Students and administrators at the University of Delaware (UD) were in an uproar Tuesday night after students claimed they discovered several nooses hanging from trees after a Black Lives Matter rally. But even though the “hate crime” has been exposed as a total non-event, the school is still doubling down on the necessity of fighting hate on campus.
Three alleged nooses were supposedly found dangling from a tree on UD’s Green and had provoked a torrent of outrage within hours from minorities on campus who said they reflected a climate of hate.
“I’ve been called the n-word multiple times. I’ve dealt with a lot of racial BS at this campus, but never, never in my wildest imagination did I think in my last year here … that in the middle of the night I would run up to a tree with three nooses hanging up there,” student Gerti Wilson told Delaware Online. Another student, Morgan Franklin, said she broke down in tears at the horrible sight, and claimed it proved “my safety is not a concern” on campus.
UD officials moved rapidly to condemn the ferocious hate crime via a statement sent to students.
“We are both saddened and disturbed that this deplorable act has taken place on our campus,” said acting president Nancy Targett. “This hateful display stands in stark contrast to Monday night’s peaceful protest and discussion. We condemn this despicable action and ask everyone in our community to stand together against intolerance and hate.”
Except, once police actually took a close look at these “nooses,” the hate crime narrative rapidly fell apart.
“Thanks to tips from students who responded to our earlier call for information and the investigative work of University of Delaware Police, it has been determined that the three noose-like items found outside Mitchell Hall were not instruments of a hate crime, but the remnants of paper lanterns from an event previously held on The Green,” president Targett said in a follow-up statement Wednesday morning.
Even a cursory glance at the alleged “nooses” shows the noose narrative to be quite a stretch. They are plainly constructed out of wire, and only one appears to even have a loop shape.
Case closed? Not so fast. Despite conclusively determining that the entire controversy was a misunderstanding, Targett said the incident somehow still demonstrates the need for more anti-racism work on campus.
“The sensitivity of our campus to this potential issue clearly indicates a need for continuing dialog within our community. I continue to encourage everyone to join me at the gathering scheduled at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon on The Green,” said Targett. “The safety and inclusiveness of our campus are our top priorities, and we will always act quickly and decisively to respond to concerns of our community.”
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