Lo and behold, another racist incident rears its ugly head on another college campus in the “land of equality,” and out come the articles vocalizing appropriate outrage.
Here’s another: A noose was discovered early Wednesday hanging from a tree on Duke University’s campus.
The school issued a statement that claims the noose was found roughly at 2 a.m., at Bryan Center plaza. Police quickly removed the small, yellow rope after being called to the scene.
Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta stated:
To whomever committed this hateful and stupid act, I just want to say that if your intent was to create fear, it will have the opposite effect. Today, fear will be among the reactions students, and especially, students of color, will have. Be assured that the Duke community will provide all the support necessary to help us all get through this.
Moneta also vowed to put the screws to the person(s) responsible.
Duke Black Students Association (BSA) President Jamal Edwards, said:
To the cowards of Duke University, we are not afraid. We stand together.
A march of some 300 people tromped across campus to where the noose had been discovered. Edwards said a sign was nailed up to the tree bearing those same words, as can be seen in the tweet below:
Many people were crying. I was crying myself.
This latest incident at the university’s Durham, North Carolina campus falls on the heels of heavier friction, already. One young black student at the university was taunted with racist slurs by a pack of white boys only last week. Among the taunts she received was the very same racist tune as the one sung by Sigma Alpha Epsilon members in Oklahoma.
An anonymous collective of students known as the Duke People of Color Caucus (DPCC) is calling the hanging of the noose “racial terror.” The DPCC issued a statement claiming that the noose proves conclusively that Duke University is a “hostile environment for any and all black people.”
In response to the noose hanging, the university put together a forum held at 5 p.m. in the Duke Chapel. The forum was made up of President Richard Brodhead and Provost Sally Kornbluth, as well as with faculty members and leaders from the student body.
— DeMorgan Freeman (@Win_row) April 1, 2015
Brodhead and Kornbluth stated in a joint email to the university’s larger community:
Our campus has been jolted over the past few weeks by several racial incidents… The two of us, along with students and faculty, will give voice to our concerns and show the community that we can come together at this challenging time.
If apprehended, whoever is responsible for hanging the noose may face some real time in jail. And the whole ordeal is appalling, isn’t it? It should be written about.
But we, as a country, also desperately need to move beyond simply pointing out the racism as it presents itself. Our disgust and outrage is not enough, alone, to change anything. Shaking our heads and wagging our fingers at racism with mouths agape may make us feel better, but we have to stop patting ourselves on the back for merely recognizing racism and knowing enough to find it “wrong” or distasteful. Otherwise we are nothing but liberal narcissists in love with our own liberal swing.
Articles pointing out racism are great in that they remind us that racism is real, that it’s out there, but without taking that next step into generating actions that will begin to stem the tide of racism within the country, we are merely self-righteous voyeurs on an empathy kick, exploiting the oppressed and discriminated for the sake of our own moral self-importance.