A Spate of Noose Incidents

I’m still involved in a marathon of faculty meetings, classes, and student conferences that promises to continue for several more hours, but am taking a short break to post a link to this link to Mike Nizza’s post on The Lede, his New York Times-sponsored blog. Nizza does a nice job of bringing in two of my favorite sources on hate crimes-related stories, the Southern Poverty Law Center (where I did my dissertation research) and Brian Levin at UC-San Bernardino, whom I met a couple of years ago at a conference here in New York sponsored by the ADL. Here’s a selection from Nizza, after referring to the nooses hung in the Jena 6 case, he writes:

“In addition to other racially charged incidents, an article in USA Today noticed nooses in almost a dozen recent news reports. The Lede tracked down a bunch of them: At a Home Depot store in South Elgin, Ill.; on the campus of the University of Maryland; in a police-station locker room in Hempstead, N.Y.; at two Coast Guard facilities; at high schools in North Carolina and South Carolina; and at least two cases of nooses with black dolls in Pittsburgh.

Initial reports on yet another noose incident may be linked to an academic dispute. A noose was found hanging on the door of a black professor at Teachers College, part of Columbia University, our colleagues at The City Room report.”

He then goes on to reference Mark Potok’s (of SPLC) assessment that there are typically around five (5) “noose incidents” a year, then quotes Levin as saying:

“Copycat offenses are most often committed by men under 22 who are bored or drunk and looking for attention…”

And, I’m guessing that’s the case at Teacher’s College. Nizza concludes with this:

Whatever their motives, this much is clear: in the wake of the Jena Six case, when nooses ignited a town and then a nation, officials are not suffering noose incidents gladly.

And, while it’s true that “officials are not suffering noose incidents gladly,” the real story here is that the students and other faculty at Teacher’s College are not standing for this. Indeed, as Seattle in Texas suggested here awhile back, students staged a walk out today from classes in protest. That should be the lede.


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