September 09, 2007
The Germantown administration on Wednesday defended its firing of three theater workers who tied stage-rigging ropes into hangman's nooses.
"I've seen plenty of stagehands whittling their time away by tying all kinds of knots," said Bob Hetherington, chairman of the department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Memphis.
"If they were trying to send a racial message of any kind, the fly system of a theater would be the last place anyone would see it."
But someone did see the nooses.
Another city employee, an African American, complained of a hostile work environment when he saw the nooses.
Laraway gave The Commercial Appeal his account of what happened.
"I was working with a gentleman I had never worked with before and we were talking about how to tie different knots. I asked him if he knew how to tie a bowline and he said yes. Then I asked him if he knew how to tie a hangman's noose, and I showed him.
So some people are sitting there with a bunch of rope, comparing different ways of tying them. Naturally, that makes them racist.
Geez Louise, have we completely lost touch of all common sense in this country?
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