Posts Tagged ‘Columbia’

Nooses, Nooses, Everywhere

October 20, 2007

noose-2.jpg

The noose, by definition it’s just a piece of coiled rope. But it has such history that it evokes a passionate reaction from almost everyone who sees it.

Now it seems as though nooses are everywhere, making unwanted appearances in the most random places—from on a tree in a small Louisiana town to the New York City office door of an Ivy League professor.

Last week a noose was found hanging from the office door of Madonna Constantine, a black professor at Columbia University. No one knows who did it, but Constantine thinks it may have been either a disgruntled colleague or a student upset about his/her grade.

Two days after the noose was found at Columbia, another one was found outside a post office near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

A third noose was also found at a police department in Long Island, New York.

These incidents are reminiscent of what occurred in Jena Louisiana, where racial tensions inflamed when three nooses were hung from a tree after black students sat underneath it.

For African-Americans, nooses remind them of a time when their humanity wasn’t acknowledged and their skin color could prove fatal.

Arguably, much has change in America since then, but one has to wonder why in 2007 someone would choose to make this kind of statement?

Some people have argued the reappearance of nooses may be either one of two things: a symbol of enduring prejudice in America or simply copycat, prankish behavior. 

But that doesn’t ease the tension for some folks. Rev. Roderick Pearson, president of a Long Island chapter of the NAACP, told Newsday that nooses are shameful to  America: “It embarrasses our country, it embarrasses our culture,” he said. “It is just another setback in American history.”

The noose controversy will be examined in a CNN special airing Tuesday, October 23 at 8 p.m. The special is called The Noose: An American Nightmare.