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Racism spotted in the dust of Judge Roy Bean’s nooses

bean noose


Can a sign be racist? In Green Country, Oklahoma, Terrance Reed, Sr. Reed spotted three nooses handing from a tree. “When I looked over there, I was like, ‘are those nooses hanging there?'” he tells the local news. This, he reasoned, was an attack on his heritage.

He went on: “If you think of a noose in America, it don’t represent anything about but what used to happened to African Americans. He got the right to do what he wants to do, he’s got a right to feel what he wanna feel, but I got a right to be angry about it too, and I’m angry.”

Blacks were the usual suspects back when racial segregation was enshrined in US law. But whites were also lynched.

“It bothers me. It’s humiliating,” says driver Dennis Varner. “It’s discrimination, and America shouldn’t put up with it.”


Green Country, Oklahoma


The drivers seeing only racism should look at the warning sign. Judge Roy Bean was Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. (c. 1825 – March 16, 1903), whose courtroom was his saloon along the Rio Grande in the Chihuahuan Desert of southwest Texas.

This site says of Bean:

Bean has often been confused with “hanging judge” Parker of Ft. Smith – (perhaps because their slightly unorthodox or creative sentencing). Bean never actually hanged anyone, although he occasionally “staged” hangings to scare criminals. Bean would prepare a script with his “staff” – if they were sober enough – which allowed for the prisoner to escape. Given this “second-chance” – the culprits never appeared before the court again.

In 1972, the New York Times said of Bean, played by Paul Newman in the movie Judge Roy Bean:

The passage of time, if not actual circumstances, has thrust the mantle of freebooting greatness upon Roy Bean, the Kentucky-born (circa 1825) scalawag who, in the 1880’s, settled in what was then Vinegaroon, Tex. Bean immediately styled himself judge and then set about to being law and order to the lands west of the Pecos, principally by hanging those passers-by (a lot of whom were outlaws) who had any money or property to bequeath him.


When young, and in California, Bean killed a Mexican official during an argument over a young woman. Friends of the official didn’t take kindly to this, so they hauled Bean off and hanged him, leaving him to die. Although seriously injured, he was saved from death by the young woman in dispute.

Bean was white.

So much for the racism.

Noose erector Merle Martindale says his sign was merely a warning to any potential thief. Martindale has now removed the sign and nooses down “because he was concerned for drivers stopping to look”.


YouTube link.


Posted: 18th, August 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0