Bush: 'No Place in America' For Lynching Jokes

President says noose displays aren't harmless pranks
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2008 6:16 PM CST
President Bush gestures as he acknowledges the Rev. Al Sharpton and his daughter Dominique, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, during a ceremony celebrating the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush said today that Americans should agree that noose displays and lynching jokes are “deeply offensive.” “They are wrong and they have no place in America today,” Bush said at a Black History Month event at the White House. The Justice Department is investigating noose incidents nationwide at schools, work places, and neighborhoods, the AP reports.

“The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history,” Bush said. “The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank.” In 2006, there were 7,722 hate-crime incidents reported across the country, according to the FBI. That’s nearly an 8 percent increase from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.