Michael Baerga" />
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Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Racism still alive and well in the U.S.

Experts are comparing the noose to a modern-day burning cross after recent events have roped-in a suspicious coincidence of hate. Upon returning to his workstation at a construction site near Pittsburgh, Errol Madyun found a neatly fastened, thick noose, strong enough for a man.

In another instance less than 500 miles from Madyun’s discovery, Terry Grier, superintendent of the Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, was shocked when he found a similar monstrosity hanging from a flagpole last month at a predominately black High School.

The seemingly hateful acts that have occurred in the aftermath of Jena, La., have concerned law enforcement authorities, including the Justice Department, throughout the nation – especially in the Louisiana town that has been stricken with racial strife after being the scene of a recent civil rights demonstration.

Many instances and sightings of nooses have sprouted across the nation after the spotlighted event of the Jena Six.

At the University of Maryland, nooses were found looped on a tree. At a Memphis theater, nooses were tied to the end of stage ropes. At Columbia University, a noose was found on a professor’s door, and at a Long Island police station, a noose was found hanging in a locker room.

All these instances give the nation deja vu of the prolific sign, which has the same connotations as the Nazi Swastika and the Ku Klux Klan’s burning cross.

With high volumes of lynching during the late 1880s to early 1930s, Congress rebuffed appeals to civil rights groups to pass laws outlawing such acts.

Last June the Senate passed a resolution apologizing for not taking action by passing anti-lynching legislation that could have helped to reduce violence.

Yet nooses are still being utilized for intimidating blacks.

Although we as a nation feel that we have come to accept everyone for who they are without considering race or ethnicity, reminders such as the nooses take us back to the realization that hate is still among us. These signs, unfortunately, are intentional and meant to instill fear and intimidation.

To further grieve the situation, the Justice Department and law enforcement offices have been deeply criticized for not aggressively pursuing these cases after they could not recall any arrests for hate crimes involving the nooses.

Students throughout the nation have displayed their concern in a serious manner by protesting, organizing demonstrations and open prayer.

Why don’t the youth of the nation take the upper hand in combating hate in our world?

Peace among the races is still active among us, and we can decrease the separation by considering and reducing our judgment of one another as a nation.

Many wonder if this is in fact a pressing issue because of the misconception that there will always be threats and racism and that the fight against hate crimes is endless.

But efforts to go the right direction can lead us to social acceptance of one another as long as we stop viewing everything as black and white.

Baerga, a communication junior, can be reached via [email protected]

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