A noose was found hanging from a tree on Duke University’s campus early Wednesday morning, the school newspaper The Chronicle reports.
It’s the latest in a string of racially offensive incidents that have been occurring on college campuses nationwide. A student at the University of Mississippi suspected of draping a noose and a Confederate flag around a statue on campus was recently charged by federal authorities, and fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma were seen in footage singing a racist chant about African Americans.
At Duke, the noose was made out of a “thin yellow rope,” The Chronicle reports. It immediately caused concern among students and administrators who saw it as a symbol of when African Americans were lynched during Jim Crow.
An anonymous group, calling themselves the Duke People of Color Caucus, released a statement on Tumblr describing feelings of being unsafe on campus. “To all black students, staff, faculty and/or Durhamites on campus and in the area: Please take care of yourselves and each other,” the statement read. “This campus is not a safe space, and has proven beyond any doubt that it is a hostile environment for any and all black people.”
According to reports, the incident is being investigated by local police and was condemned by school administrators.
“To whomever committed this hateful and stupid act, I just want to say that if your intent was to create fear, it will have the opposite effect,” Larry Moneta, an administrator for student affairs, said. “Be assured that the Duke community will provide all the support necessary to help us all get through this. In time, each of these cowardly acts of bias and hatred will strengthen our resolve to love and support each other.”
Duke students, professors and administrators, including the school’s president, Richard Brodhead, met on campus Wednesday evening to process the incident and discuss the next steps.
Read more at The Chronicle.