Noose found at Geisel Library, message to Guardian says more are coming
There is much to be said about the last week at UCSD, but for right now it is imperative to know what exactly is going on.
A noose has been found hanging off of a light at Geisel Library. This is connected to the racial tensions of the last few weeks, just the most recent manifestation of a long-standing racism that is deep within every breath we take at UCSD. It is our history; we cannot avoid it. We must look it right in the eyes. Here’s a link to Student Regent Jesse Bernal’s page on the topic, with a picture of the noose for documentation purposes. I don’t want to alienate people by showing the offensive picture here, but I want people to have the relevant visual aid for this post, so they know this is some real shit. Some people need to see it. Others may disagree; our comment box is always open.
Let me state first off that if you think this is funny, you’re probably the kind of person I wouldn’t miss. I can only speak for myself here.
Secondly, there’s a disturbing trend in white activism, including my own, to depersonalize the real pain and suffering of real people in our moral and political judgments. There are plenty of objective political reasons and shining moral reasons to oppose this disgusting display of white power. But what have moved me most in the last few hours are the personal thoughts of a few students of color I’ve been privileged to read from. I will share these on this forum, so that, if only for a moment, we are thinking about the real-life horror that UCSD students are imposing upon one another.
As you read these, if you have the privilege of being emotionally removed from the situation, think about how you would feel as a student, worker or teacher of color walking this campus, knowing you are outnumbered up to 18 times over by people who throw so-called Compton cookouts, drop N-bombs on all-campus TV, push you off of committees if you are perceived as a threat, and hang nooses in the library for kicks. Would you feel safe? Would you feel like the campus you’ve put years of hard work and insomnia into belongs to you like it does to other people? Do you? Students of color, how does this event change your perception of the campus you live, work, teach, study, play and dream on?
We welcome all comments on this matter except that I will try to keep this a safe space for people who are already being ridiculed, dehumanized, and spat upon enough. If you have to ask what that means, chances are you’d be better served by some cheap-thrills message board or morning show.
Disclaimer: the individuals quoted are not affiliated with Forward and did not specifically approve their thoughts being posted; I will delete the relevant quotes if they ask, though.
A statement from one antiracist organizer, reminding us of why this kind of imagery is considered such a vicious personal threat for black students here:
“We are in a state of emergency my friends. Latest news is that a NOOSE was found hanging on the 7th floor of Geisel Library. People ask whats the big deal? Why is everyone so upset? I’ll tell you why take note of this excerpt in the autobiography of Angelo Herndon titled “Let Me Live”:
“I know many stories about Negroes who were lynched on no more just provocation than this. Sometimes the lynch mobs need neither provocation nor excuse to carry on their bestial orgies. Often I used to read with horror about the lynching of some Negro worker in the South. The most gruesome, the most disgusting lynching story I ever heard was that which concerned Hayes and Mary turner, Negro sharecroppers in Georgia. They were pauperized and their landlord had tried to rob them of everything they had produced on their land with the toil of their hands and the seat of their brows. The share cropper was man enough to stand up for his rights. He demanded that the farm products be divided equally, as had been agreed upon at the beginning of the year. The landlord grew violently abusive. He threatened him and said he would “fix” him. Terrified out of his wits, for he knew that his landlord would not stop at anything to revenge himself, Hayes Turner tried to make a quite getaway. But his landlord had not allowed grass to grow on his track. He quickly organized a posse of hooligans and the most disreputable elements in the community and gave chase to the runaway. The posse, led by the County Sheriff, caught up with Hayes Turner at the fork of the road near Barney. THEY STRUNG HIM UP ON A TREE AT WAYSIDE WHERE HE HUNG FOR TWO DAYS. Hysterical and grief-stricken, Mrs. Turner was heard to remark that she would have the lynchers arrested. When the lynch mob heard of her determination they decided they were going to teach her a lesson for such a presumption. Although she was in the eighth month of her pregnancy, THEY STRUNG HER TO A TREE AND BROKE HER NECK. THEY HANGED HER BY HER FEET AND POURED GASOLINE OVER HER. As she burned, the mob howled with glee. Then one maniac, wielding a hog-splitting knife, RIPPED HER BELLY OPEN AND THE LITTLE INFANT FELL OUT. ONE OF THE LYNCHERS STAMPED THE INFANT WITH HIS HOBNAILED SHOES INTO THE EARTH. Then the mob, driven with wild bestiality, began to howl like wolves and in their criminal sadism fired hundreds of bullets into her lifeless body.”
This my friends is the BIG DEAL. This my friends is what a noose symbolizes and if the individual that put this up or the individuals that agree with that person putting this noose up for everyone to see agrees then they are perpetuating this very act of violence and genocide of a group of human beings. So now it’s time to mobilize MORE THAN EVER before. It is time to come together in solidarity and struggle. Tomorrow 8am library walk WEAR ALL BLACK AND BE READY TO HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD!!!!!!”
Finally, most personally, a text message from a friend, herself a student of color at UCSD:
“I don’t feel good about this. Reading the noose thing just filled me with such fear and now I’m trying to stop crying.”
How would you feel if your sister wrote this? Your cousin? Your mother? Yourself?
Before last night, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to a white Southern college from the 1930s. After this morning, we’ll see what UCSD looks like.
In the meantime, those of you who don’t go to UCSD: Burn down the state’s rotten, racist institutions in solidarity. Let your righteous anger be your guide. The issues of campus climate and academic access deserve your full attention.
February 26th, 2010 | Tags: ucsd; stop racism at ucsd; compton cookout; geisel library; ucsd is racist | Category: Uncategorized
2 comments to Noose found at Geisel Library, message to Guardian says more are coming
The noose. So, what exactly will the excuses be for this cowardly act that brings up memories of the confederate KKK of the South in their attempts to keep slavery and the non-whites in fear? Is it that are uneducated, is it that they are live in fear because our President in the white house is not 100% white. This is what the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. These kids follow what their dullard leaders say, are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think.
First off, let me say that it is ridiculous that the recent conflict has escalated to the point where death threats have been made. It is upsetting and unacceptable that people feel “free speech” can be displayed through threatening symbols such as a noose. I am completely outraged at this event.
But with that said, in response to the caption of the noose photo, how can you pin a demeaning and hatful term such as racist on an entire student body. Clearly there are racists people at UCSD, there are racist people at every school. the actions of UCSDs administration have given the white supremacists an excuse to react with hate. But in no way can you slogan UCSD as racist. The majority of the people here are certainly not. If the noose was an isolated issue, i can guarantee there would be thousands of students marching at the protest this morning. But there events are so tied up in a wide array of actions that have taken place over the past few weeks, demeaning all students and faculty at UCSD.
The people that placed the noose and promised more to come are cowardly, hateful, and yes, racist. Their threatening message should and does call for action. It sickens me that people like this are still around in the 21st century.