(This post has been UPDATED. See below.)
Hundreds of students at Duke showed up to protest yesterday at the site of where some idiot had hung a noose on a tree earlier that morning.
The Black Student Alliance, led by student Jamal Edwards, was at the forefront of the demonstration.
“At Duke University, on April 1, 2015, I never thought that I would see this happening at what I am supposed to call home,” Edwards said.
He added that the incident was not an isolated event, and that “there’s so much more work that needs to be done.”
Indeed, Edwards indicted the entire university for the noose: “To the cowards of Duke University, we are not afraid. We stand together.”
Edwards closed his speech by coming back to the message that the act would not silence the marginalized students on campus, saying, “All marginalized voices matter. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.”
The board is to remain posted on the tree for an undisclosed amount of time and is to act as a defiant message to the individual or group responsible for the noose that the campus’ black community and allies will not be silenced, Edwards said.
“The key point of the message is that we recognize all that has happened historically to oppress black Americans in the United States,” Edwards said. “[It is] recognition of all the work that still needs to be done, but that we are together and we stand empowered as we keep working. Any sort of attack on our home, attack on our identity, will be rejected and we will protect ourselves. It’s something that we take seriously, and moving forward, we’re together and not afraid in driving out cowards that exist at this University.”
Edwards also lamented that an inadequate quantity of people showed up for the demonstration: “I’d say a few hundred showed up today, but there’s still over 6,000 that attend this university for undergraduates, so when you compare those numbers, it still is not enough.”
Well, perhaps — just perhaps — students are waiting a bit because incidents like the noose are sometimes fabricated. Not to mention, even if/when such does turn out to be a hoax, often it still doesn’t matter.
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that a student has admitted to putting the noose on the tree and is no longer on the campus. Due to privacy laws, Duke won’t identify the pupil, but says “[t]he student will be subject to Duke’s student conduct process” and the school “continues to coordinate with state and federal officials about potential criminal violations.”