State Rep. Rickey Hardy's bill to outlaw nooses displayed as a threat is another step closer to becoming Louisiana law. On Monday, the House unanimously approved House Bill 726, which "creates the crime of public display of a noose with the intent to intimidate."
bill comes after racial hostilities flared in Jena in 2006 after nooses
where hung from a schoolyard tree. Six black teenagers at Jena High
School later beat a white classmate and were charged with attempted
murder. The case of the Jena Six garnered national attention resulting in a march on the small central Louisiana town.
Incidents of nooses being displayed in public places rose in both Louisiana and across the nation. New York recently outlawed the displaying of nooses as a threat, making it a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
When displayed by the evil-minded, nooses can be used to
evoke the days when lynching was used to brutally intimidate African
Americans. But some displays of nooses, such as those used in museum
exhibits, Halloween haunted houses and in pep rallies where effigies of
opposing mascots are strung up, are not offensive.
Instructively, Hardy’s bill seeks to outlaw the public display of
nooses "for the purpose of intimidation." But just who decides when
intimidation was intended? ...
The lopsided vote of approval suggests that no one wants to oppose this
bill for fear of being cast as politically incorrect. But this
legislation’s attempt to limit expression seems unconstitutional and
subject to expensive court challenges.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.