A “noose” was found in a dormitory at Michigan State University Wednesday, and the administration has condemned its appearance, calling it a racist symbol and a threat. Later, the “noose” was revealed to be a shoelace packaged in such a way that it appeared to be the offensive symbol.
“I was distressed this morning to learn of a racial incident in one of our residence halls,” MSU President Lou Anna Simon said Wednesday in a statement, before the item was found to be a shoelace. “A student reported a noose was hung outside of her room. I want to recognize the courage it took for the student to report this incident.”
Simon continued: “I want to be clear: This type of behavior is not tolerated on our campus. No Spartan should ever feel targeted based on their race, or other ways in which they identify. A noose is a symbol of intimidation and threat that has a horrendous history in America.”
Student leader Lorenzo Santavicca added to the condemnation. “I am distressed as much as the president states in her statement,” Santavicca said. “I am disgusted and quite frankly, I’m disappointed.”
““There is absolutely racism on our campus that we have to address. We have to do better. I’m going to hold ourselves accountable to making sure we do whatever we can for the communities on our campus that are particularly targeted and affected by racial incidents. And quite frankly, we need to call it what it is — it is racism,” Santavicca declared.
Later in the day, MSU police announced that the “noose” was actually a shoelace dropped on a hallway floor and they had located its owner.
According to MSU spokesman Jason Cody, who referenced the incident in a statement, the leather shoelace was “packaged in a way that someone could perceive them to look similar to a noose.”
“Also, the original shoelace found inside the residence hall was not directed at any individual,” Cody continued. “It originally was seen on hallway floor and later on a stairwell door handle, where officers believe someone put it after picking it up.”
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