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Student apologizes for UC San Diego noose incident, claims no racist intent

The UC San Diego student reportedly responsible for last week’s controversial noose episode issued a public, but anonymous, apology Monday and said she'd had no racist intent when she hung the rope from a bookcase in the campus' main library. The discovery of the noose set off angry protests at a school already tense from racially charged episodes and triggered a round of condemnations from UC leaders and even the governor.

In a letter published Monday on the front page of the campus' student newspaper, the Guardian, the student wrote that "this was not an act of racism" and contended that it was a "stupid mistake." She said it was the result of fooling around and had nothing to do with seeking to intimidate black students with a symbol of lynching.

"I know what I did was offensive -- regardless of my intentions -- I am just trying to say I’m sorry. As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain," wrote the student, who was suspended Friday and remains under investigation by campus police for a possible hate crime.

The letter is signed "by Anonymous UCSD Student" and offers no clues to her identity or ethnicity. A note at the end of the letter states that the newspaper had verified the author’s authenticity. Sari Thayer, the Guardian’s Web editor, said in a telephone interview that the woman had approached the paper and asked to publish the letter and that "a reliable source" had confirmed it.   

In the letter, the woman said she and friends had been playing with a rope, jumping with it, making a lasso and then a noose early last week. She then carried it to the library, where she was studying, and strung it over a desk there Tuesday and forgot about it. Its discovery Thursday night caused a firestorm on campus, where racial tensions were high after a Jan. 15 off-campus party mocked Black History Month and a derogatory term for blacks was used on a student television show.

When she realized the controversial noose was her responsibility, "I felt so ashamed and embarrassed, and the first thing I did was call the campus police and confess," she wrote. She said her motivation in publishing the letter was "to hopefully put a little bit of faith back into the UCSD campus by clarifying that it was not an act of racism."

A campus spokesperson said campus police are continuing to investigate the incident and are consulting about it with the San Diego County district attorney's office and the U.S. attorney's office.  The student remains suspended while the investigation continues, the spokesperson said.

-- Larry Gordon

Comments () | Archives (70)

Is it really a crime (against the law) to tie a noose? It my be offensive, it may be stupid and it may not be PC, but surely it cannot be against the law to have tied a noose. It's not like she actually tried to use it.
vr, Xei

The last time a Californian, of any race, was murdered with a noose was...? 1932? 1862? Ever?

But last year saw several hundred persons, especially blacks, lose their lives to vehicle collisions, heart disease, diabetes, knives, guns, beatings and more. Most perpetrators usually share the victims race/ethnicity, & nooses were not a weapon of choice.

So what do some UCSD students get excited about? A noose, that could be used for Halloween decorations, an art project, impromptu macrame and more. Those folks need to calm down, and stop breaking their Prozac in half...

LOL, YEAH RIGHT!!! That is laughable! "...no racist intent". Just playing jumprope? Ridiculous!

The idiots who put on that party did so without university permission. These are all stupid kids making stupid mistakes. People in their 20's make really bad decisions sometimes but it's not a criminal offense to be an idiot.

I'm glad she took responsibility and apologized.

The UC Berkeley chancellor's home was vandalized by a group of mostly non-students who wanted to vent their rage about students fee hikes. Berkeley students smashed the windows of a Subway franchise a few nights ago. At Irvine, it's the Zionists against the Palestinians or whoever the Hell is mad as Hell about something or feels offended or slighted or oppressed.

We are seeing the logical progression of the politics of anger played out as this recession/depression grinds on.

Lets hope an eager-for-publicity DA doesn't charge her with felony rope knotting and make her go through an expensive trial then throw her into our already overcrowded jails--all at a cost to taxpayers. Hopefully, they have serious crimes to prosecute?

I'm sorry if the black students thought this was directed toward them (it clearly wasn't). I hope they all stay in school, get their degree, and help us create a more civil society. We could use one.

I totally believe that she meant no harm. I never really thought that nooses were necessarily a racially aggressive symbol. Only in the last few years has the issue been brought to my attention. I suppose growing up on the west coast (and not in the south) played a factor in this and I don't consider myself an ignorant or insensitive person. I have a master's degree from UCSD, sheltered, maybe, ignorant, no. I think that race in 2010 is an overblown issue which cloud real discrimination; socioeconomic class.

actually the student claims to be a minority and side with the protesters.


Did you all read that? A MINORITY woman student put the noose there! I'm not sure that I believe her ridiculous story, but taking her claim of innocence at face value, that means that TWO OUT OF THREE OF THE SO-CALLED RACIST INCIDENTS AT UCSD WERE NOT WHAT THEY WERE MADE OUT TO BE. The original Compton Cookout was a Black comedian named "Jiggaboo Jones," who uses gutter & rap language to make fun of his own ghetto culture. And the noose incident was a "minority woman," who claims not to have meant anything by "forgetfully" hanging a noose. So why are the UCSD black & left-wing students running around yelling about racism, looking like a bunch of fools? Because the ONLY truly racist incident was one horses-ass that runs the UCSD Koala radio program, who called the students "ungrateful n----s" I admit, he was a fool who threw gasoline onto a fire. But what are the black activists protesting? One stupid guy? Mr. J. Jones? A clueless minority woman who stupidly puts nooses in libraries? Face it, they are cynically using this incident to GET WHAT THEY WANT in terms of an easier road at UC, and the brittle, wimpy UC Chancelor just gives into them because she isn't fit for the top job.

This is the most blown-out-of-proportion BS since the Muslims rioted a few years ago because of a few Danish cartoons about Mohammed.

Maybe these racial tensions exist because of the constant use of the race card. Let's be real here, racism exists, it may be in a minimal form with most and greater with others. We all know who we are. I'm Asian, I'm different from you. Me as a person and culture, is different from a White American, I don't have and pretenses about it. Some people don't like me because I am Asian, big deal. Most people are decent and treat me with respect just as I to others no matter race/color.

People like Sharpton, Jackson, are prolonging the melting pot process that is America by profiting off the use of the race card. This constant use of 'racism' as a rallying cry grates on peoples nerves especially those of other minorities who have already blended into the American landscape. Yes, blacks had much different circumstances from the rest of immigrant population. Was it more difficult then the Chinese who were considered disposable because they were not owned, but lynched just the same if not following the rules of the white man. One could argue that freedom was the discerning differentiator, and rightly so. There is something to the value of 'hope' which pre 1870 black american did not have.

Before I ramble on much further, here's my point. Get rid of Sharpton and Jackson, use the educational system as a jumping board, move out of bad neighborhoods, and strive for the American dream as other immigrants have. The constant use of the race card is making people angry, especially by athletes and entertainers that make 20 million per annum.

We as the non black "African American" population cannot understand that one?

'Xeifrank', in the old days, when the U.S. still was a free society, it was not a crime - not in the law books, not in politics, not in society, not in morality. But today, you see, we live in a brave new world, and it is now a crime to say or do - in fact, even to think - something that that Historically Aggrieved Minorities, aka HAMs, find offensive. Note well that there is no equality before the law. Acts that used to be unmitigated crimes - murder, rape, battery - are now viewed through the lens of race and other HAM dimensions. So, if violent crimes are committed by members of HAMs against non-HAMs, they might not be crimes, according to the thought police who run the UC system; but if a non-HAM rolls his eyes or engages in "inappropriate laughter" when a HAM tediously laments his victimization by "institutional racism" or some other 75¢ "ism", that very probably will be judged a crime, and the non-HAM miscreant will be punished.

"not like she actually tried to use it?" That's like someone who brandishes a firearm during a robbery, but never fires a shot. It's a rather silly thing to say. It's not against the law to tie a noose, it's not against the law to have a noose on your personal property. The thing here is the IMPLICATION to create an aura of fear and terror. It is what makes the Jews react so viscerally to the sight of the Nazi Swastika. When either one is displayed, especially when it is placed in a stealthy matter beforehand, and in a public facility such as a school, how do you think people will react to it? I'm neither black, nor a Jew, and I detest both of those symbols. She knew what she was doing, I don't care how dumb she tries to play it. She is a typical "mommy and daddy pay all my bills" college punk.

The university can certainly take actions, whether a distric attorney can is a whole another matter.

In California it is a crime to hang a noose with the intent to threaten or terrorize.

But it not a crime to tie a noose and hang it for fun.

Looks to me like she's trying to lay the groundwork for a defense in case charges are filed.

Yeah, sure. College students play with rope(!), take it to the library, tie it into a noose, and happen to forget it there all the time. Sounds like the perfect thing to say when you've been caught and when administration needs to put out a PR fire. Passive-aggressive racism is no better than blatant racism; neither is it less perceptible despite what perpetrators think. Racist apologists and sympathizers strike again.

the campus paper is criminally irresponsible for airing an anonymous statement claiming irresponsibility.

the editors should be subpoenaed to id the perpetrator and her cohorts for terroristic threats.

the administration should be indicted for aiding and abetting in the general atmosphere.

We had better make a HUGE deal out of it.

She better lay low for awhile...If these so called protester find her, they will definitely string her up...

This is just the latest in a long string of Hate Hoaxes on campuses. When will the press wake up to how the scam works? When will it stop helping special interests promulgate these Two Week Hates against white students?

If she is a minority, then this sounds like a mistake. However, if she is a WHITE student, then is a blatent act of racism and she should be disciplined accordingly.

Not sure though how many UCSD students actually use the library to see the noose. Don't most study online or at the beach?

Rivers DeLong '81 UCSD

So is it ok to do because it's not illegal? How 'but I lay a blond wig, a black glove and knit cap, and one bloody knife on a table. Oh and a glass of orange juice for good measure. Would that be ok too? It's not illegal.

My guess is that the minority student was probably either black or Latino, who hung the noose (a seemingly self defeating move) anticipating precisely this kind of reaction due to similar incidents.

In other words, no real racism was involved. IT was a shock stunt by a non white student designed to provoke an outrage from other not white students with a racist gesture.

So now that the truth is out, can we arrest the students who illegally occupied the chancellor's office?

It should be considered a HATE crime and a TERRORIST threat and should be prosecuted accordingly. If a student left a SWASTIKA flag after and Anti-Semitic party what would be the consquences?

Of course it's against the law to tie a noose when the intent is obviously racist and meant to invoke a symbol of lynchings in the past. Are people really that ignorant to the history of lynching in the United States? Are people really that ignorant to anti-lynching legislation that we have in this country to combat the over 80 years of Southern White intimidation after Reconstruction and before the Civil Rights Movement towards African-Americans to prevent them from voting or becoming politicized?

A minority racist toward another minority? Happens all the time.

@Xeifrank — it's a loaded symbol of this country's not so distant past and it's shameful that even in this progressive minded state, one is not more careful of looking ignorant to the wounds of the 60s, Jim Crow and equal rights.

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