Stanford University released a statement in response to “nooses” possibly being found near the California school’s campus Monday.
A student discovered cords tied to a tree, and an investigation by the campus police service and university arborist determined they had been there between 18 and 24 months.
- “We cannot be certain whether the ropes were deliberately fashioned in the shape of nooses, or were part of an abandoned swing or rope ladder,” the university said in an email to students. “To be clear, a noose is a potent symbol of anti-Black racism and violence that is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.”
- The university offered counseling for students distressed by the incident, saying, “We know this is a very difficult communication to receive, and could compound anger and disappointment you may be feeling knowing a noose was reported on campus in summer 2019 and given the discrimination experienced by many Black campus community members.”
- Stanford administrators faced criticism from the student body for their purportedly apathetic response when an alleged noose was reported on campus in 2019.
In recent years, similar incidents have cropped up, and in many cases, turn out not to be instances of racist vandalism.
- In 2020, NASCAR revealed that a “noose” found in black driver Darren “Bubba” Wallace Jr.’s stall was actually a garage door opener that had been there since at least the previous year.
- The mayor of Oakland held a press conference in June of 2020 responding to alleged nooses in a park that were later determined to be part of a black resident’s exercise setup.