Audra Shay, the new chair of the Young Republicans, has apologized for her noose remarks on Facebook. In an exchange on Facebook concerning the man who had Sarah Palin hanging in effigy in his yard, she commented ‘What, no Obama Noose?’. Since it came to light, she fears that some people may take that as a racist statement, although she says that is far from the truth.
Is it? I don’t believe that her remarks were hard core racism, but they were incredibly stupid.
We are all racist at some level - often the white people who are claiming 'I don't have a racist bone in my body' (usually to a black person), are the most guilty.
In the south, we’re just a generation away from Jim Crow. When I started school in 1953, the idea of whites and blacks attending school together was a pipe dream. When I graduated from high school in 1965, it was approaching, but not yet accomplished. I never sat in a classroom with a black person until my freshman year in college.
We’re just a couple of generations away from lynchings in Bossier Parish. My grandfather, who was born in 1883, knew of a spot on Linton Road where blacks were lynched during reconstruction. He knew of one particular tree, because his mother told her children not to play near there, and why.
I have no idea if there is any historical record of this happening here, but I know that it did.
When people in the south make noose ‘jokes’, they need to be aware of what they are doing and why it is so offensive to their black neighbors.
(Yes, I understand it's free speech, and that you have a right to say it. I would only encourage you not to.)
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.