Today, Smithsonian officials discovered a noose inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture Museum. Although the noose was initially found today, it is unknown how long it was there. The museum was shut down immediately following the discovery. The announcement of the temporary closure was to the disappointment of many hopeful museum attendees since tickets have been difficult to get since its opening, given the museum's popularity.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser posted a statement regarding the incident on Twitter.

Nooses, historically known in the US as symbols of the lynching of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era, are each composed of a specialized knot designed to hang people to death.

To some, the repeated use of the noose in racially-fueled threats and murders symbolized the return of widespread overt racism in America.

“We haven’t seen such mainstream support for hate in decades, not since the Civil Rights era 50 years ago,” Southern Poverty Law Center spokesperson Ryan Lenz told

Similarly, four days ago, a noose was found hanging from a tree next to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, another Smithsonian museum. The National Parks Service is in the midst of investigating the incident.

There is no word as to whether the two nooses found in the museums were linked. A suspect has not been found for either incident.

Museums were not the only institutions targeted in the Dc Area. Earlier this month, nooses were found hung around campus at American University immediately before scheduled final exams. Following student protests and national media attention, the FBI opened a full investigation.

No known suspects have been announced to the public.

However, the hate crimes were not limited to threats. Last week, a black student was fatally stabbed by a student linked to a white supremacist group at the University of Maryland. The victim, Richie Collins III, was murdered on Sunday, May 21st while awaiting an Uber. He was supposed to graduate the next day.

Outside of the DC area, three men were stabbed last week while defending two Muslim women being verbally abused by a man on a train in Portland, Oregon. Two of the victims died as a result of their injuries. Although the attacker, Jeremy Joseph Christian, was apprehended and could face the death penalty if convicted. However, the victims left the area before police could ask them about the incident.

Despite rising pressure from the DC community, the White House has not released a statement regarding any of the recent hate crimes.