Rainn Wilson hit out at racism in the U.S. with an “instantly chilling” Instagram photograph of a noose found hanging from a tree in the suburban Los Angeles yard of his African American friend.
The actor, who played Dwight Schrute in the U.S. version of “The Office,” revealed Tuesday how the noose was discovered by his friend Jamey’s 17-year-old niece. Wilson said police brushed away a complaint from Jamey and his sister, Yolanda, by asking “essentially, ‘what’s the big deal?’”
Wilson vented his frustration in the picture’s caption:
What’s the big deal? Well, officer, the noose is the symbol of lynching which was used to hang thousands of African Americans, especially by the Klan. Granted, this is a pretty lame noose. Might have been made by some local kids or something. Who knows. But the fact is it is as strong a symbol of racial hatred, violence and oppression as a Swastika.
Wilson said “many folks are in denial about the extent to which racism exists in our country in 2019.”
“Just ask a Black Person. They will tell you stories,” he added, recounting a recent incident in which Jamey was subjected to a racist comment about “picking cotton” while searching for his ball on a golf course.
“Not sure if he was trying to be funny or not but literally Jamey’s great grandfather was an ACTUAL SLAVE on a plantation and was regularly beaten there. That’s not that long ago,” said Wilson.
“Great grandfather. And, perhaps, a relative or two of Jamey’s were lynched. Or saw a lynching. Or heard of a lynching. And now, his niece gets to be reminded of what hate looks like. Right in her own front yard in suburban LA,” he wrote.
Actress Taraji P. Henson thanked Wilson for sharing the image. “God bless you pure heart,” she commented. Singer Jordin Sparks simply responded: “Oh my gosh. This is horrible.”
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