I have been following several news stories related to the hanging of nooses in public and private places. There seems to be an elevated number of such incidents in the recent months, most notably with the Jena Six case. For the uninitiated, the noose represents every thing repugnant and inhumane regarding the brutal subjugation, violence, and torture directed at African-Americans in the U.S. from the 1600’s until the present. After doing a Google news search, I came up with this following article which stated:
Cases of racial harassment filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission increased 24% last year, a time of racial turmoil that included the Jena Six controversy and an outbreak of noose displays.
The issue regarding the use or display of the noose (as a symbol of racial hatred) is an emotional one for many, and great fodder for a free speech debate. Here is a quote from EEOC chair Naomi Earp:
Nooses are more prevalent. The noose has replaced the N-word … as the choice if you want to threaten or intimidate someone.
There is emerging support for legislation aimed at curbing the contortion of twine into a noose-like shape:
Lawmakers in Maryland, Missouri and New York have introduced legislation that would make it a crime to threaten or intimidate with a noose. New Orleans introduced an ordinance in November. In Washington, D.C., a city council member introduced an anti-noose bill Tuesday.
It seems that this inanimate chunk of fibers has morphed into a vicious murderer (much like Chucky from Child’s Play), ready to lynch anyone within viewing distance. According to Washington, D.C . Councilman, Kwame Brown.:
The noose has been out of control in the country. At some point, America needs to send the message that this will not be tolerated. It’s not a joke.
How exactly is America to send that message Councilman? What are the social and economic costs that will be imposed on those who need the noose for their job duties or holiday celebrations? Will sailors, cattle rustlers, and the erectors of Halloween displays be subject to criminal and civil penalties for utilizing this horrendous display of racism? If the noose is banned, what symbol of hatred is likely to take its place? What device will be next on the government ban list because of the horrid slavery-inducing imagery that it subjectively represents to the viewer?
It is possible that the recent displays of neese emerged to take the place of the N-word. If you remember, that dastardly word was buried (and banished from the lexicon) on July 9, 2007 by the NAACP. Unfortunately the message has not gotten out to the stand-up comedians, the rappers, and Hollywood, because it is still widely used in those circles.
It seems the White-Supremacists, racist nut-jobs, and tobacco-dribbling rednecks can’t figure out what to do without their favorite epithet, so once again, they have resorted to crudely erected visual aids to project their self-loathing inferiority complexes and erectile dysfunction woes. Nonetheless, there are ways to combat the power of this imagery without resorting to unconstitutional free speech abridgment.
One way to do it is to co-opt the device as a form of Black empowerment. Much like the sex-radical feminists who urged women to use their sexuality as a tool for leveling the Patriarchy (by embracing female-empowerment pornography and treating men as sexual conquests rather than marital partners), African-Americans could do the same with this utilitarian chunk of inter-woven threads.
I would implement a guerrilla-marketing campaign buying prominent interstate billboard space and prime-time TV spots portraying blond-haired and blue-eyed women with a black noose around their neck. They would be turning blue and gasping for their last breath at the hands of a Black Panther dressed up in Oakland soldier revolutionary gear and brandishing a Kalashnikov. The ultimate goal would be to turn the propaganda on its head, and claim it for your movement.
Imagery is only as effective as the power it is given. There are numerous groups that substantially benefit from milking the rampant noose epidemic for their own benefit (i.e., Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, Rainbow Coalition, National Action Network, etc.). The noose represents the continuing subjugation and inequality of the American Black Man/Woman in the 21st Century. The noose represents victimhood, fear, and a sense of irrationally directed enmity at a group of persons due to their skin color. But the noose is only a symbol, its only power is derived from convincing people that there is an entity that is willing, and able, to impose its evil will on you.
The elevation of the noose, as a symbol of repressive power, is tantamount to mental slavery. A Pavlovian conditional response has been artificially engineered to sow desperation and fear in the hearts of African-Americans when they see it, or hear reports of its sightings. The race warlords gleefully embrace the next noose sighting as a validation of their tenuous de facto leadership position representing the collective minority viewpoint. When the symbol loses its power, those who benefit from its existence fade into obscurity.
The next time you hear of a noose sighting, think of the miserable failure who put it up. Think of the hatred and inadequacy that lives in the person’s heart that would make them stoop to such a despicable level. But also, know that it is an act of desperation, a feeling of loss of purpose, an obliteration of self-esteem, and a defect of humanity that exists in their rancid soul. To cower in fear, and to seethe in anger, at their display only gives them the power they desperately crave. Take away the symbol’s source of meaning, and you destroy their illegitimate power, and their motivation for erecting it.
A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent – Martin Luther King, Jr.