If you thought we as a city (if not a country) had moved beyond your average “cracker” variety racism and onto “let’s kill all the bin Laden look alikes” brand of racism, you’d be wrong. Just a couple of weeks ago, Brooklyn residents awoke to find two synagogues, homes, stoops, sidewalks and vehicles vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. And yesterday, a noose was found hanging from the door of an African American professor’s office at the Teachers College at Columbia University. In case some of you don’t see the biggie, the ever-helpful Associated Press reminds us, “Nooses are reviled by many as symbols of lynchings in the Old South.” And the Daily News reports, “Detectives were investigating whether the incident was racially motivated.” Ya think? Maybe i was just a suicide gone bad. The NYPD’s hate crime task force are investigating. About 150 students gathered in front of Teachers College last night in protest, and there has been talk of a campus-wide student walkout at 2 p.m. today.
According to news reports, this type of thing isn’t unheard of at Columbia. There were six bias incidents on campus in the 2005-06 school year, including two students who were arrested after drawing swastikas and writing homophobic slurs in a dorm hallway. In 2004, there were three such incidents, including a racist cartoon mocking Black History Month. The media is drawing parallels to the “Jena Six” controversy in Louisiana.