Black Columbia Professor Finds Hangman's Noose Outside Office

Black Columbia Professor Finds Hangman's Noose Outside Office

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Oct. 11, 2007 – Columbia University is the latest campus to sport the universal symbol for lynching.

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On Tuesday, Madonna Constantine, an African-American professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, who co-wrote the book "Addressing Racism: Facilitating Cultural Competence in Mental Health and Educational Settings," found the hangman’s noose outside her door, police said. 

Twenty-four hours later, the Ivy professor, at a protest rally, had this message for the perpetrator: "I will not be silent."

"This is a heinous and highly upsetting incident. I am upset that our community has been exposed to a blatantly vile incident like this," Constantine said. "Hanging a noose on my door reeks of cowardice and fear."

Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

In an email to the 5,000 students and 150 faculty of the New York City campus, Teachers College President Susan H. Fuhrman explained the presence of police. In a campus forum to address the incident Tuesday night, students expressed outrage that such a thing could happen as at a university where tolerance and diversity is highlighted.

About 12 percent of students are Black, 11 percent are Asian American and 7 percent are Latino, according to the university Web site. In the early 20th century, Columbia brought African-American teachers to New York to train them and to help strengthen southern schools.

Do you think nooses are a serious matter? Why? Why not? Click "Discuss Now," to the right, to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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