December 14, 2007

SENATE APPROVES CARDIN RESOLUTION CONDEMING THE HANGING OF NOOSES

WASHINGTON - Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today applauded the Senate in passing a resolution (S. Res. 396) expressing that the hanging of nooses should be thoroughly investigated by Federal, State and local law enforcement authorities and that any criminal violations should be vigorously prosecuted. 

"I am heartened by the approval by the Senate of this resolution. Clearly, we all recognize that the outrageous practice of noose hanging has no place in our society and must be confronted by thorough investigation and vigorous prosecution at all levels," said Senator Cardin.

"Sadly, Jena, Louisiana, was not an isolated occurrence. American teachers and students, firefighters and police, military personnel, and others across the country are being targeted in this epidemic of hate," said Senator Cardin "It is unfortunate that the Department of Justice has been lacking in its attention to these heinous incidents."

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a similar resolution (H. Res. 826) authored by Congressman Al Green (TX-09) and co-sponsored by 60 other representatives. Today, Congressman Green stated that "Senate passage of this resolution and the bi-partisan, bi-cameral unity against these deplorable acts of noose intimidation proves that America is truly a nation of hope, not hate.  I commend Senator Cardin and members of the Senate for standing with people of goodwill in turning the page on malicious behavior symbolic of overt hate. The time has come for us to once and for all condemn noose intimidation for what it truly is - a malevolent symbol of hate-filled injustice which has no place in an America determined to live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.".

S. Res. 396, authored by Senator Cardin, was co-sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barack Obama (D-IL), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joseph Biden (D-DE), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Herbert Kohl (D-MI), and Christopher Dodd (D-CT). 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed more than 30 lawsuits for hanging nooses in the workplace since 2001, and stated that it observed "a disturbing national trend of increased racial harassment case involving hangman's nooses in the workplace."