Noose Incidents Spark Sharpton Call for Rope Ban
by Scott Ott
(2007-10-16) — In the wake of several recent noose-display incidents, meant to frighten African-Americans by conjuring memories of America’s history of violent racism, the Rev. Al Sharpton today testifies before a House panel to call for “a nationwide ban on sales, to members of the oppressor class, of rope segments longer than 24 inches.”
The House panel convenes to probe whether justice was served in the case of the Jena 6, a group of non-racist black teens accused in the gang beating of a white youth in Louisiana following a noose-display incident.
Mr. Sharpton, who rallied thousands of activists last month to demand lenient treatment of the Jena 6, will also call on Congress to decriminalize gang beatings in cases where the victim is suspected of displaying racist symbols.
“Just because you’re a victim of violence, doesn’t mean that you’re not a hate criminal,” Mr. Sharpton will reportedly tell the panel. “By the same token, sometimes a gang beating is an appropriate way to exercise free speech against the hate criminal … you know, speaking truth to power.”