Noose + History = Racism

Oregon State University Phi Gamma Delta Noose

This photo was taken in front of the Phi Gamma Delta house here at Oregon State University. Apparently the noose was from their Halloween decorations that had been left up accidentally. A student informed me that the original noose included a witch hanging from it. Note that all of the other Phi Gamma Delta Halloween decorations had been removed leaving just the noose hanging from a tree.

I’m sure the fraternity members never thought about the symbolism and historical context of nooses. Once again, racism does not always include malicious intent. The effect of racist symbolism creates an unwelcome and scary environment.

I really hope that Bob Kerr, OSU’s Coordinator of Greek Life, addresses this situation immediately. I also hope that the OSU student newspaper, the Daily Barometer does not try to cover up or silence anti-racist editorials on this situation. (The Barometer has refused to print several editorials that critique the Barometer’s printing of a photo of a student in blackface.)

For more examples of racism on college campuses, check out Vox’s – College Racism Roundup.