You can’t make this shit up. On second thought, yes you can.
Gerti Wilson was one of the first people to see what was thought to be three makeshift nooses on the Newark, Del., campus.
Wilson, who found out about the nooses by text, grabbed her shoes and took off running toward Mitchell Hall shortly after 10 p.m., ignoring the feeling that she may be entering an unsafe situation.
Within a few minutes, the senior found the makeshift nooses — made of string with bent hangers attached to the ends — and began taking photos. Almost immediately, university police arrived and started removing the objects.
“I’ve been called the n-word multiple times. I’ve dealt with a lot of racial BS at this campus, but never, never in my wildest imagination did I think in my last year here … that in the middle of the night I would run up to a tree with three nooses hanging up there,” she said.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, the university said the on-campus police department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“We are both saddened and disturbed that this deplorable act has taken place on our campus,” acting President Nancy Targett said in a statement. “This hateful display stands in stark contrast to Monday night’s peaceful protest and discussion. We condemn this despicable action and ask everyone in our community to stand together against intolerance and hate.”
The incident came one day after a Black Lives Matter protest of a speaking event by Fox News commentator Katie Pavlich. Pavlich called the Black Lives Matter movement a “violent hate group.”
“But nothing felt like the moment I ran up to that tree and saw that noose. … I can’t even put into words how that made me feel.”
Students of color across the University of Delaware campus reacted in outrage and frustration on social media, calling for swift action from the university and change on a campus that lauds itself on diversity.
The university’s racial make-up has come under scrutiny of late.
The Delaware General Assembly allocated $200,000 in June to hire an independent consultant to study the school’s hiring and student recruitment practices, and to make recommendations for how it can be handled better. Legislators are concerned because the state’s flagship university has only one in 20 students enrolled who are black when one in five residents statewide are black. The faculty also lags in terms of diversity.
Morgan Franklin, a senior from New Jersey, broke down in tears at the sight of the makeshift nooses, calling the incident “sad and disheartening.” She said it’s not the first time she’s been made to feel unsafe on the university’s campus and an even bigger reminder that there is still much need for change.
“I know that my safety is not a concern,” said Franklin.
In fall 2014, more than 76% of the university’s undergraduate students were white. About 5% of undergraduates were black, 7% were Hispanic, and 4.5% were Asian or Pacific Islander. Foreign students, Native Americans and multiracial students made up the remaining 7.5%.
For Wilson, the incident is like traveling back in time — into the research discussion she previously left Tuesday night discussing black rights in the 19th century and her ancestors fighting for their rights back then.
She called the comparison “mind-boggling,” a trip back in history at a time where Wilson believed there had been forward movement and significant change.
“Every single day here, as a female African-American student, to be on the campus at a predominantly white campus feels like you’re suffocating every single day,” Wilson said. “But nothing felt like the moment I ran up to that tree and saw that noose. … I can’t even put into words how that made me feel.”
Oh, my! That’s terrible!
Just one little problem:
The University of Delaware released a statement Wednesday stating that the three hanging items that were found hanging from a tree outside the university’s performance theater Tuesday night were not nooses, but the remnants of decorations from a previous event.
“Thanks to tips from students who responded to our earlier call for information and the investigative work of University of Delaware Police, it has been determined that the three noose-like items found outside Mitchell Hall were not instruments of a hate crime, but the remnants of paper lanterns from an event previously held on The Green,” reads the statement posted on the University of Delaware website, and signed by Nancy M. Targett, the university’s acting president.
Also in the statement, the university’s Police Chief Patrick Ogden states, “I am confident that we have determined the origin of these items.”
Remember this guy?:
Guess who “found” the “nooses” and called in a hate crime. Go ahead, guess.
The media was off and running with stories of “another” hate crime on campus before Harry even signed off Twitter for the evening. I was telling everyone who would listen that it was a hoax.
You gotta be seriously FITH to see wire hangers and string and think nooses.
I just wish the Racial Grievance Noise Machine had time to get up to full speed before the story blew up.