Oklahoma drivers were disturbed by a noose display along the side of the highway. The display shows three nooses hanging from a tree and signs with pictures of nooses warning people not to be in the area after dark.
“It’s best not to be hanging around this area after dark,” reads the sign on the tree.
Considering the dark history of lynching in America, it’s no surprise some residents were troubled by the image.
The NAACP reports that between the years of 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 officially reported lynchings in the U.S., with approximately 72 percent of the victims being African-American and approximately 27 percent of the victims being Caucasian. There have been no officially recorded lynchings in America since 1968.
Terrence Reed was one of many passersby that stopped to pull over in disbelief over the display. He views it as a mockery of his African-American heritage.
“If you think of a noose in America, it doesn’t represent anything but what used to happen to African-Americans,” Terrence told KFOR. “He got the right to do what he wants to do, he’s got a right to feel what he wanna feel, but I got a right to be angry about it too, and I’m angry.”
The owner of the display, Merle Martindale, says it is not meant to be racist. Martindale claims he was a victim of a violent crime and is using the nooses as a warning to any would-be criminal.