Hundreds of students gathered on the campus of the University of Delaware to hear officials’ explanation of what appeared to be three nooses found dangling from trees on the campus earlier this week.
According to the University of Delaware, the “nooses” were remnants of paper lanterns from a previous event.
Students thought they were placed as a response to a Black Lives Matter protest held earlier in the week. The African-American students were pissed over comments Fox News pundit Katie Pavlich made a racially charged speech on campus.
Police Chief Patrick Ogden said at least eight students verified they had already seen what was later reported to be nooses from the earlier event. The students even produced a picture of the lanterns in use before they were mistaken as a racial statement.
“[After] the event here Monday night and the pictures that I saw, I thought that it was reasonable to believe that perhaps it was a noose hanging from a tree,” Chief Ogden said. “We conducted a very thorough investigation. We waited until about 6 am this morning to definitively say we are confident that it was not an intentional act. That the information that was relayed by the students with the paper lantern was true and accurate. We actually pulled the wire portion that was in the tree out of the evidence locker and compared that to the paper lantern, and I am 100 percent confident that is what it was.”
“I can’t explain why no one else saw those or reported those in the trees,” a baffled Chief Ogden told the crowd. “Many of us were here at Mitchell Hall Monday night. I was here; I didn’t see it. But the different students reported it was there, we have the paper lantern and the wire that was there. I am confident this was not an intentional act.”
Even if it was a simple misunderstanding, the African-American students are still outraged with how they are treated on the University of Delaware’s plush campus.
Many of the black student speakers at UD relayed shocking stories that shared the same theme.
Being the only black in class and having to deal with hostile students, being called racist names from passing cars and being ignored or even picked on by faculty members, were some of the grievances.
University of Delaware President Nancy Targett said she was pleased with the investigation, even though some of the students and parents seemed to be skeptical of the explanation.
“I understand some of you may be skeptical of that information,” President Targett told the crowd. “I get that. I met with and talked to Chief Ogden throughout the night, and I’m confident that he got it right. But I was deeply disturbed how this incident exposed feelings of pain and fear in our students. I spent much of the day speaking to students of all colors and backgrounds. Some have told me of instances where they felt like outcasts on their on campus, like their opinions and views, their lives did not matter. Hearing that broke my heart.”
Some student speakers were also outraged at comments posted to social media sites like Yik Yak, which displayed insensitive comments from some of their white counterparts. Students are demanding that all students and faculty members undergo more intense diversity training.