ADL Says Discovery Of Noose On Columbia Campus 'Deeply Disturbing'
New York, NY, October 10, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the discovery of a noose on Columbia University's campus "a deeply disturbing, heinous and unconscionable attack" and urged the New York City Police Department to treat the incident as a hate crime.
"The noose is right up there with the swastika and the burning cross as symbols of hate," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This act appears to be a copycat attack with the intent to sow intimidation and fear on campus. It is a deeply disturbing and heinous attack and should be investigated as a serious hate crime, as there is no doubt that the message was that of ugly racism and hate."
Aside from the highly publicized incident involving nooses in a tree outside of a school in Jena, Louisiana, similar incidents involving nooses recently have been reported at schools in College Park, Maryland and Columbia, South Carolina. With its past associations of lynchings in the old South, the noose has long been used to threaten and intimidate others, particularly African-Americans.
"Sadly, we are still fighting the old demons of hatred and prejudice, even among young people who have no memory of the civil rights era and Jim Crow," said Mr. Foxman. "It points up the need for education, so that our young people have a deeper understanding of the consequences of unchecked racism, bigotry and hate."
The ADL's New York Regional Office is working closely with Columbia and NYPD police as they investigate the incident.
ADL maintains an online database of hate symbols at http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/default.asp in an effort to inform law enforcement and the public about those symbols commonly used by hate groups and others who harbor racist and anti-Semitic views.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.