In 2008, it is beyond sad to report that there are still cowards and hate mongers who refuse to let ignorance take a back seat in their pitiful lives.
Apparently, at the Abilene Christian University, where African American students make up about 13% of a student population of 4,700, cowardice and ignorance is the discussion of the moment. Last week, university student Daniel Paul Watkins, a political science major, entered his student government office to find a noose lying casually on his chair.
Reporting this incident to the Abilene Christian University campus police and other university officials has so far proved to be futile. There has been no arrests in the case and no suspects. The local police department nor the FBI have been contacted regarding the incident either. Why? According to Abilene Christian University President Royce Money, “campus police are are still determining if the case could be considered a hate crime.”
What more significant could Abilene Christian University campus officials need in calling this heinous incident a hate crime than a noose? A noose. Symbolic of the legally sanctioned mass murdering of African American males, and occasionally African American women, by means of lynching, which also included other methods of torture such as burning, quartering, the butchering of male reproductive organs, gang rape and etc.
With a history as such closer to the pulse of African Americans than many realize, it is difficult to ascertain why Abilene Christian University officials refuse to acknowledge it instead of sitting on their hands, absolving themselves of the entire matter. Money told the Associated Press Monday that “someone has jeopardized the fine reputation of a top academic institution…the entire image of a university is challenged by an individual.”
So there it is! The reason why Abilene Christian University officials are so reluctant to call a noose, situated on a chair purposely with an invisible, historic message attached to it a ‘hate crime’ is simply because “reputation” translates into tuition monies. Dollars. Greenbacks. Euros. Without a public outcry on this matter, this ‘hate crime’ at Abilene Christian University will fade into obscurity, away from public scrutiny, and then subsequently breed future incidents of this sort, more heinous than the first.
If Abilene Christian University officials are not careful, Michael Baisden and The Family, along with the tens of thousands who participated in the march for justice regarding the Jena 6, publicity of a different kind will arrive on their doorsteps that will most definitely incite the type of ‘reputation’ that I am most assured will not be a cakewalk.