Cynthia Girtley has posted to her Facebook about a Halloween decoration in Gretna Louisiana she believes to have a racist meaning
The Halloween display is in front of a bail bonds business
In the picture several infamous Halloween characters can be seen along with a recreation of a man hanging
Girtley claims the hanging man has nothing to do with Halloween
A simple Google search shows a hanging man is a quite common Halloween decoration
People love to be scared! That doubles over during the Halloween season when ghosts and ghouls are everywhere you look. In Gretna, Louisiana, Cynthia Girtley has taken to her Facebook over a Halloween decoration she claims is sending a negative message.
Girtley posted on her Facebook on Thursday an image that shows infamous Halloween characters in front of a local bail bonds building. What caught Girtley’s eye was the recreation of a faceless man hanging from the rafters.
I would like all of my facebook friends to see what is hanging two blocks away from my workplace..!!! This is not funny!!!!!!!!! Nor does it have anything to do with Halloween!!!! It is very offensive and cruel.
This is hanging in Gretna in front of the bail bond office… yes… on the westbank of the River in New Orleans.. this is unacceptable!!!!!!!
America is seeing racial tension escalating almost by the day. The Internet is now a place where people’s lives are being ruined every day over racially charged behavior caught in public and/or on social media. At times it feels like social media users are hunting for the next person to be deemed a racist and this appears to be one of those times.
Girtley — a gospel singer in New Orleans — claims that the hanging man has nothing to do with Halloween, a statement that could not be any further from the truth. Recreating hangings has been a part of Halloween tradition for a very long time. A simple Google search for “hanging man Halloween decoration” shows just how common the prop is.
Along with a hanging man being a very common prop to see on Halloween, nothing is showing the decoration was meant to symbolize any race. A mask is over the face, which is also common when searching for hanging man Halloween decorations. The one hand that is showing appears to be a greenish color.
In the comments, Girtley said she has talked to both councilmen and the police but was told the decoration is protected under freedom of speech and is located on private property. Girtley is not accepting that answer though.
It has taken me going to speak with the councilman and i even called the Gretna police but they said this is free speech!!! Also they told me it is Halloween decorations!!!! I am not going to stop… if i have got to walk this road alone i am prepared to do so…!!!
The decoration appears to have been put up with no intention of being a racist statement. While public hangings receive the most negative attention from being used on slaves and in witch hunts, in reality, it was a practice long before.
The act of hanging was is believed to have been introduced to Britain by the Germanic Anglo-Saxon tribes somewhere around the 5th century. It wasn’t until 1770 that bills began to be introduced to take away the death penalty. At the time there were 222 capital offenses, including damaging the Westminster Bridge.
There was also nothing to differentiate the law for children and adults. In a case of strong malice with a child between the age of 7 and 14, hanging was allowed.
It was in 1861 that the number of capital offenses was reduced down to only four thanks to the Criminal Law Consolidation Act. The four capital offenses that stayed were murder, arson in a royal dockyard, treason and piracy with violence.