The Mandeville Noose, Poor Reporting, and LeBron James   Leave a comment

No final conclusions are to be drawn, but this may be the “noose” found at UCSD’s Mandeville Hall on July 21.

For the sake of all 48 news articles related to “UCSD noose”, I sincerely hope that is not the case.
The usual suspects have been covering the story, LA Times, San Diego Union Tribune, and 10 News San Diego (who posted the image originally). Late July may typically not be a busy news time for San Diego, but if the image above is in fact the “noose” being investigated, I am appalled at what’s going on.

Also of concern, as usual, are the headlines showing up. One AP  articles is called “Noose found at UCSD may be latest racial prank” while another story is titled “More Racial Tension on UCSD Campus”. Neither strike me as caring particularly about accuracy. I’m not sure what a “racial prank” is or what the precedents are that make this one the latest. “Noose girl” denied malicious intent with a plausible story, and the KKK hood was really given very little attention on campus for its hackneyed and attention-seeking lameness it dripped. This one seems to not be a noose at all making the real “prank” that the media tries to stir up racial tensions for no reason.

No emails from Chancellor Fox or other school official has been sent out and no protests have been organized. Lack of attention makes it less incidental, but it’s like the news outlets are trying to stir up unrest. It does not make sense. The math these news outlets seem to be operating under goes something like: thin long material + loop = noose. A lasso or a bowline thrown out to rescue a man overboard would qualify as a noose under this media criteria. Long, thin material and a loop are necessary for an object to be a noose, but they are not sufficient. This logical failing is either indicative of severe media incompetence or it is not unintentional. Stirring up questionable headlines about nooses, racism, and UCSD might serve some purpose for the media, perhaps even beyond ratings and page views.

I find it interesting that LeBron James is at UCSD right now hosting a summer basketball camp. The coincidental status of the timing is specious. James’ camp started yesterday and this story was first reported yesterday, even though the noose was found over a week ago. The noose in Geisel Library was reported as soon as it was found. Could certain entities have been at work to try to coordinate the news of the new so-called “noose” and LeBron James’ arrival at UCSD? Maybe school officials didn’t want to scare James off by having a racial incident a week before a camp and risk having him cancel.

James also had his basketball camp at UCSD last summer, and chose to return this summer, “Compton Cookout” and all. I do not know what James’ level of knowledge of the Cookout saga is or what his take might be, but it didn’t stop him from returning to what’s been slammed as a “racist school” by the media.

We do not want LeBron James to make a “Decision” about the Mandeville “noose”.

It is possible that, given the timing of this story’s explosion and LeBron James’ arrival on campus, that this has all been set up by certain people wanting UCSD’s racial issues and LeBron James to collide. It would be a huge story. UCSD, void of popular sports programs and star athletes that appear on television regularly, doesn’t get very many opportunities to have a star athlete talk about it. Having such a huge star weigh in on racial issues on campus would give tremendous spotlight to the university and the issue at hand, fabricated or not.

The elements and timing at play here merit some consideration. A campus rocked by racial tension, a huge star athlete, a questionable new incident, delayed news coverage of that incident to coincide with athlete’s arrival, and the prospect of that star athlete giving this issue national exposure. This leads me toward the feeling that the real race baiters are not the hangers of this new “noose” (or any UCSD noose, since Noose Girl had no intention to intimidate). The real race baiters here are the people coordinating LeBron James and the July 21 Mandeville “noose”, because if he comments, what good can come of it?

People are weary of Lebron James and his “Decision”, and are aware that he is an aloof speaker who focuses only on himself and his wants. That is not the type of person you want speaking out about racial tensions and healing. I don’t think LeBron means any harm, but his superstar status and prima donna attitude have rendered his tongue dangerous about racial issues he is not informed about. In all likelihood, having LeBron talk about nooses and racial tensions would lead to further racial tensions. Anyone who would use these incidents and a well-meaning star athlete to further divide different races is despicable. I hope in ernest that LeBron James focuses on his basketball camp only while at UCSD and plays no unsuspecting role in someone’s racial agenda.


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