Noose found on Columbia University Professor’s Door


Madonna Constantine

Hat Tip: By Adam Goldman, Associated Press

Investigators on Wednesday were looking into whether a noose hanging from the door of a black professor at Columbia University was the work of disgruntled students or even a fellow professor.

A police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the investigation have not been made public, stressed that investigators were looking into a variety of possibilities. One is that the noose was placed on Madonna Constantine’s door by another professor with whom she was having a dispute at the university’s Teachers College, the police official said.

The discovery of the noose, found Tuesday, has roiled the Ivy League campus, prompting plans for a protest rally and a meeting for upset students and faculty.

“This is an assault on African Americans and therefore it is an assault on every one of us,” university President Lee C. Bollinger said in a statement. “I know I speak on behalf of every member of our communities in condemning this horrible action.”

Columbia planned a town hall meeting Wednesday afternoon for faculty and students to address the incident.

Derald Wing Sue, an adjunct professor at the Teachers College who does research with Constantine, said he was at work Tuesday morning when another colleague spotted the noose hanging on Constantine’s door. She wasn’t in her office at the time.

Constantine has written about race, including a book entitled “Addressing Racism: Facilitating Cultural Competence in Mental Health and Educational Settings.” Students said Constantine teaches a class on racial justice.

“Clearly, it was a symbolic act of racial hatred that was intended to intimidate,” Sue said. “I felt outraged and angry that this was directed at such a close colleague and friend of mine.”

Sue said he informed Constantine about the noose and she was devastated.

“She’s doing fine,” he said “She’s OK. I’ve talked to her. She’s getting a lot of support.”

An e-mail to Constantine was not immediately returned Wednesday, nor were calls to the publicist for Teachers College and Constantine’s office.

As word of the incident spread, students and faculty reacted with sadness and anger.

“It’s hard hearing about it,” Danielle Green, a black student, said Wednesday. “I’m not uncomfortable here but I’m not surprised. I mean, look at the world we live in. There is a lot of racism going on.”

In the message to the college’s 5,000 students and 150 faculty members explaining why police were on campus Tuesday, college president Susan H. Fuhrman said: “The Teachers College community and I deplore this hateful act, which violates every Teachers College and societal norm.”

“You would think, Columbia being such a diverse campus and New York being such a diverse city, it shouldn’t happen here,” said student Mikayla Graham.

Teachers College, founded in 1887, describes itself as the nation’s oldest and largest graduate school of education.

According to its Web page, the college brought black teachers from the South to New York for training in the early part of the 20th century, when schools in the South were segregated.

The college has a diverse student body, including students from nearly 80 countries. The racial breakdown is 12 percent black, 11 percent Asian American and 7 percent Hispanic.

The discovery of the hangman’s noose echoes other recent incidents involving the symbol reviled by many for its association with lynchings in the Old South.

Last year in Jena, La., three white students hung nooses from a big oak tree outside Jena High School. They were suspended but not prosecuted.

Racial tensions rose and a white student was beaten unconscious three months later. Recently, thousands of people protested the arrests of six black students in the incident.

Columbia has been the site of other campus turmoil, most recently last month when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was invited to speak, prompting protests by groups angry over his statements questioning the existence of the Holocaust.


15 thoughts on “Noose found on Columbia University Professor’s Door

  1. Well, don’t you get the joke? Don’t you get the prank?

    You people have absolutely NO sense of humor.

    Uh huh.

    If they’re so big and bad, do it when people are around. Because their racist asses are writing checks they know they can’t cash.

  2. I know that Michael’s going to flame me for saying this, but I refuse to back down from my previous statement.

    The Bush Administration’s attitude towards dealing with racial tension and incidents, has facilitated this atmosphere of boldly hanging nooses on the doors of university professors, the incidents in Jena and the refusal of the DA to repudiate any of it. Complicit with it all are the House Negroes that sit in positions of authority, i. e. U. S. Attorney for Louisiana, Donald Washington, or Louisiana DA Tony Clayton, who are as silent as mice pissing on cotton, and allowing this shyt to happen on their watch.

    They all have assimilated like Malcolm X warned about when instead of saying “Massa’s sick”, the fool is walking around saying, “We sick”. Who the hell is “we”?

    Rikyrah, you couldn’t have said it better. If a bigot isn’t ashamed of being a bigot, they need to take off those hoods and robes, and do that shyt out in the open. They hide because even if there weren’t laws against hate crimes arising from bigotry (from Plessy to 1954, there weren’t any laws against Jim Crow laws)deep down inside, they know the shyt is wrong, but their insecurities and their need to reassure their perceived “superiority” far outweighs their shame in engaging in bigoted acts against people of color and white women.

    There will never be any sense of humor when you take a symbol that indicated you could kill my ass at anytime because my skin color their disdain for my race says you could. Until they have to experience a damned noose around their neck, they can’t relate.

    Those kids in Jena (white kids) did that noose shyt because they knew they were going to skate. And Reed Walters confirmed it.

    The real deal: we survived everything they threw at our race and we’re still here, in spite of their best efforts. That scares them. And that’s why those checks their asses are writing are going to bouce like a ping-pong ball when the time comes. Book it.

  3. The real deal: we survived everything they threw at our race and we’re still here, in spite of their best efforts. That scares them. And that’s why those checks their asses are writing are going to bouce like a ping-pong ball when the time comes. Book it.


    I hear you. The thing that gets them is that they get it’s a new day. You have the Hip Hop Generation that basically isn’t going to take that kind of ‘ disrespect’. And, then you have the older folks, like myself saying, ” I’m not turning anymore cheeks.” Means the same thing.

  4. Morning News:
    1. Those Mofos in LA put Mychal Bell back in jail.

    2. Al Gore Won the Nobel Peace Prize

    3. Question for those who live in DC – whose the Auntie Remus that’s the new Editorial Page Editor at the Washington Times – Deborah Simmons – what’s her story.

  5. Denise

    Simmons? Saw her briefly on CSpan this a.m. I’ll be sure to catch the re-cast later today.

    She participates in a weekly reporters’ roundtable that airs on the city’s cable channel. Other than that, I don’t know her. She seems pretty capable to me, and I’ve never been alarmed by anything she’s said.

    The Washington Times was founded (and is perhaps still owned) by Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. The paper’s voice is conservative leaning.

  6. Michael

    Junkie. Flame you? Nope. Of course we’re entitled to our opinion and we can certainly passionately disagree with each other and not call it hate.

    A few comments first. 1st: Those kids hung the nooses in Jena for no other reason than the fact that they are stupid. We all know that. 2nd: Its still silly to think that any one person (even a president) makes it ok to be racist. #3 The general population is not “scared” of blacks, nor do they disdain them. This is paranoia. I do however beleive that the country is quickly coming to a point where they are going to put a stop to the race hustling. #4. You should not paint all whites as being racist, or being the enemy any more that whites should paint all blacks as being angry fatherless victims. Now be careful you don’t twist my words. With the current hypersensitivity, I’m would imagine your waiting on the edge of your chair to take any sentence out of context, and say I’m calling names. #5. The Columbia noose incident smells to me. There nothing like a well planning PR stunt to call attention(and the press) to your door and to pour fuel on a fire. I think we should consider that this was a inside job possibly perpetrated by her. She has everything to gain by this. Jena was disgusting and stupid on many fronts, white and black, but this one is not a slam dunk. Don’t be a stooge, this noose does not speak to the way whites generally feel about blacks any more that Je$$ie’s shakedowns represent all blacks. So your anger and discussion of violence is misplaced. Be angry at the perpetrators, not the entire race. isn’t that what you expect of others, To not paint all blacks with the same brush? #5, You haven’t “survived” anything. You live in the finest country in the world with the most opportunities. Imperfect? Yes, but Junkie, your histrionics and drama is a bit overplayed. “The real deal: we survived everything they threw at our race and we’re still here, in spite of their best efforts” Who’s best efforts? I’m sure you mean all whites and will conviently forget to discuss any responsibility you have. I think the “real deal” is that your still here in spite of shooting yourself in the foot by willingly voting for democrats that have done nothing for you and disdain you to point they only give you token positions in thier administrations. And you accept this is return for handouts from these miscreants and simply say thank you. Most people know that the democrat plantation is alive and well…and you support it!

    Final point: Both whites and blacks need to purge the lowlifes of our races and silence the fringe people that talk hate against both. Until we have the guts to do that, nothing changes. I work, live, recreate, have dear friends and colleagues that are black and I know for a fact, that not all people are as hypersensitive about race as some people would have you beleive. Ok, now I’m sure I’ll get flamed.

    I say we look into this Columbia issue as a made-to-order perpetuation stunt. I wonder if we can test the rope for DNA or something.

  7. Michael, while we agree to disagree, I must stand by what I’ve said, and if that makes me paranoid, then there’s more African-Americans, Latino Americans and Asian Americans who are equally paranoid.

    Unless you are a person of color, you may break down your analysis any way you want, but unlike you, I live with this shyt every day of my life. I work a full-time job and there are many Blacks like me who work and are not dependent on the Government for handouts, because those systems are set up to facilitate a sort of slavery of its own, and those who set it up mean to keep people of color dependent.

    We have survived in spite of everything thrown at us, sell outs within the races, shooting ourselves in the foot, and everything else. Bottom line, we still continue to not only survive, but thrive. So put down your glass of haterade and celebrate, instead.

    And what would this sista stand to gain from fostering a fake “noose” incident? When you can explain that, maybe I’ll consider your theory.

  8. John

    While you people bicker and snicker at each other, the main plan of keeping everyone at each others throat goes on unchecked.

    No I do not fear the Black man, or the Hispanic or the Aisan or the White.
    I do fear people who want to take things from me. Any race they happen to be. And most of these are white.
    I see signs of a plot. To keep the people of this country divided and afraid of each other. The more divided we are the easier to control us it is.

    The people of this country need to look around and see who the real threat is. The ones who control every thing. The ones who rewrite history and current events to suit their needs. The ones who make money and get power by poisoning our minds.

    No your not paranoid for thinking some one is out to get you, they are. But your blind as hell if you think it is me.

    Your average Irish White Guy……..

  9. John, (average Irish white guy), while you make good points too, the reason we’re probably paranoid is because some of your brethren (WASPs) are the ones driving that plot you talk about. It certainly isn’t people of color, because we don’t have that type of access, and what we do have is limited.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the history of how the Irish got treated by those same WASPs when your ancestors came to this country. Y’all got treated like African-Americans did. So, I guess it’s good that you see some things for what they really are.

  10. Lucia Akech

    The revival of overt displays of the noose may have escalated since the public hanging of Saddam Hussein ealier in the year. The man was handed over to the hangmen by the USA government in Iraq.

    The sadistic hate groups must have been embolden seing how the leader of “free world” was able to publicly end the life of a man who was once a US ally, with a noose!

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