View Full Version : Is our state racist?

08-19-2004, 11:10 PM
Many of you know that the hangman's noose is a very raqcist symbol to the black community. Well, if you guys didn't check out Jenni Carlson's article in Today's Oklahoman, I guess you missed this. I'll include the article. Anyways, on the 16th hole at Oak Tree is a hangman's noose. Although I know the purpose of this wasn't to be racist, I think it is still a very racist symbol and should be removed from the Oak Tree Course. It just shows how Okies are still completely backward in the view they have towards minorities. I hate to say this, but the symbol, I'm afraid, represents much of rural Oklahoma. We have a lot of racist biggots in this state!

If we're going to have the PGA Tour here in 2006, we need to get rid of this symbol, a symbol that gives us a very backward and racist appearance.

Again, I know that wasn't the point of the hangman's noose, but it's still the point.

But then again, you have to remember, it is wealthy white Edmond.......and at one time before Civil Right's days, in their chamber of commerce brochure, they bragged about how people should to to Edmond because "there were no negros."

Something else that's interesting is the poll that they have posted on Newsok. This just proves to me how backward many people are in this state.


Here's the poll:

Should Oak Tree Golf Club take away the hangman's noose on the 16th green?
Yes: 31.18% (373)

No: 68.81% (823)

Total: 1196


Here's a post by a poster from another message board commenting on the article. This just shows that backward mindset that a lot of Okies have. In this article, the author seems to have the viewpoint that racism doesn't exist. Wonder what he would think about the Black man that was dragged to death behind a pick up in Texas a few years back. Anyways, since I'm presenting work that's not my own, I have to include the author's information.......The opinions in the post presented below are expressed by Kerry Decker, a former Oklahoman (still considers himself very much Oklahoman), now from Tampa, FL.

"This is the kind of crap that drives me nuts. We will always have racism in the this country becasue the people that want to be offended will ALWAYS find something new to be offended about. If Oak Tree does away with the noose then the "victims" out there will complain about the oak tree icon itself. After all, most blacks were hanged from oak trees. This MUST mean that oak trees are offensive.

Heck, why don't we ban Pontiac from providing loaner cars to the PGA or any other sporting event. After all, Pontiac is the poor blacks Cadillac. When are people going to grow up and stop being offended by EVERYTHING. The best way to defeat racism is to simply not be offended. Why do you think the term Honkey never caught on. Whites simply weren't offended by it. Heck, some rednecks even took the term to be an endearment - hence Honky Tonk.



Here's the main article from the Oklahoman:

"Oak Tree noose is not the right image

By Jenni Carlson
The Oklahoman

EDMOND - Oak Tree Golf Club spent millions renovating the course, replacing all of the greens and building a dozen new tee boxes. Because of it, the course landed the 2006 Senior PGA Championship.

Before the major tournament rolls into Oklahoma, though, there's another bit of renovation that needs to be done. And this one won't cost a million bucks or take months to finish. All it would take is a ladder and about five minutes.

It's time to take down the hangman's noose by the 16th green.

Hanging from a balded tree since the course opened, the noose has become the course's unofficial icon. Oak Tree's Web site says it is there "presumably for anyone who by this time is ready to commit suicide."

But the hangman's noose is iconic for another reason in this country. Used for the lynching and killing of many blacks, the noose has come to represent segregation and racism, intimidation and intolerance. It symbolizes an ugly chapter in our nation's history.

It has no place on a golf course, especially when that course will host a national championship and bring attention to our fair state. That noose reflects poorly on all of us.

What will folks in other parts of the country think when they see the noose during the tournament broadcast?

That image will be shown again and again. The 16th will be a crucial hole down the stretch and will get lots of airtime. Sure, the broadcasters might explain the noose once during the broadcast, but they're not going to do so every time it appears on the screen. People tuning in after the explanation will be left to wonder.

Maybe they'll think Oklahoma an intolerant place, a hateful state, a backward land. Those are undeserved stereotypes but ones we fight anyway.

Oklahoma deserves better.

So does Oak Tree. Unlike many other exclusive golf courses, Oak Tree has opened its doors to golfers of any skin color and any gender. The club quietly changed its membership policy in 1994, when the Golf Club Preservation Group purchased it, and it is no longer a men's-only club.

The preservation group also began the restoration project that culminated with this week's announcement. Led by owner Don Mathis, the group set out to repair the neglect that occurred after the course's original owners filed for bankruptcy.

"It deteriorated," Oak Tree touring pro Doug Tewell said. "Things got tired-looking. The facilities, the maintenance was not kept up, and the golf course just started to not look like the first-class club it had been."

That isn't the case anymore.

"The golf course is in as good a shape, if not better, than it's ever been," PGA of America chief executive officer Jim Awtrey said.

This is a new day for Oak Tree, as good a time as any to take down that old noose.

The course contends that the contraption is not only part of its history but also part of the state's land-run heritage. When lawlessness was punished, justice was swift and death was ruled. The offender would swing from the gallows.

"It's a historical sort of satire on golf," Tewell said. "Like, 'Boy, when you get done with the 16th, you're ready to hang yourself.' "

The hole isn't always been kind. Even though it is a short par-5 where birdies are frequent, the bunkers and creek to the left of the split-level green can cause all sorts of problems.

Jack Nicklaus can attest. In the second round of the 1988 PGA Championship at Oak Tree, he put his tee shot into the water, then lost his approach in the trees en route to a 9. It was the first time in competition Nicklaus had lost two balls on the same hole.

This course is tough enough to stand on its own. It doesn't need a gimmick like the noose.

"Hopefully, it doesn't offend people," Tewell said.

We know first-hand that it does. In June, The Oklahoman photographed our All-City golfers of the year in front of the noose. We thought the noose an iconic, innocuous image of golf in this area.

But when the photo ran, we received angry calls, e-mails and letters.

One reader wrote: "In the background is a dead tree and, to my astonishment, a rope tied in a hangman's noose. I, as well as others, failed to see the connection between two golfers and the noose."

The photo even made its way to Jay Leno's desk. The Tonight Show's host included it on his headlines segment a month or so ago.

"This is a story about a golf tournament," Leno said as the picture appeared on the screen. "It's not the golf tournament I'm worried about, but ... "

The camera zoomed in on the noose.

" ... rather what went on earlier in the day."

The audience howled.

I don't want people laughing at Oklahoma or Oak Tree during the 2006 Senior PGA Championship because of that noose. They might not have when the PGA Championship came through in 1988, but the world is a different place than it was there. It is more tolerant. Sensitive. Inclusive.

So is golf.

"Golf is more inclusive than it's ever been in its history," Awtrey said. "You only need to look at the best players in the game right now. Vijay Singh. Tiger Woods. It's a positive statement for the game.

"There's more people of color participating in the game than ever before."

Golf's growing popularity means lots of folks will be watching the Senior PGA in 2006. They will watch great players on a course that has renovated, regained its previous glory and recaptured a place among America's great courses.

What they should see is Oak Tree's majesty, not a shameful reminder of America's past."


What are your personal thoughts on this whole issue????

08-20-2004, 05:20 PM
I hear stories like this and get ill. Why? To many sensitive people. So the hole happens to look like a noose. Big deal. Get over it. It is coincidence.

I am even sick of people trying to regulate the expressions I use. Like, I do not use terms like "gay" to describe a homosexual or "native american" to describe an American Indian. However, if I use the term Homosexual, I am accused of being scared of them by people who have never even seen me. Or if I use the term Indian, black, oriental, or Mexican, I am called a bigot. Guess what. Try coming into my store and asking the bookkeeper who was born in Mexico what race she is. She will tell you she is Mexican. Try asking the family gardner who is a Cherokee what race he is. He will tell you he is an Indian.

These people will call me a bigot, which is quite offensive to me and is a slur just like calling a black person a, well, you know.

Stories like the one Patrick transposed make me sick. I can use my words, and they can think what they want, however, stop being so sensitive! :mad: :mad: :mad:

08-21-2004, 08:52 AM
I did not completely read the article, so, I thought the hole was in the shape of a noose.

Although my prior post is still quite accurate, I guess taking down a noose could be alright. Besides, who knows. Some idiot might decided to hang him or herself after slicing into the next green or the sand trap.

08-21-2004, 10:26 PM
Biggot and the
slur just like calling a black person a, well, you know. are two different things.

One is a classification and one is a racial slur. You are smart enough to differentiate between the two. I am sure you dont get offended if someone calls you a Biggot because of having white skin. Imagine if you were, you know, black and if someone referred to you as, you know, a blank as you said.

And yes, OK should be more sensitive to people. Even if she did not mean it, she and the Oklahoman should have been smart enough to recognize sensitive issues. Doesnt the Oklahoman have an editorial department? Isnt that golf couse paying her $$ to do her job?

Also, what is with this "Get over it" stuff. Do we say that to Jews with regard to the Nazi issue? NO! We cherish the holocaust (spelling?) as much as we do national holidays. But any minority mention the Tulsa Race Riots or the true Oklahoma Bombing or the Trail of Tears and most white southerners especially seem to say "Get over it."

While it is true, that most people who were alive during those times are not alive now, their lineage is and those events are as much a part of US and OK history as was the British-American war, the Spanish-American War, Vietnam (especially the crualty of the VietCong toward Americans [black and white by the way]), and the Gulf War [all events prominently listed in US history books]. So if America can be sensitive toward Vietnam Vets or a white American being beheaded in Iraq by an insurgent, than why do we have to get over other events that biggoted people seem to want to "push under the rug" with the get over it?

Sometimes people should try to imagine what it is like with the shoe on the other foot as no one wants to be excluded or ridiculed, especially if they are paying $$ to be there.

Get rid of the noose symbol at the golf course, or anywhere else for that matter. What's next, a burning cross? A Nazi swastica? I wonder if OK would vote 3 to 2 that a burning cross is not racist and should not be removed?

And Oklahoma is not racist, but biggotted - YES! That is why everyone there seems to need to "classify" everyone instead of just realizing that we are all citizens!

BTW, I am not black (yet I am sensitive to everyone and their issues) but I not white either, and I get sick and tired of the term minority or mixed. I am American, just like you. So get over that!

08-22-2004, 01:05 AM
Hot Rod, I couldn't have said it better myself. We, as Oklahomans, really need to progress forward with issues like this and be more sensitive to such states on either coast have done.

Anyways, it appears that the story in the Oklahoman had an impact, as Oak Tree is removing the noose after all of these years (it's been hanging there since 1976).

You know, it's pretty sad that it took the Oklahoman, owned by one of the more biggoted families (in my opinion, I'm sure there are many in this state that disagree with me on the Gaylords) in the state to get this issue taken care of and help our state become more sensitive on the racial issue! I know Oak Tree didn't intend for this to be a racial issue, but they really needed to be more sensitive on the issue and think about this. I'm glad to see they've made the right decision, in my opinion. When the PGA comes in 2006, that hangman's noose not being there will keep our state from being viewed in a backwards, biggoted light!

Here's the article on the noose's removal:

"Oak Tree's noose will be removed

By John Rohde
The Oklahoman

EDMOND - Choosing a better-safe-than-sorry approach, Oak Tree Golf Club president and owner Don Mathis on Friday ordered removal of the hangman's noose that dangled from a tree alongside No. 16 green.
Earlier this week, the private club in Edmond was granted the 2006 Senior PGA Championship.

Mathis said he spoke with PGA of America officials concerning the hangman's noose, which recently sparked controversy when it was photographed in the background with The Oklahoman's All-City high school players of the year.

"I didn't want to have a problem, and we didn't want the PGA to have a problem, either," Mathis said. "We're working with them closely and they've been kind enough to trust us to have the 2006 tournament here. I didn't want them to have any adverse thoughts at all."

Mathis also reiterated a statement he released earlier in the day: "We never intended for this to be a symbol of anything other than the challenge of our golf course. Recent references to it are contrary to the spirit of our club, and thus we have removed it."

The origin of the hangman's noose dates back to shortly after the course opened in 1976.

Three-time Ryder Cup member Johnny Pott hit his approach shot into the cavernous bunker that sits beneath a bald tree adjacent to No. 16 green. Pott stepped into the bunker and said, "If a guy gets in this bunker, he's got no chance of getting out. He ought to just hang himself on that tree."

Two weeks later, Pott got a rope, tied a hangman's noose, playfully presented it to Oak Tree co-founder Joe Walser and said it ought to be hung from a limb on the tree next to No. 16 green. "

08-22-2004, 02:37 AM
Choosing a better-safe-than-sorry approach, Oak Tree Golf Club president and owner Don Mathis on Friday ordered removal of the hangman's noose that dangled from a tree alongside No. 16 green.
Earlier this week, the private club in Edmond was granted the 2006 Senior PGA Championship.

A great start! Excellent news!!

I am especially impressed with the expediency taken by Oak Tree. It is normal planning to consider your audience and sensitivity in general. Of course, this also represents another great need for Oklahoma, as you learn about sensitivity and globalization at most higher learning campusus (especially MBA).

People in OK should strive for higher education and better culturalization. Then OKC will only become a more cosmopolitan city, as everyone will celebrate and support everyone's culture, venues, and accomplishments!

08-23-2004, 12:10 AM
By the way, I just wanted to make it clear.....I know that Oak Tree didn't intend for this to be a racial symbol in any way. It was simply a joke for golfers that were frustrated by the 16th hole. But, I'm glad to see that Oak Tree was willing to listen and make themselves aware about the sensitivity of this issue! That shows class!
I personally had no problem with the noose and understood its purpose out there. But at the same time, I was trying to be sensitive to many that I know would take offense to this symbol....mainly most of the black community.

08-23-2004, 07:01 AM
I'm not racist or prejudiced, however, if we removed everything that offended certain races or cultures, we would be left with very little. I am sensitive to other races and the discrimination that some of them receive, however, on the other hand, I get tired of hearing people complain about something, and feel like the world owes them something.

Why can't all the races just get along?

08-23-2004, 11:56 AM
Keith: You have said what my point has been all along. The liberals seem to dictate what we can say, what we can use as symbolic gestures, what we must believe in (or not believe in), try to control our thoughts, diagonse our mental health (funny, these people are not licensed therapists or even have doctorates in the subject, nor have ever seen us), and are hypocritiacal in prjudicial slurs. (bigot) The term is VERY offensive to me, as well as trying to say I am scared of homosexuals because I despise their lifestyle and know it is a choice that they can change.

We can not display the Confederate flag because they feel it is a slam to the black community. Guess what. Some black people in the South proudly raise that flag because of their southern heritage. We can not say "God" in a government building because they think it is derogitory. I can not call someone of the Jewish faith a "Jew" (which they call themselves) because they consider it racial. Guess what! I have many friends of the Jewish faith and have a deep respect for it. We can not make a noose because they think of linch mobs.

The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees us life, liberty, and freedom. Are we free? No. The liberals have taken those rights away from us. We use an expression or a symbol they do not approve of and they drag us in to court... And win. Land of the free? Not anymore, and I, for one, want my freedom back! :mad: :mad: :mad:

08-23-2004, 06:37 PM
Guys, I think this thread should have been posted in another forum. It is too bad this is in the OKLAHOMA CITY renaissance section; but it is a great subject to discuss so hear goes.

I am not racist either, but I am probably more liberal than most on this site (probably more liberal than most in the state of OK). But that does not mean my ideals are bad, even for Mr. Anderson.

Could you imagine if everytime you went somewhere, someone attached a negative stigma toward you? Just because of your skin-colour?

Well this happens daily to many minories and we all should be a bit more sensitive to that. It doesnt hurt to take the time to study (or even just ask) someone or a consultant from a different culture; especially if it will become your customer base. Furthermore, OKC is rapidly becoming a racially diverse city, as minorities account for over 30% of the population (and probably over 45% if you include hispanic/latin americans which are not included in census because hispanics can be white also).

Honestly, I dont think there is anything wrong with calling someone Mexican if they are Mexican, or Jewish if they are, or African American or black if they are. What is wrong is what is often said next. Something negative often follows the visual identification of a minority. You all know what I am talking about.

These reasons are why we all should be sensitive to other people. If the second chatter did not occur, then this would be a null issue. But because people often see a black then immediately assume something negative, well, we all need to make a point to stop that. And removing traditional reminders of oppression against them (or Chinese or Japanese Americans or Indian tribes or Mexicans) is a great start.

Honestly, the best move is for Christians to act like children of God. If this were really true, then no one would have secondary comments after identifying someone. That is what the bible teaches. It is just too bad most religious folks ignore this.

BTW, I am not speaking specifically to anyone on this forum; I am only speaking from the point-of-view not often expressed (at least so eloquently). Many affected (ok minorities) are usually so emotionally charged, that that gets the best of them; and the situation usually turns bad. So why have reminders of oppression around?

I am sure that those of you who are of Irish descent can think of symbols or names that are derrogatory. So could native Brits. So could Italians. And so on. And those groups are WHITE. Everyone has some bad press, so everyone should be sensitive to everyone.

It is not a request to supress speach but only a desire to move ahead from the past instead of constantly being reminded of it. Let's celebrate each other and live together in harmony without looking down on anyone, or putting up symbols that indicate someone dying [why didnt they just spell it out instead of the symbol?].

If we all could be more like God (or whatever we chose to call the father) in our daily lives, Then, we truly could get over it!

08-25-2004, 05:06 PM
Well, I would jump in here, but I think I've said my piece. I think it's great to see the different opinions expressed here! That's what democracy is all about! You know, we all have different opinions on this subject (Mr. Anderson and Keith take the more conservative stance, while Hot Rod and I take the more liberal stance), but it's good to see that we can all discuss our topics without bashing each other! That's a true sign of maturity, not one I've found on a lot of other forums! I commend you guys for expressing your opinions in a very thought-filled way! Thanks for participating in this discussion!

03-20-2006, 02:05 AM
My comment is not directed to any one post, it's just a general comment. Unless one is an American Indian [Native Indian], I see no reason for any other race to be described in any way other than American unless they were born elsewhere and migrated and naturalized. Irish American, African American, Japanese American, it goes on and on and serves absolutely no purpose but further seperate Americans by their color of skin. Why would anyone even want to be referred to as African American if they weren't born in Africa?

And while I'm on my soapbox...what has happened to the American language? Notice, I didn't say English, although, the last time I checked, that is what is suposed to and always has been spoken in the United States. Many years ago, when migrants made their way to America, they learned the language and assimilated into and became a part of the country in which they so wanted to live. What has happened? Why are we giving preference to just about every occupation if they are bilingual? Why are we spending billions to print everything in two languages? If we visit or even become a permanent resident of any other country, we wouldn't fare very well until we learned to communicate with the people that lived there. I don't want to hear, "That's what makes America so great, it's a melting pot." No, a melting pot is a pot that when something is added, it become part of the pot, not the other way around.

As far as the noose at the County Club...In my opinion, and I know that it isn't a popular was put up there in jest, had nothing to do with what is being read into it today and is part of the history of the club. Do you not think that the PGA was aware of it before they decided to have the tour there? Let's see, maybe we should all picket all of the houses in OKC that have columns and those little statues with red jackets and black faces and hands standing out in front. In Mississippi, almost all of the larger, nicer homes have become B&B's, all of them have what used to be slave quarters either seperate from the house or elsewhere, I guess we should abolish those as well or at least not give them our business. I could go on and on with ridiculous examples of situations just as innocuous as that silly noose at the club.

03-20-2006, 06:07 AM
Wow. I was completely confused because I thought this noose business was settled. Then I realized that this was a year-and-a-half old thread. :doh:

03-20-2006, 08:06 AM
Oh sheesh, I was perplexed as well.. Thanks for pointing it out.. I thought I was just low on caffeine this morning!

03-20-2006, 09:45 PM
Mr. Anderson,

You sound like Archie Bunker. What a chip on your shoulder you must have. How would you like it if I just called you stupid fat white boy? Are you cool with that?

What if I chose to refer to you as as whip-smacking po cracker? Gotta problem with that?

You need to get your head out of Bill O'Reilly's rectum and realize there's more dimension to civil discussion than your flimsy cardboard cutout "liberals are bad" mantra.

You know what's funny about folks like Mr. Anderson? They're always complaining and portraying the victim. They complain about the complainers and act all put upon.

Well guess what?

Well guess what? Nobody cares that your feelings are hurt because someone thinks you sound like a stupid bigot and calls you on it. I guess showing someone dignity and decency and not calling them names that bring to mind terrible things is too hard for a good American like yourself!

And don't give me this "liberals are taking your rights" away crap when an entirely Republican administration is treating the Bill of Rights like a technicality that can be loopholed around.

You sound like Rush Limbaugh's drunk cousin.

How you like that? Is that PC enough for ya?

03-20-2006, 09:59 PM
Good gravy!!!!!!!! I never looked at the date either, I just saw some recent posts and jumped in...well, maybe it is still relevant or so many people wouldn't have posted.

03-20-2006, 10:44 PM
Actually you were the one that bumped this thread up, if you look at the dates. Maybe you found it in a search?