Custom Search

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hate Crimes at Columbia University: Nooses, Anti-Semitic Graffiti and, Now Swastikas

Hate crimes are being investigated at Columbia University and amidst the investigations, more hate crimes are occurring.

This is what happens when you invite hatred onto your campus, like inviting Ahmadinejad, a murdering anti-Semitic leader to speak in front of our nations children.


First, October 11, 2007, a noose was found on a professors door at Columbia University:

A black Columbia University professor targeted by a hangman's noose delivered a defiant message during a protest rally Wednesday: "I will not be silent."

A day after the racist symbol was left dangling on her office door, Madonna Constantine was greeted by raucous cheers of support at Teachers College.

"Hanging a noose on my door reeks of cowardice and fear," said Constantine, who teaches psychology and education and has written on racism.

"I want the perpetrator to know I will not be silent."

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident as a bias crime.

The Columbia University hampered the police investigation, before releasing the security tapes to officials, 24 hrs later:

Columbia University has refused to turn over security videotape that could help identify who hung a noose on a black professor's office door, police said Thursday.

Investigators began asking on Wednesday for tapes from cameras in the building, but have been rebuffed by administrators, said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department's top spokesman.

He said police will have to get a court order to force the school to provide video they believe could crack the case.

"It's unfortunate because it adds a time-consuming step to the investigation," Browne said.

24 hours later, after the police had already filled out the paperwork and gotten a judge to sign it, Columbia University decides to become cooperative.

After stonewalling cops for more than 24 hours, Columbia University has agreed to hand over security tapes that could help ID the person who left a hangman's noose on a black professor's office door.

The Ivy League school initially told cops they needed a subpoena to get a look at security tapes from Teachers College and the names of students in Professor Madonna Constantine's classes.

Cops then spent hours putting together the legal paperwork and getting a judge to sign off on the court order around midnight last night, they said.

They were about to serve the subpoena on Columbia when the university flip-flopped - after getting media inquiries - and agreed to hand over 56 hours of tape.

Then in the middle of that investigation, in fact, the very next day, October 12, 2007, we see reports of another hate crime is committed with anti-Semitic graffiti on bathroom stall, at Columbia University:

.......another hate crime investigation is being conducted because of anti-semitic graffiti that was found in a bathroom stall in Lewisohn Hall yesterday.

Lewisohn is home to the School of General Studies, which serves students who undertake a non-traditional education. The NYPD reported that the graffiti, inscribed in black ink, included a caricature of a man wearing a yarmulke above a swastika. The incident comes in the midst of a particularly tumultuous time for the University.

Fast forward to today.

Reports today show another professor at Columbia University has been targeted with a swastika on her door, the latest hate crime to roil Columbia.

A second professor of psychology and education at a Columbia University school has been targeted with a symbol of bias and hatred, police said.

Elizabeth Midlarsky, who is Jewish, discovered a painted swastika on her office door yesterday morning. Like Madonna Constantine, who found a noose on her office door Oct. 9, Midlarsky is a professor of psychology and education.

The incidents follow the well-publicized appearance at the university by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a noted Holocaust denier.

This is at least the second time in two years that police have investigated a swastika which was scrawled on a campus wall. In December, 2005, a swastika was found inscribed on the door of a room in Ruggles Hall along with racist and homophobic epithets.

After the noose incident and the anti-Semitic graffiti was found, the students expressed fear on a piece written at the Columbia Spectator:

Students expressed that they were shaken by the events of the past week. "Pain isn't being addressed. People are scared and upset. I still don't feel safe. I really want some answers about what will be done to relieve that plan because it's really palpable," Caitlin Shea, TC '08, said. "At TC the student body has a lot of pain which people can't articulate, but you can feel it in the air, collectively. We need group counseling sessions in a space that is safe. We've had more forums than actual action in terms of helping us heal."

The leadership at Columbia is incompetent and acts such as these are happening more frequently as well as the students being allowed to commit acts of violence against speakers that are invited to Columbia University, unless of course it is the Iranian dictator, never being punished for that violence and suffering no repercussions for acts like that and at least these latest crimes are being investigated by the proper authorities now.

New York State law says that incidents in which swastikas are used as graffiti will be investigated as aggravated harassment in the first degree, a more severe punishment than for other forms of defacement.

I will ask again as I asked on October 12, 2007:

Is this really the type of school we want our children being "educated" from?

These are not isolated incidents and the problem is escalating.