WASHINGTON (AP) - Experts say a rash of noose appearances around the nation's capital shows the growing use of hate symbols in the United States.
Two nooses were found at Smithsonian museums in the past week, one outside the Hirshhorn Museum last Friday and one inside the new museum of African-American history on Wednesday.
Bananas tied to nooses were discovered at American University in Washington last month, while a noose was found at the nearby University of Maryland and a suburban middle school in Crofton, Maryland.
Because they evoke lynchings, loops of rope have long been used to intimidate black people. The Equal Justice Initiative says there were 4,075 lynchings of blacks in the South to spread racial terror between 1877 and 1950.