WASHINGTON—Late yesterday, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) reported that visitors found a noose in an exhibition on segregation. The incident came just days after another noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum nearby. In recent weeks, nooses have also been found at two universities in the Washington, DC area.
In response, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“These incidents, taken together or individually, are clear evidence that the strain of hatred and bigotry that has targeted Black and African American people throughout our country’s history persists. This kind of brutality and intimidation is intolerable and unacceptable.
“It’s also impossible to view these incidents without being reminded of the deadly consequences of racism. Only last month, just a few miles from our nation’s capital, a black student was murdered by an attacker with ties to white supremacist groups. The victim of that crime, Richard W. Collins III, is the latest casualty in a long history of violence directed at African Americans in this country.
“Unfortunately, these incidents aren’t isolated; they’re symptomatic of our country’s long history of white supremacy. It’s long past time for leaders at the national level and at the grassroots to make clear that these incidents won’t be tolerated. In our own communities we need to make clear that we won’t stand by idly while our neighbors are threatened, demeaned and attacked. We can’t ignore our country’s past, and we can’t allow ourselves to believe that this kind of violence is inevitable. We need to stand firm and live our values until every person can live their life safe from violence and discrimination.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.