Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts Vandalized, Noose Tied Around ‘Pac Statue
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia was vandalized on two separate occasions this past weekend, and one man has been arrested in connection with the acts. During the early morning hours of Saturday October 20, vandals defaced the building and tied a noose around the neck of the Bronze statue of Tupac that sits in the Center’s Peace Garden. At around 2:00 a.m. Monday morning, the statue was once again defaced when fliers bearing “garbled rants” about 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina were plastered all over it. The fliers were also said to contain vague threats directed at certain rappers and record companies. One unidentified man is in police custody, and the Dekalb County Sheriff’s office is investigating both acts as hate crimes. “We thank everyone for their prayers and support,” said Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, who founded the Center. “Although our hearts are temporarily in pain, our spirits have already forgiven the perpetrators. Hate comes in all colors and genders therefore we will use this act of hate and ignorance to bring our community together and to pray for the healing of those who harbor such feelings. With God’s guidance, the work of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts and Peace Garden will continue to positively impact and transform our community.” The use of a noose, a highly charged racial symbol, echoes other recent incidents across the country. On October 9 in New York City, a noose was hung on the office door of a Columbia University professor. Just this week, two more turned up in the city, one hanging from a tree in a Queens park, the other sent to a Brooklyn high school principal. Similar incidents have also occurred in Atlanta and Connecticut, and the hanging of a noose from an “whites only tree” in Jena, Louisiana helped spark the high profile “Jena 6” case.