Hate Crime At Columbia

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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](http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=74403) 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](http://www.1010wins.com/Columbia-Professor-Finds-Noose-on-Office-Door/1070230) 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](http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime_file/2007/10/09/2007-10-09_noose_found_on_professors_door_at_columb.html), and there has been talk of a campus-wide student walkout at 2 p.m. today.

While some media outlets report that the teacher has yet to be identified, others have [outed her as Dr. Madonna Constantine], whose books include “[Addressing Racism](http://www.amazon.com/Addressing-Racism-Facilitating-Competence-Educational/dp/0471779970/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-1599612-2495056?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192023539&sr=8-1).”

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](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/03/AR2007080302098.html) in Louisiana.

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