‘Verified Apology’ for Noose Incident at UCSD

By March 1, 2010

The situation at the University of California, San Diego, just keeps getting weirder. It has been reported in several places today that The Guardian, UCSD’s main student newspaper, has printed a "verified apology" from the unnamed student who hung a noose in the UCSD library. I say "it has been reported" because The Guardian‘s website has been down for several hours now and we no longer can access the original. Here’s the text of the apology, however (in this case, we got it from blogger and former Guardian staffer Teresa Wu):

I have a story that needs to be heard. I am the girl you’ve read about, the one who hung the noose in Geisel Library.

Firstly, I’m writing to apologize. I don’t have an excuse for what I did, and I deeply regret it.Secondly, I’m writing to hopefully put a little bit of faith back into the UCSD campus by clarifying that it was not an act of racism. This is what happened.

I found a small piece of rope on the ground earlier in the day. While I was hanging out with my friends a bit later, we tried jump- roping with it and making it into a lasso. My friend then took the rope and tied it into a noose. I innocently marveled at his ability to tie a noose, without thinking of any of its connotations or the current racial climate at UCSD. I left soon after with one of my friends for Geisel to study, still carrying the rope. After a bit of studying I picked up the rope to play with, and ended up hanging it by my desk. It was a mindless act and stupid mistake. When I got up to leave, a couple hours later, I simply forgot about it. This was Tuesday night. Three days later, on Friday morning, I found out that the noose had been found and construed as another racist act on campus. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed, and the first thing I did was call the campus police and confess. I was hoping to clarify that this was not an act of racism before the incident got a full reaction from the campus. I gave my statement around 9 a.m. They thanked me for coming forward and for trying to clear up the issue. Later, I received a campuswide e-mail saying that I confessed and had been taken into custody, which simply wasn’t true. One thing that is true is that I have been suspended. I know what I did was offensive — regardless of my intentions — I am just trying to say I’m sorry. As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain.

 Assuming that this is truly a statement from the student involved, FIRE suggests that readers judge for themselves the account in this statement. It seems bizarre.