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July 05, 2017

Report: Employee at U.S. Mint in Philly handed black co-worker a noose

A white worker at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia allegedly handed a black colleague a rope turned into a hangman's noose, according to The New York Times.

In a Wednesday article about how nooses — longtime symbols of racism in the United States — have been popping up across the country in recent months, the Times broke the news of the incident, which happened last week.

Per the Times:

It was the beginning of the night shift last Wednesday at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, a secure facility that manufactures money, when a white male coin maker strode across the factory floor to the workstation of an African-American colleague. He was carrying a piece of rope.

The rope had an official purpose: to seal coin bags once they were full. But the worker, who operates the machinery used to make coins, instead looped and twisted it into a hangman’s noose, according to Rhonda Sapp, president of the Mint workers’ union. She was soon deluged with calls and text messages from outraged employees.

The Treasury Department employee in question was identified following an investigation and placed on administrative leave, according to the article.

The Philadelphia case is just the latest example of nooses being left in apparent attempts at promoting racial discrimination. They've recently been discovered at a Maryland condominium complex, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C., American University's campus, a Florida middle school and in the mailbox of a black government attorney.

The display of a noose is usually categorized as a racist act, as they are typically associated with the lynchings of African-Americans in the United States.

While the Treasury Department told the Times the matter was being handled "swiftly and seriously," Sapp told the paper the agency hasn't done enough to deal with the underlying racial tension at the Philadelphia factory.