The display showed two white men preparing to hang a black man.
A railroad exhibit depicting a black man about to be hanged by two white men that was on display at the Galleria at Sunset Mall in Las Vegas is still drawing criticism more than a week after it was removed.
Community members and activists are demanding an apology and accountability following the ‘racist’ posting, which ran from May 30 to July 5. It was removed following a customer complaint, reports 8 News Now.
“There was an exhibit, a train exhibit, of a black man standing on a kitchen with his hands tied behind his back in front of a noose,” said the Reverend Robert Bush, president of the Las Vegas chapter of the National. ActionNetwork. (NAN), News 3 reports. “Curning down is not an option, stepping down is not an option, the only option is not racism.”
In a statement obtained by 8 News Now, NAN said “members of the community are outraged that a racist train display showing a black man set to be hanged was tolerated and permitted at the mall for hundreds of children, families and community members can see it”.
The Las Vegas Garden Railroad Society (LVGRS) set up the exhibit, which included a compilation of several railroad scenes. A depiction of the frontier with two white men preparing to hang a black man on scaffolding from a noose could be seen in one corner of the exhibit. The president of LVGRS, who declined an offer of diversity training from one of the groups protesting the posting, told News 3 the hanging board has been around for at least 20 years.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak was unhappy with the display and expressed his displeasure on Twitter, according to 8 News Now. “Racism has no place here in Nevada,” he tweeted. “This is completely unacceptable and our community deserves answers.”
Brookfield Properties, owner of the Galleria, said in a statement that it will no longer operate with LVGRS. “We are disgusted by this display. We took immediate action to ask the company to remove it,” they said, according to the 8 News Now report. “Although they have been cooperative, we will no longer work with them. We are [a] destination for the entire community and apologize to our customers and renters who have been rightly offended by this.“
“Nondescript” is how LVGRS President Sue Jerrems described the figurine to The Sacramento Bee. “We’ve never considered him a black man before,” Jerrems said. “It was just part of a border scene. It had no racist implications. Once someone pointed out the implications, we removed it. We apologized.
Apologies are not enough for some. Bush has promised to protest all LVGRS displays until the group properly addresses the display. According to the organization’s website, four events are planned by the end of the year.
“Until they come to the table, every rail event they have, we’ll be there to stop it,” he told 8 News Now.
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