A noose was allegedly discovered hanging in the kitchen of a University of Maryland fraternity early afternoon on Thursday.
University police responded to a call at the Phi Kappa Tau house and discovered the object. The school is investigating the matter as a “hate bias incident,” The Diamondback reports.
As you might expect, university officials and student alike fell over themselves to see who could be more understanding and contrite, not to mention use the opportunity to point a finger at society at large and … President Trump.
“While we do not know who perpetrated this crime, it has impacted the catering staff, the housekeeping staff and every member of the fraternity,” Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Matt Supple wrote in an email.
“We all bear responsibility to confront bias/hate when we see it. Sadly, this is one more example of hatred and prejudice that continue to poison our society. We must stand together in defiance of this act. We need to ensure people who would perpetrate this type of hate know they do not belong and are not welcome in our chapters, in our community, at the University of Maryland, or in our society.”
Phi Kappa Tau President A.J. Coleman said “it is beyond the realm of belief that anyone could have perpetrated such a heinous act.” University President Wallace Loh said the incident was “despicable.”
Even US House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer jumped in, taking to Facebook to call it an “outrageous act of hatred and prejudice.”
There do not seem to be any photos available of the noose on either social media or news sites at present.
“To say this only reflects the actions of an individual is to deny that there is a problem,” [Interfraternity Council President Ross Brannigan’s] statement read. “It is to deny that this issue exists in our culture … IFC organizations should strive to create a safe and inclusive environment, yet we have consistently failed to demonstrate behavior to support that objective. We can say this does not reflect our values, yet this is an issue we consistently address.” …
This university’s Student Government Association also issued a statement condemning the incident and calling for transparency from university police and cooperation from DFSL.
“For many of us, talking about racism on this campus can be uncomfortable — that does not mean we should not talk about it,” the statement read. “More than ever, we need to support marginalized groups on this campus by joining in actions and discussions about these issues.” …
Panhellenic Association President Shelby Brown said in a statement Thursday morning she was “disgusted that these events have evolved from emails to physical acts of hatred.”
“These events implicate deeper problems of racism present in the Greek community,” the statement read. “It is repulsive knowing that these racial beliefs continue to plague our council and our community.” …
“It’s an evil history that still exists in this country. Obviously you have to acknowledge it,” [student Jalon] Dobbins said. “It’s everyone’s social responsibility to. Things like this do happen and it’s the reality of living in America as a black person, as a minority. It’s just the climate, especially with the recent presidential election.”
Brianna Anderson, a senior criminology and criminal justice major who identifies as black, called the incident disheartening.
Wait — Ms. Anderson identifies as black? But didn’t the Rachel Dolezal saga tell us that can’t happen?
It’s too early to tell if this whole event is a hoax or not, but based on the comments, if it does, there’s likely to be no retractions or apologies for an overreaction.
What we’ll see is the “teachable moment” scenario — that it was easy to believe it happened because Donald Trump created the atmosphere for it; that racism and white supremacy will be ever-present in American society no matter what, so the university needs new programs and courses to address it.
IMAGE: Damian Navas/Flickr