Two days ago, the Mayor of Oakland (motto: California’s Top Dystopic Sh** Hole), Libby Schaff, lost her crap. Someone ropes affixed to trees in the park around Lake Merritt, sharks were jumped, and immediately these became nooses and therefore symbols of lynching and, pole vaulting even higher over this particular mouse turd, evidence of some sort of racist attack on the good people of that fair city.
Oakland’s mayor said five ropes found hanging from trees in a city park are nooses and racially-charged symbols of terror but a resident said they are merely exercise equipment that he put up there months ago.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wedesday that a hate crime investigation was under way after a social media post identified a noose at the city’s popular Lake Merritt. Police said they searched the area on Tuesday and found five ropes attached to trees.
The Police Department provided five photographs of trees, some of which showed knotted ropes and one that appeared to have a piece of plastic pipe attached to a rope, hanging from tree limbs.
They have been removed by city officials.
Here is the mayor decrying the trauma inflicted upon Oakland’s citizens
Police reported that some of the ropes were attached to pieces of PVC pipe, which, opened the door to a new and previously undiscovered form of racism with its own unique threat. Sort of like the ‘OK’ sign, but from Home Depot.
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
Here is an example
We condemn hate + racism in our town. Hanging a noose at Lake Merritt is an anti-black threat of racist violence. This is intolerable in the wake of the suspected lynchings of #MalcolmHarsch & #RobertFuller in So Cal. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/m4xYCvNs3F
— Nikki Fortunato Bas, Councilmember (@nikki4oakland) June 17, 2020
A noose is a symbol of hate. It is also an explicit threat of violence against Black people to stop us from fighting white supremacy or advocating for equality. We will not be intimidated. https://t.co/rQIgmpSEi3
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) June 17, 2020
Now there is a twist in the story.
Victor Sengbe, who is black, told KGO-TV that the ropes were part of a rigging that he and his friends used as part of a larger swing system. He also shared video of the swing in use.
“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,” Sengbe said.
“It’s unfortunate that a genuine gesture of just wanting to have a good time got misinterpreted into something so heinous,” he told the station.
But the bureaucratic state has been unleashed and the Oakland police are treating it as a hate crime:
Police said several community members came forward during their initial investigation to say the ropes were used for exercise and a man came forward to say he put them up several months ago.
The department said it is conducting a full investigation and had notified the FBI.
“We remind and ask our community to be mindful when using this equipment in a recreational manner. These acts may send an unintended message,” the police statement said. “We recognize especially at this time, that any ropes on or attached to trees, limbs or other objects can be associated with hate crimes and racial violence.”
You don’t have to be in favor of racist symbols to see the ridiculous nature of this. Literally thousands of people had walked by the ropes and thought nothing amiss. All it took was one SJW out to find outrage and now we have a full blown FBI investigation. No consideration of the fact that some of the rope was attached to PVC piping. No acknowledgment that Scooby Doo was not needed to solve this mystery. Just a shotgun blast by an idiot politician directed at racists who didn’t exist for doing something that didn’t happen followed by a police investigation.
This is so stupid. But is is California. And it is Oakland.