Construction was halted at the Obama Presidential Center yesterday (Nov. 10) after workers found a noose at the site. Lakeside Alliance, the company overseeing the project, released a statement following the concerning discovery.
“This morning we were informed that an act of hate was discovered at the project site. We reported the incident to the police and will provide any assistance required to identify those responsible,” the statement said. While mentioning anti-bias training, the company added, “We are suspending all operations on site in order to provide another series of these trainings and conversations for all staff and workers.” According to CNN, the construction group is offering a $100,000 reward for anyone with information about the person who left the noose at the Obama Presidential Center.
I condemn this act of hate in the strongest possible terms, and the state of Illinois will make all needed resources available to help catch the perpetrators.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) November 10, 2022
“We are horrified that this would occur on our site… Lakeside Alliance remains committed to providing a work environment where everyone can feel safe, be their best self, and is treated with dignity and respect,” the message continued. The Obama Foundation also shared a statement: “This shameless act of cowardice and hate is designed to get attention and divide us. Our priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce.” The center was announced in 2015 as the headquarters for Barack Obama’s foundation as well as his presidential library.
Although the former president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama previously shared why he chose the city of Chicago to be the home of his organization. He called the Illinois town the place where “all the strands of my life came together.” The Democrat began his political career there and also met his wife, Michelle Obama. The power couple attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the headquarters in September 2021. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker were also in attendance.
Yesterday, Pritzker tweeted, “I condemn this act of hate in the strongest possible terms, and the state of Illinois will make all needed resources available to help catch the perpetrators.” He added, “Hate has no place in Illinois. The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heart-stopping reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on Black Americans for centuries.”