On Wednesday afternoon, tourists found a noose inside the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian said in a news release that the noose was found in the exhibit focusing on segregation. It was taken down by U.S. Park Police, and the gallery was closed for about an hour during the investigation.
“We don’t let acts of cowardice like this deter us. We are, if anything, even more vigilant and even more determined to tell this important story,” National Museum of African American History and Culture Deputy Director Kinshasha Holman-Conwill said.
The Smithsonian continued to state that it would not allow the intimidation to go unchallenged or unmet.
“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. We will not be intimidated,” the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution David Skorton said in an email to employees. “Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do.”
The release also pointed to instances around the country of this happening, saying, “Other nooses have been found on the Duke University campus, the Port of Oakland in California, a fraternity house at the University of Maryland, a middle school in Maryland, and at a high school in Lakewood, California. All of them seem to be part of a larger wave of violence, intimidation and hate crimes.”