No Black is immune to American racism

By Sinclere Lee

Washington D.C. (BNW) —
Americans have mastered the art of hiding their racism in this country. The incidents of nooses that have been found in the work place and at some schools are an indication of the hatred that most whites in this country feel towards Blacks. Recently, a noose was found dangling in a Long Island town's police department, horrifying officials who rushed to condemn the hateful act.

Now, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard and a congressman planned to travel to the Coast Guard Academy to speak to cadets about the discovery this summer of two small hangman's nooses on Coast Guard properties.

Consider this, a police department and the U.S. Coast Guard are the last two places you would think that racism would be predominate in that the Blacks who the nooses are meant to intimidate are the so-called Blacks who work hard and follow all the rules.

These nooses that are showing up around this country to intimidate Blacks are just the tip of an iceberg of racism that is pandemic in this country. If they hate the Blacks who are trying to do the right thing, and are modern-day “House Niggers,” what hope is there for you and me?

The scandal at the Hempstead Police Department began early Friday, when a maintenance man spotted the noose hanging from a pipe in a men's locker room.

Officials said they were stunned that racism would rear its head in the diverse department - and questioned whether the act was linked to a deputy chief's recent promotion or a push to recruit more minorities.

"I used to read about this with the KKK, as far back as I can remember," said Perry Pettus, a town trustee. "To hear about something like this in this community, it's just a sad situation."

Nassau County and Hempstead police were investigating who hung the noose, long an emblem of lynchings and racism in the Old South. Scorn for the symbol has been renewed since three nooses were hung outside a school in Jena, La., last year, prompting race-related fights and arrests that have captivated the country.

"It's just mind-boggling in the wake of the high-profile case in Jena that you would do that, that someone would be so full of hate," said Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall.

In Hempstead, officials said about half of the 107-member department are minorities. Department officials recently hung a banner announcing their participation in an effort to recruit more women and minorities to be cops.

Several community leaders expressed concern that the noose could be linked to the April promotion of Willie Dixon, who is Black, to deputy police chief.

Wing would not discuss what evidence was collected in the locker room, but confirmed that only cops have access to the basement room.

"They're upset, leaning toward outrage," Wing said of the department's reaction. "It's because of all of the symbolism that the noose comes with historically and the fact that it was hung in a police department."

Longtime residents said the incident was out of character for their community, but it’s not out of character for America. You should hear how hey talk in the private.

"I've lived here all my life, and I've never heard of anything like this," said Edward Tolver 2nd, president of the Hempstead NAACP.

"The Hempstead Police Department is one of the most diverse police departments in the state. It's sad to see something like this happen."

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, seen in a file photo, planned to address cadets on Thursday.

"These are going to be our future leaders. The last thing you want are your leaders not being tolerant," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, told CNN before heading for the academy with Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen.

A 6-inch string tied as a noose was found in an African-American cadet's sea bag in July while he was serving aboard the historic tall ship Eagle.

And during race-relations training in August — set up in response to the first incident — a white female civil rights instructor found a small noose in her office at the academy in New London, Connecticut.

Initial investigations failed to discover who was responsible. Last week, after the incidents became public, academy superintendent Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe ordered the Coast Guard Investigative Service to investigate further.

People found to be involved could be prosecuted under military law, he said in a written statement.

An academy spokesman, Chief Warrant Officer David French, said Burhoe is expanding race relations training to all staff members at the academy, and has contacted the community and the NAACP for assistance.

A racially charged incident at a high school for the deaf — under investigation as a possible hate crime — was instead a "war game that went too far," a source close to the investigation told CNN on Thursday.

Now, officials are investigating a weekend racial incident on the campus of Gallaudet University. Do they hate Blacks that much?

Why? We need to know why they hate us so much... we need to know, so we can stop doing what we are doing that engenders this kind of hatred from whites.

A Black student was held against his will and "KKK" and swastikas were drawn on him in marker Sunday at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

No charges have been filed, and no names have been released, Lanier added.

MSSD is a residential high school on the campus of Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. The high school is administered as a division of the university's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.

Because of the race of the victim and the symbols drawn on him, police were looking at the incident as possibly two racial groups attacking each other.

The marking took place during a student-organized "war game" with a black group that included some white students and the white group that included some black students, the source said. It was a game that got out of hand when students used poor judgment, the source added.

The groups in the competition, the source said, showed poor judgment by giving themselves the names "Nazi" group versus the "Black KKK" group in a "war game competition."

According to Lanier the groups were initially "horsing around in the dorm."

"My understanding is the two groups engaged in friendly horseplay," she said, but as the horseplay continued, the two groups began "to get angry with each other."

The two groups separated, she said, but later six white students and one black student took another of the black students into a dorm room and "held him there against his will."

"During the course of that time they had him held, they used markers to write 'KKK' and draw swastikas on the student," she said.

The student was released after being held for about 45 minutes. He notified dorm and school authorities, who called police.

Lanier said the police "investigation is ongoing."

Cummings said he would have a message for the cadets when he addressed them on Thursday.

"I want to say to them that they should not tolerate it amongst themselves, because they will be judged by their weakest link," he said. "So far we haven't found out who did this, but I think they can help us find this person."

The noose incidents were first reported last week in The Day newspaper in New London.

The reports came amid a rash of incidents around the country involving nooses and their grim symbolism.

The so-called "Jena 6" case began about a year ago when white students in a small Louisiana town hung nooses from a schoolyard tree after black students sat under it.

Last month, two teenagers were arrested in nearby Alexandria, Louisiana, after driving through town with nooses hanging from their pickup truck, the night after a protest march brought thousands of demonstrators to Jena.

In Hempstead, Long Island, a suburb of New York, a noose was found Friday hanging in the locker room at a police station. Community leaders called for an investigation into that incident.

"The noose, to African Americans, is a symbol of hatred and it takes us back to the times when African-American people were being hung from trees for no reason at all," Cummings said. "And so it's a very offensive kind of thing."

The Coast Guard Academy has about 980 cadets, about 14 percent of whom are minorities. African Americans make up about 4 percent of the corps.




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