The star shared the disturbing sight on Instagram as proof racism still exists in the country in 2019
Rainn Wilson is speaking out against racism after one of his friends discovered a noose on their front lawn.
Opening up about the disturbing encounter on Tuesday, Wilson, 53, explained that his friend Jamey and his sister, who are both African American, live together in suburban Los Angeles and recently found the plastic tie — which was fashioned to resemble the rope used in lynchings — hanging from a tree in their front yard.
The Office actor said the incident was particularly awful because Jamey’s 17-year-old niece was the one to first discover the noose and after it was reported, police allegedly shook off the racist gesture and claimed it wasn’t a “big deal.”
“So my friend Jamey texted me this photo. Looks pretty innocent at first, right? But when you learn that he and his sister are African American, the photo turns instantly chilling,” he began the Instagram post, attaching the front yard photo of the noose.
“When the police were called they said, essentially, ‘what’s the big deal?’ Yolanda lost it. What’s the big deal?” he asked. “Well, officer, the noose is the symbol of lynching which was used to hang thousands of African Americans, especially by the Klan.”
“Granted, this is a pretty lame noose. Might have been made by some local kids or something. Who knows,” Wilson continued. “But the fact is it is as strong a symbol of racial hatred, violence and oppression as a Swastika.”
The former Office actor then went on to argue how racism is present in today’s country and shared his belief that although the United States has come far as a nation, there’s still a ways to go in terms of tolerance and acceptance.
“Many folks are in denial about the extent to which racism exists in our country in 2019. Just ask a Black Person. They will tell you stories,” Wilson noted, before proceeding to share a recent, racist encounter from his friend.
“Jamey told me today that last year, while playing golf, he was looking for his ball in the brush and a white guy who wanted to play through called out ‘Hey, you can hurry up, we don’t have you picking cotton anymore!'” Wilson recalled. “Not sure if he was trying to be funny or not but literally Jamey’s great grandfather was an ACTUAL SLAVE on a plantation and was regularly beaten there.”
“That’s not that long ago. Great grandfather. And, perhaps, a relative or two of Jamey’s were lynched. Or saw a lynching. Or heard of a lynching,” he finished. “And now, his niece gets to be reminded of what hate looks like. Right in her own front yard in suburban LA.”
“THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST. GOD BLESS YOU PURE HEART!!!! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💋💋💋” wrote Henson.
“Oh my gosh. This is horrible. 😠” added Sparks.
One follower thanked Wilson for raising awareness about the issue of racism in the country and expressed their hope for people to learn from the incident.
“Thanks for using your platform standing up for a voice that needs a voice like yours. This s— is sadly too real and too frequent,” the user wrote. “Thank you for sharing this powerfully disturbing message and hopefully a few more people will learn something today .”
Added another user: “so sad. it’s like we are moving backwards in this country 😢”
“I can’t believe this s— still happens regularly, no one should be treated like this JUST because of the PIGMENT in their skin,” noted someone else.
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Wilson is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on The Office.
In addition to speaking out about racism, the actor recently used his platform to advocate for mental health and was one of the many comedians to open up in an upcoming documentary, It’s Not That Funny, about the personal toll comedy takes on their mental health.
In the documentary, Wilson admitted that he expresses his pain through the characters he portrays on screen.
“Here I am, this really ungainly, insecure kid, feeling generally unloved and unloveable through most of my life,” he admitted. You see some of that Rainn Wilson trauma in the character of Dwight.”