Nooses show­ing up more in hate in­ci­dents across coun­try.

Two found out­side Smith­so­nian mu­se­ums in D.C.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY JESSE J. HOL­LAND

Nooses have ap­peared re­cently around the na­tion’s cap­i­tal — in­clud­ing at the Smith­so­nian’s new African-Amer­i­can his­tory mu­seum — in a rash of in­ci­dents that ex­perts say shows the grow­ing use of hate sym­bols in the U.S. to try to in­tim­i­date mi­nori­ties.

“We’ve seen a spike in the use of sym­bols of hate lately, and the noose is one more ex­am­ple,” said Deni­son Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Jack Shuler, who has stud­ied lynch­ing and noose im­agery in the U.S.

Two nooses were found at Smith­so­nian mu­se­ums in the past week, one out­side the Hir­sh­horn Mu­seum last Fri­day and one in­side the Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture on Wed­nes­day.

Ba­nanas tied to nooses were dis­cov­ered at Amer­i­can Univer­sity in the Dis­trict last month, while a noose was found at the nearby Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park and a sub­ur­ban mid­dle school in Crofton, Mary­land.

Two 19-year-old white men were ar­rested and charged with hate crimes for al­legedly hang­ing the noose at the Crofton school. No ar­rests have been made in the other cases.

This comes as other episodes of big­otry have shaken the coun­try, in­clud­ing the spray-paint­ing of a racial slur on the gate of bas­ket­ball su­per­star LeBron James’ man­sion in Los Angeles on Wed­nes­day.

In Port­land, Ore­gon, two white peo­ple were stabbed to death last Fri­day af­ter they tried to stop a white man from shout­ing anti-Mus­lim slurs at two young women. One of the women was wear­ing a Mus­lim head cov­er­ing, and both were black.

The South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter, which tracks big­otry, said it has seen an in­crease in hate in­ci­dents in the U.S. since the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Trump. Be­tween Elec­tion Day and Feb. 1, the SPLC said, it col­lected in­for­ma­tion on about 1,800 hatere­lated episodes from al­most every state.

“In the past, it would be a cou­ple hundred at most, and that would be high,”

said Heidi Beirich, direc­tor of the In­tel­li­gence Project at the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter.

Loops of rope have long been used to in­tim­i­date African-Amer­i­cans be­cause they evoke lynch­ings. The non­profit Equal Jus­tice Ini­tia­tive said there were 4,075 lynch­ings of blacks in the South to spread racial ter­ror be­tween 1877 and 1950.

For blacks, the noose is “com­pa­ra­ble in

the emo­tions that it evokes to that of the swastika for Jews,” the Anti-Defama­tion League said.

“I’ve seen in the last cou­ple of months more in­stances of nooses be­ing used to in­tim­i­date peo­ple,” said Mr. Shuler, au­thor of “The Thir­teenth Turn: A His­tory of the Noose.” “I think we’re in a sit­u­a­tion right now where peo­ple who ex­press hate­ful opin­ions are be­ing al­lowed to speak freely and it’s be­come OK again.”

Ms. Beirich blames the rhetoric from Mr. Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, dur­ing which he pledged to build a wall on the Mex­i­can bor­der and ban Mus­lim im­mi­grants. Mr. Trump also claimed for a long time that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

“Putting those sen­ti­ments in public from a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign has sanc­tioned a lot of peo­ple,” Ms. Beirich said. “Things they might have kept in­side them­selves, that they have kept quiet about, have burst out.”

The noose didn’t stop some vis­i­tors to the black his­tory mu­seum.

Stephen Mid­dle­ton, who brought his ex­tended fam­ily to the mu­seum Thurs­day from Ge­or­gia and Mary­land, said he wasn’t sur­prised some­one tar­geted the mu­seum. But “we’re not go­ing to be de­terred, we’re not go­ing to be wa­vered and not go­ing to be in­tim­i­dated,” he said.

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