White Supremacists Urge Followers to Hang Nooses in Their Communities

This post, written by Brklyngrl, originally appeared on Open Left

Although I've been extremely negligent in my Jena blogging, I assume most of our readers are acquainted with the basic outlines of the situation. If not, Color of Change is a great place to start. I was moderately hopeful that some good would eventually come out of this - but so far it seems to have kicked off a series of copycat noose incidents. The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting organized online efforts by white supremacist groups to encourage followers to hang nooses in their communities, among other things.

First, there was an incident in Alexandria, LA (about 40 miles from Jena) where an unnamed 16 year old and 18 year old Jeremy Munsen were arrested with two nooses hanging from the back of Munsen's pickup truck. The 16 year old told police his family was in the KKK, and that brass knuckles and unloaded rifle found in the car belonged to him. Then, 4 nooses were found at a high school in High Point, North Carolina. The nooses were found hung from the main flagpole, in a parking lot, and (two) hung in a tree at the front of the school. Also, there were the two nooses at the Coast Guard Academy. One was left in the bag of a black cadet in July, the other in the office of an officer who conducted a race relations training.

Up here in the North, it's a similar story. Outside of Chicago, an unidentified student drove to Warren Township High School with a noose hanging from his rearview mirror. Worse yet, people are trying to excuse it, using a variation on the same ludicrous excuses we're hearing from those down South.
"A child who lives in Chicago may not understand the real implications of what they're carrying around, like a [Confederate] flag or a noose," said Peggy Riehl, an early childhood development expert with the Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children. "They may not have the real experience that children in other communities that may have seen what that means."
I'm sorry, but I have to call bullshit on that. The Confederate flag, maybe. Maybe they saw it in on the Dukes of Hazzard or something, but a noose? It might be marginally more believable than kids in Louisiana or North Carolina claiming that, but either way, we're deep into the realm of ridiculous excuses here.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.