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.

24 comments:

deathsweep said...

Hi TTBM!

I usually agree with you whole heartedly but this time I must only partially agree. True, the noose is a past symbol of hatred, it is a past symbol of torture and it is a past symbol of death to put it plainly. Yet as you pointed out, this somewhat innocent knot, albeit at times abbreviated can be used for varying functions. Mans ungodly use of this knot has created the stigma it carries and causes us to shiver upon seeing it because we remember the once horrible purpose it was given. I can't say that I know the feelings of a black man in any way but I can relate as a human, a person. Sure, at one time a noose meant that there was physical danger lurking however today, in our society, it is being used to instill unwarranted fear. It is being used to do exactly what it is doing, and that is to create fear, stir the pot; incite. Perhaps, (easy for me, a white man to say ), but just perhaps if man stops giving in to his fears and anger, stops letting the next guy who in these cases happen to be idiots get to him it might be a start of the process of letting go. You're not alone in your feelings, I dare to say that the vast majority of the world knows that these thugs are wrong but getting riled about it is what they are looking for. I hope this makes some sense as I've written it rather quickly; it is not meant to offend or negate your feelings in the slightest way. It's just another viewpoint whether agreed upon or not.

DS

Girly_Girl said...

Fascinating post. Very relevant for right now, you know?

Also, thanks for visiting my blog and watching my interview! I really appreciate it!

DJ Black Adam said...

Well written TBM. I have been pondering this whole noose resurgence; with that and a few other trends I have been observing, I believe that we are coming to a point in history were race, and particular the Black / White issue in the US is coming to a head.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey DEATHSWEEP- what's up, my friend?

I agree with the point you are making. I tried to touch upon that a little in my post, but I don't think I worded exactly the way I wanted. The noose, while one of countless [non-lethal] functional knots, seems to have been "rediscovered" by some who DO and DON'T truly grasp it's darker reputation. But, I see what you're saying too.

(PS - I was at your blog a few nights ago but I didn't leave a comment, it was late and ZZZZ's were dancing around my head. I'll leave some comments 2nite - but I liked the posts I read!)

Hello GIRLY_GIRL. Thank you for the comment, and congratulations again on your book!!!

Hey DJ BLACK ADAM, how are you, my friend? I think with the growing Latino population in America the whole racial balance and dynamic is going to be very interesting. I hate to use a cliche' but things aren't going to be just Black and White. I wonder where this is all going to lead.

Villager said...

My first time visiting your blog. I like the vibe. I also agree with you on your post about the increasing frequency of noose sightings in America...

peace, Villager

Angie said...

Excellent commentary. I watched Rosewood the other day and it was a powerful reminder of how viciously evil people can be. The very idea that hangings used to be a family event. That souveniers used to be parts of black men and women's bodies.

That spirit, it seems, is still alive and well in 2007. I just wonder if those making light of it today realize the noose is more than the threat or the actual act of hanging someone. It's a reminder of all of the things related to it as well. I wonder if those leaving nooses at doorsteps and play-acting in mud realize the evil they are perpetuating? How awful they really are being?

DJ Black Adam said...

“Hey DJ BLACK ADAM, how are you, my friend? I think with the growing Latino population in America the whole racial balance and dynamic is going to be very interesting. I hate to use a cliche' but things aren't going to be just Black and White. I wonder where this is all going to lead.”

Hey TBM, I’m doing well, I pray you and your family are well and prosperous!

I have to say that the increased presence of Latinos I just going to give more people to each side of the American Black and White issue. Latinos come from countries (i.e. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, etc.) that not only have colorism but because of the same dynamic of children of the African Diaspora being present in these countries and their own history of European domination, they will line up accordingly.

As well, with their own strange ideologies about the science fiction of race, it will just add fuel to the fire imho. I wrote a bit about this subject here: http://djblackadam.typepad.com/damnitq/2007/03/the_one_drop_ru_1.html

Charming said...

I've had this window open forever in want of leaving an intelligent, well thought out comment but I think you said it all and I am left to just say: WORD.

Ana said...

The best way to fight this passive aggressive racist crap is to live well. If these people invested more time in their own lives, they would not have the time, energy or mental real estate to hang nooses.

Anali said...

Whenever I hear about these noose incidents, they send a chill up my spine. It's a real primal fear. There is nothing benign about a noose.

Nance said...

To me, a noose is the physical manifestation of the N-word. It doesn't matter to me what context you put them in, they never lose their negativity.

(Thanks so much for the link, btw.)

Angie said...

Hey TTBM! I see it's another Angie that hit up your site. To not create confusion, I guess I should adjust my user name. I don't know... But anyway...

I enjoyed this post. Well written and thought provoking...

Peace,

Angie
Nuvision for a Nuday

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey VILLAGER - Thanks Brother!
I like your site by the way! Real nice!

Hello there ANGIE - yeah, I think many of these "noose" droppers don't really have a true clue to what they are REALLY doing. Nuts!

What's up DJ BLACK ADAM! I'll check it out!

Hi CHARMING! I'm sporting a big smile! Thanks a million!

My friend ANALI - what's up?
Thank you for the comment!

By the way - I have been trying and trying to visit your blog, but for some crazy reason it freezes up my laptop! I'm not 100% sure why - I'm going to tweak some stuff on my system and see if the problem goes away - but I hope all is well with you. Peace-

Anali said...

I'm not sure what's up with my blog. I couldn't get on it for a few hours the other day as well. It seems okay now. Hope to see ya! ; )

Angie said...

TTBM: I don't know what's going on with these blogs. I have been having so much trouble signing on my blog from home. I don't know what's up.

However, I'm glad that I can still read and comment from time to time. Keep writing. I may or may not be able to log in to make a comment, but I'm here.

Peace

Sweating Through fog said...

Excellent point about the time it takes to create a noose, and a good argument against those that claim its just some casual, thoughtless prank.

These incidents should be considered as hateful threats, and should be dealt with by the legal system.

Angie Braden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gunfighter said...

TTBM,

I have been thinking about this post for a long time now...

Can I tell you something, my brother?

This time, things will be different... when the noose people show up on my lawn, they are going to the f***ing morgue, because Gunfither don't play that shit.

Mizrepresent said...

TBM,

It will last, just like racism as long as our white brethren continue to raise their children on hate...it's not just adults, it's the 4 year olds pointing at you in the store and saying "mommy, their's a nigga", oh yeah, in this day and age...See, we don't teach our kids to hate, we teach them to love. It won't stop as long as they HATE us!

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lovebabz said...

Ahh the Black Man Thinketh,

I am not so concerned with what White Folks do. My issue is what we--meaning people of color does on this. It is way too easy to point out racism when it's about other people doing it against us. But when we treat each other in the same manner using the same hate language, so many of us are quick to explain it away as being "down" or "keeping it real" or my personal favorite "a term of endearment" It is all connected and it is all bad. And it is all wrong no matter who does it. Would we feel better if Black/Latino gang members hung a noose on the boundaries of their imagined terrority? Do they have a right to do it by virtual of history and skin color? Yep, I have been away and I am back and I have lots to say! Keep the conversation going. You are good.

Lovebabz said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am awarding you the Totally Fabulous Award. Your linked on my blog so check it out and hopefully you will consider posting the award on your blog...or maybe not. Anyway, where are you? I hope all is well.
Love,
Babz

brran1 said...

I totally agree with you...the noose is a tookl used to stike fear in the hearts of people in a somewhat cowardly way. A few weeks back here in Baltimore, a black firefighter planted a noose and a note at a firehouse somewhere in the city and made it look like a white person did it. The city and the local media made a big deal about not tolerating racism only to find that it was a black firefighter all along. The point is: If people know how to stir emotion in you, they will do it whether it be seriously or as a joke