.”
The writer does not stop there. The Smithsonian article then ends on a political note, claiming that hate against black people has surged under President Donald Trump. As an example, they cite the the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has been tracking hate crimes since the 2016 election.
“We haven’t seen such mainstream support for hate in decades, not since the Civil Rights era 50 years ago,” said SPLC spokesperson Ryan Lenz. “We’re witnessing a moment when there are tremendous challenges to the country that we built on pluralism and democracy. The civil rights accorded every American are firmly under threat.”
The fact that the Smithsonian writer blames the nooses on politics is not surprising. Even as we speak, the symbol of the noose is being used as a talking point within partisan politics.
Donald Trump’s Beheading Versus Barack Obama’s Noose
Kathy Griffin’s photo of Trump’s beheading has been extremely controversial ever since it was published by TMZ. Melania Trump was outraged because her 11-year-old son, Barron, briefly mistook the ISIS-like decapitation as being real. In response, CNN fired Griffin and even Squatty Potty dumped the D-list comedian.
Griffin has apologized, saying she “went too far,” but the partisan politics continue to play out on social media. Progressives claimed that Trump incited violence during the 2016 election and in response, conservatives said the U.S. media was covering the Trump beheading in a biased manner, which would not have happened if a celebrity had done something similar to President Barack Obama.
The online debate has culminated in some progressives claiming conservatives did not adequately condemn the Obama noose incident.
To the people who are so upset for Barron Trump, where was the outrage when Sasha and Malia saw images of their dad hanging from a noose?????
— Humble Queen???????? (@YourQueenKiki) May 31, 2017
To all offended by Kathy Griffin’s Trump’s pinata. Remember when President Obama was on a noose during Trump’s rallies. Remember? Remember? pic.twitter.com/uVHSrnejY6
— Mary (@lovealaska1105) May 30, 2017
The Obama noose photo comes from a Wisconsin–Nebraska football game that occurred back in October of 2016. A fan wore an Obama mask while holding a noose. The fan also appeared to be holding a sign that criticized Hillary Clinton. Based upon a statement from UW-Madison, officials asked the fan to remove the “offensive parts,” and the fan complied, but the university also claimed the costume was a “form of free speech.”
Writing for the Canada Free Press, Dan Calabrese claims there’s no moral equivalency between the two incidents since “Kathy Griffin is not some random doofus” and “occasional random chucklehead making an Obama-in-a-noose image doesn’t deserve the attention you’d have to give him in order to condemn him.”
“In order to have actual equivalency here, you’d need a conservative entertainer like Jon Voight, or Tim Allen, or Dennis Miller making a video of themselves putting a noose around Obama’s neck, then sending the video to The Drudge Report, which would publish it,” wrote Calabrese. “Had anything like that happened, you would have heard not only widespread bipartisan condemnation, but days of media coverage about how this proves conservatives are racist. But nothing like that ever did happen, because, thank God, we have no conservative equivalents of Kathy Griffin.”
What do you think?
—???? (@woahohkatie) October 29, 2016
[Featured Image by woahohkatie/Twitter]