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Roped in history, tied in nooses - Johnny Jackson

After Oct. 31, what can the excuse be?

I have noticed recently that there have been a number of people around the country found hanging nooses here or there, many defending them as elements in their Halloween decor.

But in any sense, hanging a noose, to me, is tasteless.

I mean, would it be different to see burning crosses in neighborhoods, or on church lawns?

We are at the point now where - for all our politically correct sensibilities - we should have better taste than to hang nooses as decorations, as political statements, or whatever else moves us to hang them.

Though offending a person should never be a crime against written law, it is a matter of decency that we civilized people do things in serious consideration of others.

Hanging a noose may not seem to be a big deal to the majority of us, but it can be utterly terrifying to enough of us.

In far too many instances, the tied ropes have been used as instruments of death and threats to that end. Just like a knife or gun connotes an imminent danger, so too does that knotted rope.

Just a decade ago, a small-but-significant few were terrorized by the rope - among them, a black mandragged behind a pickup truck, and a gay man tied to a fence post and left to die.

Or, it could have been one of an untold number of homicides over the years in which rope was used - or, the successful suicides made from the knot-ties hanging from the ceiling.

I cannot find reason to see the noose as anything other than terrifying and terroristic. I mean, to my knowledge, no savior has come back from death by noose.

I do not intend to say that any instrument used to terrorize anyone should be outlawed. I am, however, making a special case for the use of nooses, given their obvious historic significance and current prevalence.

I certainly do not advocate any abridgment of one's right to do whatever they want with their property or freedoms of expression. But, I will allow myself to pass a judgment on their taste and character.

I cannot think much of a person who, knowing all they should about the noose's connotations, would outwardly display something so distasteful as a noose.

Halloween ends Thursday morning.

And when it does, what could someone's excuse be for displaying a noose?

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957 - 9161.