Student Admits Hanging Noose in Geisel   2 comments

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a student admitted hanging the noose found last night in Geisel. I cannot vouch for the credibility of the Tribune and regrettably have not made it to campus today, but am supposing the hard facts of this story are true.

According to VC Gary Matthews, the suspect “didn’t think that leaving a noose was an issue,” which is simply unbelievable. If the administration is going to make a comment like that, they may as well not comment at all. The sloths always seem to make things worse. Someone who doesn’t think leaving a noose is a big issue either doesn’t have the mind to be at UCSD or is so hateful, an action like that is considered commonplace. If, as many speculated, it was merely a cry for attention, this student is surely in for that. But speculation should stop there until more information becomes available.

Addressing many internet comments, since this happened late last night, the Geisel noose was widely considered to be a ploy to gain attention or as “bait” to lure the BSU and their supporters into rageful violence. The BSU has already demonstrated the thoughtfulness and collective intelligence not to respond to such a threat in anything but a rational and composed manner. Urging the BSU not to respond in an equally inciteful manner has potentially harmful implications. I don’t believe the BSU needs a buffer of calming internet comments to deal directly with such an incident, and I don’t think they’ve demonstrated uncivilized outrage at any juncture during this saga. To encourage them not to do something they have not yet done or shown signs of can be considered discouraging.

Other commenters, seemingly convinced that the Geisel noose was an attention ploy and not a genuine threat, urged no response at all in order to deny the noose-leaver her desired attention. These people may think themselves clever and perceptive, but are failing to recognize the symbolic menace of the action. A noose needs to be taken seriously as a genuine threat no matter how smart online individuals think they are in examining the psychology of its leaver. Giving this person the attention desired, especially because the BSU has demonstrated adroit organization and thoughtful unity, is a tiny price to pay for ensuring that such threats will not be tolerated. To do nothing would be to tolerate racism, to tolerate hate, to tolerate violence.

I’m surprised people thought the noose could represent no genuine threat and should even be ignored-setting precedent for tolerance of things like this is a very risky path to begin towards. There was no proof a genuine threat was not being issued, and it must therefore be considered to have malicious intent behind it for the safety of students. If you went to a 7-11 with an unloaded handgun and pointed it at the cashier, you’re going to incite a very serious response from the cashier and police. It doesn’t matter if you were doing it for attention or if you were never actually dangerous, the threat is genuine and no one would blame the cashier or a police officer for apprehending you as if you were intending to kill. To not see the noose situation as equally deserving of serious action is unbelievably out of touch. If the noose-leaver strapped a harness of hot dogs under her shirt and walked through airport security, no one would question her apprehension. This is just as serious.

I understand that internet comments are not representative of the population and I can easily see why people would perceive the Geisel noose as a publicity ploy or plot to incite a violent response. Speculating the reasoning behind the action and wanting to deny the suspect his/her desires seems natural enough, but it misses the point. Student safety comes before ignoring attention whores. This should be obvious.

If the administration and campus police considered it to not be a genuine threat, and a student was actually hurt in a related incident, well, that was a possibility that could not be ruled out and its consequences would be tragic and widespread. We do not take chances with issues of student safety. One person attracting tons of negative attention for a small period of time is well worth the price of ensuring student safety. Surely the passion and determination of the BSU could not be shaken by one such incident and their efforts would outshine any one individual. The Geisel noose needed to be considered as a genuine threat and treated with all seriousness, regardless of its leaver’s intentions, not only to keep students safe, but to send a message to other instigators and malicious people that no form such intimidation will be tolerated.


Posted February 26, 2010 by Wada in Compton Cookout, Geisel noose, UCSD

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2 responses to “Student Admits Hanging Noose in Geisel

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  1. Instead of an apology there has been steady escalation and now 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 their parents planted these seeds of hate, 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, they are young and dumb. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? Of course it could be an off-campus dullard who listens to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards.

  2. Pingback: The Geisel Noose: Prelude to Shirley Sherrod « Tritonthink

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