Walker PD noose

Authorities are investigating a twine noose found hanging in the Walker Police Department squad room's processing area on Feb. 24, 2017. A uniform patrol sergeant, whom the department has declined to name, admitted hanging the noose but said it was not intended to offend anyone.

I’m creating an imaginary a scene, so bear with me a little bit. I’m basing it on the Walker Police Department sergeant who recently brought a noose to work. I don’t know if I can be that funny, though.

The police say the genius was suspended for three days without pay. The staff must have yukked it up for a while because no one told the chief. I wonder if Walker has a “snitches get stitches” agreement among its officers.

The noose made me think of 1976, when a co-worker at the old State-Times newspaper in Baton Rouge would bring a racist paper to the office that had some real knee-slappers in it. I was the only African-American reporter at the time.

On one occasion he reared back in his chair and opened the paper so I could see the big headline spread across the top of the page: the TV series “'Roots' best watched from the end to the beginning.” What a rib-tickler that was.

Interestingly enough, he and I became sort of friends after he got the idea that some of his stuff was foolish.

But I digress. Imagine the guy at home the morning he decided to bring the noose to work:

"So Margie," (not her real name, I hope), "how was your night? It looked like you slept well. Oh, me? I kept tossing and turning. I had a rough time.

"Don’t worry about fixing breakfast this morning. I got up early and made me some eggs, bacon and toast. I’ll be out of here in a few minutes, so I’ll check on the kids and get them out on time.

"And, by the way, I’ll be taking a noose to work today. Yeah, a noose. I will get the biggest laugh with this thing.

"Look, I know it might offend some people, but who cares? Folks need to be able to take a joke sometimes. It bothers me so much that I have to be so politically correct all of the time. You know what they can do with the political correctness. This is America, and I got my free speech.

"Well, yes, I am really going to hang it up where I hope people can see it. I want to see the looks on their faces. That look is going to be priceless, especially for some of them.

"What? What is that you’re asking? Have I ever burned an American flag or a Rebel flag before? Well, hell no. I will beat somebody’s butt if I saw them doing it. I still believe this is America, love it or leave it. That Rebel flag is my heritage. It’s my history.

"Besides something like that would offend so many people like me, that one of those flag-burners would be risking his life.

"What? Huh? Would I place a swastika in a room full of Jews? What’s a swastika? Oh, that funny sign that the Nazis used. Naw, that has never crossed my mind. However, I might. Besides, I don’t think we have any Jews at the job.

"Look, this noose is going to be great. It’s not a race thing. It’s just poking fun.

"What, you think some black folk may not like it? Man, I’m tired of them. They just won’t let go of this slavery thing and all that other stuff. Those days are so long ago. They need to just get over it.

"What do you think of me using my cellphone to record the faces of the folk who look at the noose? I kinda wonder what old Marcus will do. I can’t wait to record his expression. It ought to be a doozy. I think this is my best idea, ever."

Note to this guy and his ilk: Black folk and many others don’t like the idea of nooses, especially since around 4,000 black men, women and children were hanged in the Deep South between 1877 and 1950. And, a lot more after that. The Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative also cited Louisiana as being very active in the hanging business, with an estimated 540 noose jobs of its own during those earlier years.

By the way, I hope the guy who brought the noose does not have Italian heritage. Back in the day, Louisiana noosed up a few Italians, too.

So it’s never a good thing to bring a noose, anywhere or anytime. It’s not funny.

Email Ed Pratt, a south Louisiana freelance writer, at epratt1972@yahoo.com.