Racial Panic Erupts in Oakland Over “Nooses” That Were Actually… Exercise Equipment
A panic that occurred in Oakland, California over a set of so-called “nooses” that appeared on trees at a local park appears to have been little more than an erroneous hysteria, after a black man has stepped forward and explained that he and his friends installed the ropes as a swinging system for exercise.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had ordered a hate crime investigation after Oakland Police identified five ropes they described as “nooses” hanging from trees at Lake Merrit, with the city government apparently believing that the ropes were akin to racial intimidation tactics and allusions to lynchings carried out by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
However, one man familiar with the presence of the ropes is describing the city’s suspicion of a hate crime to be false, stating that they were installed by some of his friends merely for use as swings and exercise equipment. Victor Sengbe, who is black, expressed surprise that the ropes would be viewed as hateful images, stating that he couldn’t see how anyone would view the small ropes as a hangman’s noose.
“Out of the dozen and hundreds and thousands of people that walked by, no one has thought that it looked anywhere close to a noose. Folks have used it for exercise. It was really a fun addition to the park that we tried to create.”
Victor Sengbe of #Oakland says the nooses found in #LakeMerritt were not a symbol of hate. He says the nooses were used to attach a makeshift swing. “It’s unfortunate that a genuine gesture of just wanting to create a good time got misinterpreted.” @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/7vutrZYDHu
— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) June 17, 2020
The small ropes are not immediately reminiscent of a noose that would be used in a hanging, let alone of the lynchings that occurred in 20th century America. See what one area man is claiming were the ropes in question.
Is this the LM tree/area you’re talking about? Community ppl put up ropes for hand swings during Covid for kids (since all the playgrounds were closed), then some person cut the swing part off in the last few weeks. pic.twitter.com/K07VFrjkfv
— Abe Pursell (@AbePursell) June 17, 2020
Despite Sengbe clearly explaining the presence of the small ropes on the trees, Mayor Schaaf is continuing to claim the findings are indicative of a hate crime.
Several nooses found on trees around Lake Merritt were removed and will be investigated as hate crimes. pic.twitter.com/JW8TvY6pi4
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) June 17, 2020
The FBI is reportedly investigating the presence of the minuscule ropes on the trees. The “nooses,” which had been seen by hundreds or thousands of people without incident according to Sengbe, have been removed, preventing the small ropes from further “terrorizing the public.”