Louisiana School Board Member Posts Photo of Noose on Facebook, Claims It’s Not Racist

“If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again,” says Mike Whitlow, who tried to pull a Trump after being outed.


A member of a school board in Louisiana has apologized for sharing a photo with a noose on Facebook but still doesn’t appear to understand its racial overtones.

Mike Whitlow of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board reportedly reposted a meme featuring a noose and an interesting choice of words on his personal Facebook account:

“If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.”

The post has since been deleted but was reportedly seen by The Advocate. According to Whitlow, he shared with the image an article pertaining to stricter punishment for violent offenders. In an apology Whitlow insisted the article in question “had no racial or discriminatory overtones whatsoever” — as if the racial overtones in the photo were not enough.

Louisiana is 59 percent white, 32.6 percent Black, 5 percent Hispanic, 1.8 percent Asian, 1.6 percent two or more races, and less than 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander. Meanwhile, Tangipahoa Parish’s seat is in Amite City, which has a population that is 46.42 percent white, 51.82 percent Black, 1.41 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent all other races.

The image in question came from a page called Weapons Vault. The page shares images of guns and pro-gun messages. The original post from Weapons Vault does not link to an article.

Louis Joseph, a council member and former superintendent of schools, sent a letter to Action News 17 expressing his disappointment in the incident.

“I am extremely offended by his post as we all know the history and meaning of the hangman’s noose, especially as it pertains to African Americans,” he wrote.

“As a member of the school board, what message are you sending to the students, employees, and parents of our school system, let alone people that may be considering moving into our parish?” Joseph questioned. “One aspect of leadership is not only doing what is right, but also to do the right thing. With your mentality, who can trust you to do what is right or to do the right thing?”

At a board meeting on Tuesday, people called for Whitlow to resign, according to The Advocate.

“What you’ve done is drag us back into the 19th century,” pastor Lafayette Funches reportedly told Whitlow. According to The Advocate, as he spoke, “he waved a copy of a report from the Equal Justice Initiative that documents more than 4,000 lynchings in the South from 1877 to 1950. The report counts 24 people lynched in Tangipahoa Parish during that time.”

But, according to Whitlow, the reaction to his picture is “misplaced.” As of Wednesday he has not been removed or resigned from his position.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    I’ll bet that no more than one or two, if that many, of the 24 human beings lynched in Tangipahoa Parish were white. How can that guy not see this?

  • anthony bartlett

    grow up, people of all races were lynched or legally hung. Caucasians, Negros, Indians. I doubt if many if any from Africa were.

    • Audrey Battiste

      Sure people of different races have been hanged. But the vast majority of them have been black. You are obviously undereducated and need someone to tie your shoes for you. You are the one who needs to grow up.

    • anthony bartlett – of the overall number of “documented” lynchings, blacks represent 74%. However, there is no way to quantify the “undocumented” lynchings, but I would imagine the number being much higher. That alone makes the post inappropriate, as well as your comment.

  • Stephanie Banks

    If the “noose maker” doesn’t realize that this is racist and offensive, he’s an idiot. Anyone else that doesn’t agree the picture of the noose is at best offensive and at its worse offensive and racist, is an even bigger idiot than the “noose maker”.

  • I’m speechless.

    There are so many ignorant people out there that it is truly frightening. He doesn’t understand the racial and racist imagery in that picture – go sell that lie somewhere else.

  • I don’t get the outrage. The noose was a form of punishment in the old west. Many a horse and cattle thief met their demise at the end of one not to mention murders, Bank and train robbers etc. To me it seems like we are becoming an over sensitive nation of offended people. Everyone can find something to be offended by but why focus on that. Let’s all focus on the positive and let the negative die away.

  • A couple of posters did not see the racial implication of the noose. Yes, in the “wild west”, horse thieves and other criminals were hung by noose. But this is not Wyoming, this is Louisiana, where the noose was used against people of color by white racists. We need to recognize that the same image can mean different things in different places and times. In Louisiana, the noose is racial hatred, not cattle rustling.

    • It is a viscous, hateful slur to say otherwise – offensive to a degree unimaginable. As bad as using the n-word. It is hate speech.

      Feigning ignorance is not acceptable. Saying this in the workplace should result in immediate termination because hate speech is destructive to productivity.

      And don’t forget you have no right to freedom of repercussion to “free speech”. An employer who tolerates hate speech is not worth working for. A school board that tolerates a member who spouts hate speech is not going to take care of or educate your children properly.

  • He can feign ignorance of how offensive this was all he wants but the “If we want to make America great again . . . ” reference along with the hateful image tells the tale. The reaction it received is justified and the only things “misplaced” are his hatred and racism. Apology not accepted. He’s got to go.

    • I agree. Our side has been far too nice for far too long. That goes for the Democratic Party as well. They are not doing enough. But the bright side of trump is that stupid hateful people feel free to imitate him. I’m good with that, when hate is on the surface, it can be attacked.

      A school board member, or cop, or boss that posts shit like this on their Facebook page is incompetent to educate children, or enforce law, or have anyone report to them. They need to go. No exceptions. No second chances.

  • America was made great by the slaughter of the native American by any means possible including guns that were made popular by the white anglo Saxons who came to this country (not discovered). Now we see guns slaughtering our children in schools from elementary to college. The south was particularly obsessed with the lynching of non white anglo saxon americans to make that part of America great again. Certain groups made the noose a symbol of fear for non white anglo saxon people of this country. How long do we turn our heads and act as if ‘they don’t understand what the say or do?’, who still believes the lies? He understood exactly what he was trying to do, intimidate and belittle. If he had wanted to send a message to violent offenders should he have used an electric chair? Oh, I forgot in the south a disproportionate number of blacks were electrocuted for crimes they did not commit too.

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