Tourists visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture was shocked to find a noose hanging in the middle of an exhibit on segregation Wednesday afternoon. This is the second time a noose was left at one of the Smithsonian museums.
The museum's director, Lonnie Bunch, released a statement about the incident.
The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity-a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans. Today's incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face.
Our museum is a place of learning and solace, a place to remember, to reflect and to engage in important discussions that help change America.
This was a horrible act, but it is a stark reminder of why our work is so important.
On Friday, a noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. That incident is also under investigation.
Smithsonian's secretary David Skorton said in a letter to the African American history museum employees that everyone at the Smithsonian's museums and research centers condemn the racist attacks.
"The Smithsonian family stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity," he wrote. "We will not be intimated. Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do."
"With new urgency, we will tell the story of our nation and all its people. We will continue to fight this sort of ignorance with knowledge."
Managing Editor, All Black Media