For the second time in less than a week, a noose was hung at the site of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. On Saturday a noose was placed on a tree just outside of the museum and yesterday someone put a noose in the middle of an exhibit on segregation.
Museum director Lonnie Bunch released a statement about the despicable acts:
The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity—a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans. Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face.
Our museum is a place of learning and solace, a place to remember, to reflect and to engage in important discussions that help change America.
This was a horrible act, but it is a stark reminder of why our work is so important.
The Smithsonian’s secretary, David Skorton, said in an Institution-wide email that everyone at the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers condemns the racist attack.
“The Smithsonian family stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity,” he wrote. “We will not be intimated. Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do.”
The noose was quickly removed and the exhibit closed for about three hours.