Five ropes were discovered hanging from a tree in an Oakland city park recently. The city’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, promptly assumed they were “nooses,” placed there by a demented racist intent on fomenting terror and committing a hate crime. Schaaf held a press conference the next day in which she made the following remarks: “We have to start with the assumption that these are hate crimes. We cannot take these actions lightly. These symbols are symbols of racial violence, and it’s incumbent on all of us to have that sensitivity, to have that knowledge. For those of us that don’t feel complete fear and terror when we see a rope in a tree, that is a privilege that so many of our African American residents do not enjoy.” She launched a hate crime investigation surrounding the appearance of the ropes the same day.
Unfortunately for the virtue signaling mayor, Victor Sengbe, a local black man, said he put the ropes up a few months ago. Sengbe told KGO-TV that the ropes were part of the rigging for a larger swing system he and his buddies used for exercise and fun. He noted that it was “unfortunate that a genuine gesture of just wanting to have a good time got misinterpreted into something so heinous,” and shared a video of the swing in use, according to the Associated Press.
This did not assuage Nicholas Williams, Oakland’s director of parks and recreation, who argued that “the symbolism of the rope hanging in the tree is malicious regardless of intent. It’s evil, and it symbolizes hatred.” So, even if a black man puts ropes into a tree for health benefits or amusement, the aspiring “wokerati” say it’s a hate crime. Because no one is more enlightened than a progressive white person. How dare an Uncle Tom claim otherwise!
Mayor Schaaf believes “We have to start with the assumption that these are hate crimes?” What happened to the traditional American notion of “innocent until proven guilty?” And not being overcome with “complete fear and terror” when seeing a rope in a tree is a sign of white privilege? No, but making that statement might be.
In today’s mixed up, shook up, muddled up world, we see what’s meant to be an “okay” sign and assume it’s a gesture supporting white supremacy. If President Trump holds a rally on the 8th day of a month, we assume it’s a sly but loving nod to Hitler, as “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
When you are determined to feel offended, marginalized or abused, you will always be successful…at feeling offended, marginalized or abused.
And nothing else.