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Dec 02 2013

Teaching While Black

If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to do so.

I am sure no one there was racist, they just did racist things because they didn’t know what was an what wasn’t an appropriate thing to do.

TLDR?

The author charts how responding to racial insensitivity got her brought before a panel to discuss whether or not she is a racist.

One of the insensitivities was a white person suspending a noose in front of two black people.

I am not from the USA and even I know that part of “African American History”.

But what I wanted to mainly chart is this lovely little comment from Obfuscatio…

Dear Ms. Gibney,

Politeness! But then things go horridly wrong.

A noose is not inherently racist. It is an icon of capital punishment, as is the cross. Christianity has adopted the symbol of the cross, but it is not theirs alone. People have been crucified since long before the Romans popularised it. Likewise, people have been hung from nooses since long before African slaves were brought to America.

This is true. 100% true. HOWEVER…

Should the cross be on fire then a lot of people get mad and start pointing fingers and yelling racist because of historical reasons where the person who recognises the burning cross as a symbol of racism.

After all fire isn’t racist and neither is the cross unless you are an alleged Jewish Messiah circa 20 to 80 AD.

Oh! That’s why it’s racist!

Obfuscatio is either playing devil’s advocate or is just ignorant of History. Not Black History, it’s White History too. The KKK and the lynching was not done by magic fairies but by white supremacists and not identifying that harms your education of actual history. This is one of the reasons I think that history should be taught as a whole rather than just one month out of the year for a specific group of people.

The student who made the noose was angry about students missing deadlines. “Students missing deadlines,” not “black students missing deadlines.” A noose is not inherently anti-black even though there is a distinct history, particularly in your country, of association of nooses and racially motivated hangings.

Sending a noose to prominent African Americans was a long standing method of “reminding” the uppity negroes that the superior white man will rise up, dress like a Nazareno Priest (The Capirote is a Catholic Outfit that looks similar and is much much pointier) and sweep all the coloureds into the sea and then the trains will run on time. OBAMANATION!

No. I am afraid that in the United States of America, still living in the shadow of apartheid and it is living in such a shadow considering the major gripe against the incredibly American Barack Obama is that he was born abroad and is some sort of Secret Muslim…

There are people today who were alive when the KKK were harassing and sending out these death threats.

There are people alive today who remember the Greensboro massacre. And the shootings of Viola Ellison, Lela Evans, Opal Jackson and Katherine Johnson. They remember the last man Lynched by the KKK (Michael Donald). They remember the murders of the Moores. They remember the murder of four children by the Klan in the Alabama Church Bombing. They remember poor Willie Edwards, who was forced to leap to his death by the Klan.

Or what about the murders of Henry Dee and Charles Moore? These were children. Teenagers. The Klan have murdered people under the banner of lynching in living history and has used the emblem of the noose to scare and terrify African Americans into stopping the fight for equal rights.

They have even killed children to create the fear needed for that noose to mean something.

It’s not a noose, it’s a symbol of the racism aimed at black people by white supremacists for more than a century and that is still often levied at them today.

He played upon the notion of death for missing a deadline using a noose as the symbol of execution. (Perhaps a bit of a play on words: deadline.) If he had made a cross instead, would it have been anti-Christian? Is a guillotine anti-French? Is a gas chamber antisemitic? Is a yardarm anti-Pirate? Is a wall anti-Mongolian? (If it is, your institution’s physical structures are rife with anti-Mongolian symbology!)

If he had put up a swastika then the Jewish people would have been a lot more angry because that’s their noose.

And is a “wall” anti-Mongolian is just stupid.

Can a cigar not just be a cigar once in a while?

Not if you are licking it suggestively and seeing how far you can put it in your mouth.

Cheers,

Obfuscatio

Sadly the defence of such a stance continues.

2 comments

  1. 1
    bruce

    Avi, I don’t see a link to the original item. Can you add it? Thanks.

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    white man will rise up, dress like a Nazareno Priest (The Capirote is a Catholic Outfit that looks similar and is much much pointier)

    Nazreno priest? I did’nt know that one – will have to look it up – cheers.

    It’s not a noose, it’s a symbol of the racism aimed at black people by white supremacists for more than a century and that is still often levied at them today.

    (Pedant warning) Actually its both – both a physical noose and also a symbol. Not just a noose. maybe?

    One of the insensitivities was a white person suspending a noose in front of two black people.

    Isn’t that an implied death threat and – as such – actually illegal? I’m not a lawyer but I find it staggering that the perpetrator can get away with that.

    Incidentally it reminds me of a story where a climatologist giving a talk or appearing on a TV show in Australia a few years ago was similarly threatened by having someone in the audience stand up and wave a noose around. Think the climatologist was white but again, the mere presence of the noose was rightly seen as a threat. – not sure whether anything came as a result of that or not. But waving nooses around at people is always a pretty hostile and menacing thing to do regardless of who they are.

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