From the NY Daily News:
A black Columbia University professor targeted by a hangman's noose delivered a defiant message during a protest rally Wednesday: "I will not be silent."
A day after the racist symbol was left dangling on her office door, Madonna Constantine was greeted by raucous cheers of support at Teachers College.
"Hanging a noose on my door reeks of cowardice and fear," said Constantine, who teaches psychology and education and has written on racism.
"I want the perpetrator to know I will not be silent."
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident as a bias crime.
"We have no suspects in this case, no 'persons of interest,'" said NYPD Inspector Michael Osgood, who assigned a sergeant and six detectives to the investigation.
Interesting how New York can assign seven people to this 'important' investigation but cannot afford to fix the city's infrastructure, isn't it?
The article continues:
Cops were conducting DNA tests on the noose, a 4-foot length of hand-tied twine.
They also planned to question some of Constantine's colleagues, including Prof. Suniya Luthar.
Police sources said Constantine and Luthar crossed swords over a plum assignment at the university, but stressed that Luthar was not a suspect.
In May, Constantine filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court seeking damages of $100,000 from Luthar for defamation.
The filing contained no details, and Constantine's lawyer Paul Giacomo declined to discuss the matter.
Outside her Scarsdale home yesterday, Luthar said she was leaving town on a business trip.
"I can't talk to you," she said. "I have no comment."
Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman said the academic contretemps had been under investigation for a year but would not elaborate.
Nobody's ever a suspect, are they?
This is the part of the article that I found most interesting, as well as depressing:
State Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) raised the specter of Jena, La., which has been gripped by racial uproar since white teens hung nooses on school grounds last year.
"Even in the Ivy League towers at Columbia University, we might as well be in Columbia, S.C., in 1809. It's a virus and it's here as well as it is in Jena," he said.
Several hundred students also attended a forum with top university officials after the rally.
Teachers College student Nicole Woodard told them she wasn't surprised by the noose incident because she believes the college lacks racial diversity.
"When I walk into a class of 100 students and can count on my fingers how many look like me, that's a problem," said Woodard, who is black.
Teachers College, which was founded in 1887 and is the nation's largest grad school for education, has a student body that is 12% black, 11% Asian-American and 7% Hispanic.
Perhaps Ms. Woodward has six fingers on each hand, but it seems to me that 12% is about the national average for Black Population, isn't it? Or maybe it's now a little less since the 'Hispanic' population is growing faster. And this woman is going to be a teacher? She seems to have no grasp of mathematics or statistics, does she?
I do understand that she might have been swept up in all the excitement of yet another rally against racism, but her statement seems to be a complaint of long-standing. Sounds a tad 'racist' to me.
Look, hanging a noose on the doorknob of a black professor's office is a rather ugly thing to do. If only a prank it's a mean, thoughtless, and stupid act. Until we know exactly who did it, though, we are being just a tad premature in comparing this with other racially motivated happenings. And don't forget that there have been some supposed racial 'hate crimes' that were self-perpetrated as a way of garnering attention, deflecting attention, or otherwise causing trouble. In reality they had nothing to do with the random bigot, lurking in the shadows, waiting to express hate for some ethnic minority.
From the NYTimes:
“It’s like throwing a match on a haystack,” said Christien Tompkins, 21, a senior who is co-chairman of the United Students of Color Council. “This obviously really touched a nerve for a lot of folks.”
Mr. Tompkins was one of about two dozen students who met with Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, to discuss the case yesterday afternoon.
At that meeting, Mr. Tompkins said, students have used the noose as a point of departure to talk about other issues, including Columbia’s plans to expand into adjacent neighborhoods.
“It’s the latest and maybe most visible and extreme case of a climate of racism that we face in our entire society but of course is manifested at Columbia as well,” he said.
Mr. Bollinger, in an e-mail message sent to students and faculty, wrote, “An attack on the dignity of any member of our community is an assault on all of us.”
At a separate meeting, 600 Teachers College students and faculty members gathered to air their own grievances before Susan H. Fuhrman, the president of Teachers College, and other administrators.
“I came here from Virginia,” said one black doctoral student, who did not identify herself. “I’ve been here since 2003 and there has been incident after incident. It’s not so different from the South.”
Earlier in the day, more than 100 students rallied outside Teachers College and marched in Professor Constantine’s support. Her colleagues said it seemed particularly jolting that this had happened to a professor whose work is devoted to issues of race.
Hey, Toots, I'm in the South. I haven't seen "incident after incident" in my 22 years of residence here. What I have seen is a lot of rioting against racism as a screen for criminal behavior, and a tool for political antics by some very shady characters. South St. Petersburg has had plenty of that. But most of the so-called racial incidents have been nothing of the kind. They have been reactions to black criminals being nailed by the police. And if a community allows itself to be used by the Race Warlords to further their own separatist, racially-inspired agenda, then they have made a pact with the Devil.
How about, when one of these things happen, we keep our yaps shut, call the police, and let them investigate before we begin marching? How about we not start painting signs and denouncing the entire nation before we know exactly what happened? This was one ugly little incident that hurt feelings and nothing else. Can we stop trying to raise this to the level of Mass Murder?
How long before Jesse and Al are on the spot, eh?