On Thursday (November 10), workers at the Obama Presidential Center discovered the large noose at the construction site in Chicago’s southside. Investigators were later seen handing over a bag to authorities that appeared to hold the noose.
It’s unclear how long construction will be interrupted on the $830 million center that honors the country’s first Black president.
The Obama Foundation said the incident was a “shameless act of cowardice and hate designed to get attention and divide us.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also denounced the noose placement, tweeting “Hate has no place in Illinois. The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heart-stopping reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on Black Americans for centuries.”
”I condemn this act of hate in the strongest possible terms, and the state of Illinois will make all needed resources available to help catch the perpetrators,” Pritzker said.
A $100,000 reward is being offered in exchange for information on the perpetrator by the Lakeside Alliance, the group of African American-owned companies in charge of the presidential center’s construction.
”We reported the incident to the police and will provide any assistance required to identify those responsible,” the alliance said in a statement.
”We have zero tolerance for any form of bias or hate on our worksite. Anti-bias training is included in our onboarding process and reiterated during sitewide meetings. We are suspending all operations on-site in order to provide another series of these trainings and conversations for all staff and workers,” the statement continues. “Our priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce.”
The noose discovery comes after the site’s groundbreaking just over a year ago.
“The first thing I thought” after the noose was found was “man, that’s messed up,” said Rico Pineda, who’s working on setting up a water line near the center, per The Chicago Tribune. “Especially at the Obama Center, Obama library, it was super shocking for sure,” Pineda told WLS-TV.
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