GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A white man in western Michigan said a noose he hung in a window was a statement against corrupt politicians and had nothing to do with race.
Someone took a photo of the noose in a second-floor window at Greg Kazemier’s Grand Rapids home and posted it Thursday on social media, WOOD-TV reported Friday.
Kazemier, 59, told the television station that his ire is aimed at elected officials in Washington.
“I think the corrupt politicians should be hung,” Kazemier said. “(The noose) has nothing to do with race. I’ve been down here for 11 years. I’ve never had a problem with any of my neighbors. I love it down here.”
A hangman’s noose is symbolic of the lynching of Blacks, mostly in southern states, and stretches back to the nation’s slavery past and Jim Crow era. It mostly is used now in efforts to intimidate and instill fear.
Kazemier’s neighborhood is in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward, which has the city’s highest Black population at about 33.7%, according to WOOD-TV.
Grand Rapids police said they investigated a report about the noose, but it had been removed by the time officers arrived at the home.
Kazemier said the noose was in the window for three days until he took it down after a neighbor told him about posts on social media saying it was racially offensive.
“I’m not like that. I like all people,” he said. “It had nothing to do with color. A noose is an equal opportunity employer.”