Politics & Media
Aug 26, 2008, 07:04AM

Noose Is Outlawed, Stars And Bars Next?

In response to the racially charged Jena 6 incident last year the state of Lousiana has outlawed the noose. Nooses, the law says, are invariably associated with racial intimidation and, as such, are not allowed to be displayed in public. By that rationale, one writer points out, the Confederate flag should be banned as well.

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Photo by Editor B

It is now illegal for a noose - whether actual or drawn - to be displayed publicly with intent to intimidate, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or imprisonment of no longer than a year.

The law defines a noose as "a rope tied in a slip knot, which binds closer the more it is drawn, which historically has been used in execution by hanging, and which symbolizes racism and intimidation." Louisiana is now the third state, after Connecticut and New York, to ban the noose.

The noose always symbolizes intimidation; hanging it at all demonstrates the intent to intimidate.

This rationale applies to the Confederate flag.

In my eyes, the noose and the flag only differ in symbolism because the noose is the actual weapon used to lynch.

The "pride" some Southerners are adamant about perpetuates the stereotype the Confederacy was established on - that whites and blacks are not equal. Tailgaters who support the purple and gold Confederate flag will stop at nothing to argue otherwise, pretending this symbol of "pride" is not at its core racist and intimidating.

Pretending to dismiss a symbol by banning its display only encourages said use, only less publicly.

The law cannot afford liberties to one symbol of racism and intimidation while banning another. Either the Confederate flag should be banned, or the ban of the noose should be lifted. In either case, we have a responsibility to teach our children exactly what happened in our history and why.


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