The mayor of the California city of Oakland is part of a new trend in America- seeing “hate crimes” hanging from trees when others see swings.
The five ropes found hanging in the city’s horrified Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, despite the fact that they not only are clearly handle-equipped exercise ropes, but were installed months ago by a local black man.
The entire show was captured on social media with Schaff claiming that a hate crime investigation was underway after a social media post identified a “noose” at Lake Merritt Park.
Despite being busy with more pressing matters, the police investigated the ropes, which were equipped with plastic handles.
The ropes were part of an exercise rigging set up by Victor Sengbe, and were part of an elaborate swing system.
Sengbe expressed remorse that he now lives in a time where no fun is allowed.
“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.”
However, as the saying goes “when one has a [ban] hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Despite being informed that she was wrong and that the ropes were not intended to send a racist message, Schaaf doubled down.
“Intentions don’t matter when it comes to terrorizing the public,” Schaaf said. “It is incumbent on all of us to know the actual history of racial violence, of terrorism, that a noose represents and that we as a city must remove these terrorizing symbols from the public view.”
Nicholas Williams, the city’s director of parks recreation, echoed his boss’ sentiment.
“The symbolism of the rope hanging in the tree is malicious regardless of intent. It’s evil, and it symbolizes hatred,” Williams said.
As statues fall from their pedestals, ropes also fall from trees.
According to ABC News, the FBI has been notified, though it is unknown what the federal agency will do in regards to “evil exercise equipment.”
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