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Noose found at Columbia-affiliated seminary conveniently keeps race/hate narrative alive

A little over a week ago, a noose was discovered on the roof of a residence hall by a staff member of the Columbia University-affiliated Union Theological Seminary.

According to the Columbia Spectator, the noose was hanging from metal pipes in an elevator room. It’s unknown how long it had been there.

The NYPD is investigating the matter as a hate crime; so far, no arrests have been made and the police have no suspects.

Spectator reporter Zachary Schermele says the UTS noose is but “the latest in a string of racist incidents […] that have challenged the University’s capacity to keep its students and faculty safe.”

If you’ve followed The College Fix for even a little while, you can probably guess what happened next as these types of situations follow a pattern.

First, UTS President Serene Jones put out a statement condemning the noose: The community was “deeply disturbed and devastated” by the news, and the evil symbol is “directly antithetical” to the seminary’s core values.

Next, a Columbia spokesperson invoked the Derek Chauvin trial and “other national events” when pointing out the university would make “additional mental health counseling resources” available to students.

MORE: 8 times ‘nooses’ on campus turned out to be hate crime hoaxes

Then, using critical race theory-based “logic,” a group of black seminary students issued a letter criticizing UTS/Columbia for its response (or lack thereof) to the noose. This was followed by several demands, including:

— An apology from UTS President Jones which recognizes the “lack of pastoral and spiritual care” in her initial announcement about the noose. In addition, “substantive support and acknowledgment […] of the trauma that […] Black students, faculty and staff are sitting with and have experienced during this horrific time.”

— Nixing the involvement of the NYPD as its involvement only “reifies the American police and surveillance state in which we currently live.” In its place, a new security firm should be hired with additional (security) measures put in place.

— Exam extensions as students “have been devastated” by news of the noose and other events.

— The seminary “actively” working to  transform into an “anti-racist” institution.

— “An independent forensic investigation” into the noose hanging done by an outside party.

That last one may serve to quell suspicion the noose was a hoax; however, keep in mind the details of just who would lead any “independent forensic investigation” remain to be seen.

Incidents like this need to be magnified (was it even a noose?) in order to maintain the narrative of an incorrigibly racist America. We’ve seen this time and time again. We saw it in the aforementioned Chauvin verdict and the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant the very same day.

Centrist and right-leaning pundits often say that, for critical race theory-based advocacy, even if demands such as those of the seminary students are met, it won’t be enough. It will never be enough. Consider: What do the letter writers consider “substantive support and acknowledgment”? “Lack of pastoral care”? Isn’t there a contradiction between complaining about a “police and surveillance state” … and demanding more security measures? What precisely is “anti-racist”?

I’ve said it before and here it is again: Don’t spend a lot of time trying to make sense of CRT. If you do, a couple of guys in white outfits may come take you away in a straitjacket.

MORE: ‘Noose’ at Michigan State U. turns out to be lost shoelace

IMAGE: R DOT Badowski / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.