The good news is that Louisiana, New York and Connecticut have made noose hanging an offense punishable by prison. Hopefully, other states will follow suit.
But it will be difficult to do so if broadcasters keep tossing the word around. In January 2008, when Golf Channel commentator Nick Faldo suggested that other professional golf players should "gang up" on Tiger Woods to beat him, broadcaster Kelly Tilghman added that they should "lynch him in a back alley."
And on Feb. 19, 2008, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said on his radio program: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels - that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever - then that's legit. We'll track it down."
We should have zero tolerance for nooses in America. And lynching is not a metaphor to be thrown around lightly.
Some 3,500 blacks were lynched in this country between 1882 and 1968.
This should not be the stuff of pranks or cranks.