Columbia’s Nooses: Why racism must be addressed at every opportunity
Cross-posted from Brave New Films Blog.
It is one thing when nooses and other symbols of hate are put in random places: on your car, in your own backyard. It's another thing when nooses are hung somewhere to send a not-so-subliminal message, as they in Jena, LA. However, it is an altogether different and much more scary & sinister animal when nooses are placed at the door of a specific individual.
What the hell is this world coming to? I know it's cool to be overtly racist these days, but wow. I'm know lawyer or constitutional scholar, but this looks like clear and present danger to me. When you lay a knife by someone's bedside while they sleep, you send a message that says "I can and will hurt you." When you get a noose hung on your door at your office, it sends the message that "I hate you and want to do something about it."
What's really troubling though is that the professor in this instance, Dr. Madonna G. Constantine, is a race scholar. She has been writing and researching on race, gender, and poverty issues for the entirety of her career as a student and professor. She has been working to destroy the ignorance that would lead to the line of thinking that says it's OK to harass people that are different. It is not an exaggeration to conclude that this is a more direct statement of hatred than hanging the noose on the dorm room door of a random Black student.
It is not clear whether the noose was hung by a student, a faculty/staff member, or someone not affiliated with the university. The fact is though that this could have come from any direction. What that means is that racism and hatred must be stamped out at every opportunity. There is no situation that is too small, no scenario that is too trivial, no event that is too subtle.
Oppose ignorance with awareness. It's now whining, it's educating. I pray that this event at the Teacher's College will educate us all about the urgency of the state of race relations in this country.