Calif. Gold-Rush Town Votes to Remove Noose from Official Logo

Calif. Gold-Rush Town Votes to Remove Noose from Official
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A northern California town known as “Hangtown” voted to remove a noose from its city logo over concerns that the image might come across as racist.

The Placerville City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to remove the image of the noose from the 40-year-old city logo, which shows a miner panning for gold in a river while a tree in the background shows a noose hanging from one of its branches.

The image of the noose is supposed to be a testament to the city’s mid-19th century reputation as “Hangtown” due to lynchings of criminal suspects by miners.

Several residents who supported removing the noose from the logo said they found it “unnecessarily violent,” not racist.

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“I kind of wish that our town was known more for like the gold mining than the hangings because that just feels unnecessarily violent,” one resident said during the city council meeting, according to CBS Sacramento.

Others, however, argued the noose could be interpreted as a racist symbol due to its association with lynchings of African Americans in other parts of the country during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

“Handing my card to somebody with this noose on it that’s from a city with a high African–American or Latino population, what signal does that send?” Placerville City Councilmember Michael Saragosa said during Tuesday’s meeting.

“Yes, I could maybe try and have a history lesson with everybody, every time,” he added. “But that’s not really something that’s going to happen.”

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However, many residents defended the city logo and argued the noose has nothing to do with racism or discrimination.

“It’s part of this historic town,” one resident said. “It’s part of us. It’s the Old West. Leave it alone.”

Activists began circulating a petition to change the Placerville city logo last year following the death of George Floyd. They also demanded that city leaders remove the words “Old Hangtown” from the city’s welcome sign.

“Let’s not pretend to be tone-deaf,” the petition read. “The name ‘Hangtown’ is threatening, outdated and offensive, and suggests that racial hate crimes are acceptable.”

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