12 October 2007

The Noose

It saddens me to see that the "noose" has suddenly made a resurgence as a tool of hate and fear in this country. In the Black community, those of us who give a damn about our history have always held the noose at a mental "arm's length." It was not something we talked about, nor was it something we went to great lengths to NOT talk about - it was just a quiet symbol of a time we had hoped was gone forever.
But deep down I'm sure that most of us knew that it would take many years and several generations for this kind of hate and stupidity to fade out of our culture. And this is still the case. Fools are still trying to keep the images of lynched black men and black women and black children at the forefront of our minds and like the hey-days of the klan and the night riders, they perform this cowardice with stealth and darkness and anonymity. They are like the dirtiest of roaches - they stir in the filth, thrive in the garbage, spread disease and hide from the light.
It seems as though the nooses that sparked the troubles of the Jena Six have reminded a wave of narrow-minded imbeciles from one end of this country to the other that the noose is still a powerful symbol of racial hatred. There was an incident outside of the Black Student Union at the University of Maryland where a rope resembling a noose was left in a tree; then a noose was found inside the locker of a New York police officer; a noose was found in a partially completed store in South Elgin Illinois; a noose was found outside of a Manhattan post office; some clown in Punta Gorda has decided to hang bunches of nooses all around the outside of his house.
I think most of these noose hangers are closet racists. I think deep down they are taking the time to shake things up and give into their darker racist desires. But on the flip side, I think some of these people are stupid jerks that know nothing of the true hatred and dark history of this deftly twisted rope. To some of them, the noose is just some artsy tid-bit that gets people riled up, and to me these people are just as dangerous because of their sheer ignorance to history and their vulnerability to repeat it.
The Noose is an interesting fabrication. My Dad taught me how to tie a modified noose with fishing line as a kid to secure my fishing hooks to the fishing rigs when we spent time on the Chesapeake. It was then that I learned that tying a noose is not an easy or quick process. You HAVE to WANT to tie a noose. It's not like a typical knot where you get two pieces of string and go over and under and over again with a pull. A Noose is a precise and methodical creation with lots if twists and loops and for someone to take the time to create one, they truly want... WANT... WANT... to use it. Whether that use is catching fish or taking an innocent life in 45 seconds of pain and terror - the noose is efficient, effective, unbeatable and will always be with us - I only wonder how long it will take for people to stop using it as a symbol of hate, fear and days of terror.