From The Guardian:
Discovery of nooses in Oakland comes amid investigations into the hanging deaths of two black men in southern California
Vivian Ho in San Francisco
Wed 17 Jun 2020 20.13 EDT
Authorities in Oakland, California, are investigating nooses hanging off at least five separate trees as a hate crime.
The nooses were discovered Tuesday in the Lake Merritt area, a popular outdoor space and neighborhood.
“Symbols of racial violence have no place in Oakland and will not be tolerated,” Oakland’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, [Pictured right], said in a statement. “We are all responsible for knowing the history and present day reality of lynchings, hate crimes and racial violence. Objects that invoke such terror will not be tolerated in Oakland’s public spaces.”
During initial investigations, some community members reported that the ropes were used for exercise equipment, with one saying he attached the rope to a tree limb for games several months ago, according to Oakland police.
Although some of the ropes may have been for exercise, “some of it absolutely was not,” Nicholas Williams, the Oakland parks and recreation director, said at a news briefing.
But the intentions of whoever put those nooses in the trees – whether for exercise or for hatred – doesn’t matter when it comes to the message that Schaaf said she was hoping to send in directing staff to remove the ropes immediately.
“These symbols are symbols of racial violence and it is incumbent on all of us to have that sensitivity, to have that knowledge,” she said.
“What a privilege for those of us that don’t feel complete fear and terror when we see a rope in a tree. That is a privilege that so many of our African American residents do not enjoy and this is a moment that we must be cognizant of that reality. We have got to stop terrorizing our black and brown citizens and as white people, we have to become knowledgable and educated about the impact of our actions, whether they are well-intentioned or not.”
#HAPPENINGNOW @Oakland Mayor @LibbySchaaf is calling for a hate crime investigation after rope fashioned like a noose found near Lake Merritt, but this man says it’s “not a noose” but a rope used to hook up a swing in the trees, used by locals. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/QFpoeturwH— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) June 17, 2020