Instead of getting a security system, an Oklahoma homeowner decided to send a warning to potential thieves in a very different way. Merle Martindale of Okmulgee County hung multiple nooses on a tree in front of his property along the highway with a sign that read, “It’s best not to be hanging around this area after dark.” Martingale denies any racial implications, according to CBS.

For many people, both the sight of a hanging noose and the language of not being in certain places after nightfall are immediate callbacks to a time period where black people were essentially hunted and lynched by crowds of white people. Many of these were also seen as acts of vigilante justice at the time but were nothing more than unpunished acts of racism.

Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice claims that Martindale removed the noose and sign after it received negative press and led to people stopping alongside the highway and putting themselves and other drivers at risk. He did clarify that the display wasn’t illegal.

Let’s just ask anyone who thinks this isn’t offensive to look at the imagery next to the scene of a lynching in the past and point out the blatant similarities.

“If you think of a noose in America, it doesn’t represent anything but what used to happen to African Americans,” Terrance Reed told KFOR. “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.”

Photo Courtesy: YouTube