UCSD Noose Hanger Tells Her Side of the Story: Let the Theories Roll   1 comment

Someone verified by the printing publication as the Geisel noose-hanger has issued a statement in today’s Guardian. According to the confessor’s account, she found a rope, was enchanted by her friend fashioning a noose, and simply forgot it hanging in Geisel for two days before it was discovered and showered Pompeii with molten ash. She concludes her apology thusly:

“I know what I did was offensive — regardless of my intentions — I am just trying to say I’m sorry. As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain.”

This is the type of exclusive scoop I expect the Guardian to have on all “Cookout”-related incidents and events. If this girl is telling the truth, and she was oblivious enough to hang a noose in the library a week after the “Compton Cookout”, that is one hell of a coincidence. Something I refuse to believe is that she’s dumb enough to not have a lawyer by now, and I’m sure she had legal counsel in composing her statement and releasing it anonymously to the Guardian. I also expect her not to be charged, as her story will probably be told convincingly, and law enforcement will want to avoid the appearance of being swayed by the mob. Her lawyer is doing a good job so far. This the Guardian’s story, so I will refrain from posting the full address, but I encourage anyone reading this to click the link above and read it.

I was browsing the comments section on the Guardian’s website, and most comments are disparaging and angry, with some not buying her story at all. Outrage and incredulity seem like reasonable responses to me and a lean cut of skepticism is on the menu. The level of ignorance mentioned in the statement is off the charts and difficult to digest, but we are all viewing in retrospect and can’t get a good gauge of her thoughts through that one statement. It sounds sincere to me, I buy it. She’s shattered the Pandora’s box that was already cracking and her story pulls the rug out from under Friday’s sit-in protest. The consequences of this letter will be interesting to follow- I await the BSU’s response to the confessor’s statement, as well as ones from Chancellor Fox and the general student populace.

I believe the confessor’s statement is genuine and that the general narrative she unravels is plausible. That being said, I was disappointed to not see any spicy conspiracy theories posted in the online comments section. The Guardian claims to confirm her identity, but what if “her” is actually just Chancellor Fox ordering the Guardian to publish a fake naive and apologetic-sounding statement to try to neutralize tensions? The Chancellor would have an interest in revealing that no menacing threat was ever issued and that reactionary protests were based on an evaporated perception. Is it any harder to concede authenticity than it is to believe that the Chancellor forced the Guardian to print this “confirmed” statement to make things easier on her and siphon leverage from the BSU?

Here’s why I believe the noose hanger’s statement. This photo shows where the noose was left hanging in Geisel, on the outer rim of the seventh floor. It is close to a window and a desk, somewhat out of the way, and that tag from which the noose was hung is about seven feet off the ground. I can see the tag as an attractive way to display a loop of rope for someone sitting at a nearby desk, and I think the obscure location indicates it was not meant to be seen by others. The prime real estate may overcome the prohibitive height of the tag, perhaps she stood on a chair. It’s hidden enough that I can understand the noose going undetected in this location for two days, and I can believe that a girl under six feet tall simply forgot about the noose when it’s far above her eye line. Out of sight, out of mind.

Also out of mind, supposedly, were the “Cookout” related incidents on campus. I know the protests have attracted a lot of (even national) attention, but even if 1,000 kids show up, that’s maybe 5% of the students, and if no passion for the cause exists, people have other things to focus on. She only tags herself as a “minority”, which can be anything that’s not white, so that’s like saying I’m a flavor of ice cream, but it’s not vanilla. Minorities aren’t necessary all jammed together in their home communities, and exposure to black-white issues in America for people who are neither is often not a hands-on experience. Especially if the noose-hanger grew up in a pocket dominated by her own minority (speculation), exposure to and understanding of lynching could understandably be very limited. I think for the current college student population of non-blacks and non-whites, a noose is a movie prop from a Western or a symbol of suicide if representing real death more than a trigger for thoughts of lynching.

I would like to address one more thing that I do not think is helping the BSU appear grounded or utilizing their sharpest elocution. In the Guardian’s main news story covering the BSU’s Friday sit-in protest, An African American Campuswide Senator denied the Koala’s claim to free speech asserting:

“The Bill of Rights, in which the free-speech document came from, was never meant to include my people — our people — so how do you expect me to respect free speech, when I was never supposed to have free speech?”

I cannot overlook the appositive, “in which the free-speech document came from” because it’s a total train wreck and the Guardian either misprinted or [sic]ed it to this person. It should read either, “from which the free speech document came”, or preferably, “from which free speech is derived”. This is not the first time I’ve had a problem with protest leaders issuing poorly-worded statements, and I would like to see improvement. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights was always meant to apply to American citizens, as which I’m sure “our people” qualify. Even if you accept the premise that something wasn’t meant for you, there is no logical blockade preventing you from respecting that thing. I respect that the blue circle on the door with the dress-wearing figure indicates the women’s restroom, even if it wasn’t meant for me.


One response to “UCSD Noose Hanger Tells Her Side of the Story: Let the Theories Roll

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  1. Racism begins with our families, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, people we admire, respect and love.

    However, as we grow and mature we come to the realization that what we were told by our family when we were children were slanted lies base on their prejudices. We realize that most people are like ourselves and not so different and want the same things, like a home, steady work, a Medicare plan and schools for our children (if you travel you will see this). We realize that most people are of good hearts and goodwill.

    This reminds me of a parable from the good book where a Levite and Priest come upon a man who fell among thieves and they both individually passed by and didn’t stop to help him. Finally a man of another race came by, he got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy and got down with the injured man, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his fellow man.

    You see, the Levite and the Priest were afraid, they asked themselves, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”

    But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

    That’s the question before us. The question is not, “If I stop to help our fellow man in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help our fellow man, what will happen to him or her?” That’s the question.

    God bless all my brothers and sister that stood side by side with our brothers and sisters in need, when you saw a wrong you tried to correct it, you may argue the methods but not the reasons. I know God will not discriminate by country of origin, our sex, our orientation, color of our skin, or our religion as men do.

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