From [PBS] A U.S. Mint employee was placed on administrative leave after surveillance footage captured the white worker leaving a noose on the factory floor in late June.
The New York Times, following an emailed tip, got in touch with the Mint workers’ union president, who provided more details, including that the white employee had fashioned the noose out of rope used for coin bags on the factory floor. The coin maker then left the loop of rope at the workstation belonging to a black employee. Surveillance video captured the incident mid-afternoon on June 28.
Mint officials said in a statement that there was “absolutely zero tolerance” for this behavior, adding that an internal investigation was underway, CBS Philly reported.
Why it’s important
We’ve seen this year a string of reported cases involving the hangman’s noose, long a racist expression meant to terrorize and intimidate African-Americans.
Many of the reports focused on the nation’s capital, with nooses found at several museums in Washington, D.C., including the Hirshhorn Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Times also cited noose sightings in Florida, North Carolina and Maryland in the past few months.
The Times also noted the recent ramped-up activities of the Ku Klux Klan. The racist organization is associated with the noose, a symbol evocative of lynchings and racial terror in the U.S.
Recently, bananas were found hanging from nooses on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C. The racist displays were discovered the same day Taylor Dumpson, 21, started her role as student government president. She’s the first black woman to hold that position in the institution’s history.
Taylor Dumpson described to the Times what happened when she was able to process the moment after days of addressing students’ concerns and media requests.
“I went into a panic mode,” she told the Times. “When there’s a hurricane or a tornado they always tell you to get in a hallway between two walls, crouch down, turn the lights off — that was my immediate reaction. I was concerned for my safety. I closed all the blinds, closed the doors, everything was dark, and I just sat in the hallway crying,” she said.