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Noose found hanging from tree at Duke University

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






Racism on college campuses ratchets up with latest Duke University incident

An investigation is underway at Duke University after a noose was found hanging from a tree in Bryan Center Plaza.

The Duke Chronicle reports that the noose was taken down from the tree at 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday, and officers are investigating.

Racism on college campuses ratchets up with latest Duke University incident

Image: Duke People of Color Caucus via Tumblr

Just two weeks ago, students "chanted" a racist song at a black female student, which made reference to lynching, which caused Duke officials to send an email to students, reminding them of the school's commitment to racial equality. As a reaction to the incident and concern about racist posts by Duke students on the social media site Yik Yak, an anonymous group has formed — they call themselves The Duke People of Color Caucus, and they posted a message on their Tumblr page addressing this latest noose incident.

"This campus is not a safe space, and has proven beyond any doubt that it is a hostile environment for any and all black people."

True to form, Duke administrators have sent out another email following this latest racist incident, this time from Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta.

"To whomever committed this hateful and stupid act, I just want to say that if your intent was to create fear, it will have the opposite effect," Moneta wrote. "Today, fear will be among the reactions students, and especially, students of color, will have. Be assured that the Duke community will provide all the support necessary to help us all get through this. In time, each of these cowardly acts of bias and hatred will strengthen our resolve to love and support each other."

In the meantime, students of color have to wonder if the Duke campus is indeed a safe place for them. Sickening. What is going on? College campuses used to be safe places of inclusion and tolerance — when did they become these bastions of racist behaviors? First Oklahoma University's disgusting SAE racist chant, and now a noose hanging from a tree? Get it together, people. Our college students are supposed to be our best and brightest, not our most disgusting. Here's hoping they get to the bottom of this soon.

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