(DURHAM, N.C.) — An investigation is underway on the campus of Duke University after a noose was found hung on the Bryan Center plaza, where the office of the Vice President of Student Affiars, among other offices, are located.
Larry Moneta, Vice President of Student Affairs, addressed Duke students in a letter sent out on Wednesday, describing the “disgust and anger” that he felt when he learned of the incident. “Though it has since been removed, the photos are everywhere and its hateful message will sadly pervade and persist for a long time,” he wrote.
Moneta called the hanging of the noose a “hateful and stupid act.” He vowed that the Duke community, however, would not allow the incident to create fear.
“Today, fear will be among the reactions students, and especially, students of color, will have,” he acknowledged. “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.”
Moneta said that anyone who is identified as responsible for the “act of intimidation” will be “held fully accountable.”
The Duke People of Color Caucus, a group formed about two weeks ago after students allegedly chanted a racist song at a black female student, posted to its Tumblr account urging “all black students, staff, faculty, and/or Durhamites on campus and in the area” to “take care of yourselves and each other.”
“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,” the group added.
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