A Gold Rush Town Removes a Noose From Its Logo

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tags: racism, California, lynching

More than a century ago, gold miners settled in an area in Northern California known as Hangtown, where adventurers sought fortunes by panning for gold and vigilante justice dispensed to criminals gave the town its morbid renown.

This week the past caught up with the present in the town, now known as Placerville, when the City Council voted to remove the image of a noose tied to a tree branch from its official logo.

The Council met on Tuesday, using the modern equivalent of the public square: a Zoom meeting. More than 173 citizens lined up to speak on the virtual call, with people allotted a minute each to make their case.

Over more than three hours, some callers said the noose was a racist symbol that needed to be discarded. Others said the city had no right to “erase history.” Some spoke forcefully about the national conversation around racism, and others about how a vote to remove the noose would be caving to “cancel culture.”

Kara Taylor, the vice mayor of Placerville, said during the hearing that the Council’s job was not to fight change, but to navigate it. She said the city, which lies about 40 miles northeast of Sacramento, had a responsibility to promote itself as safe and welcoming.

If it did not, she said, “that is a fail on our part.” The five council members voted unanimously.'

Read entire article at New York Times

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