Public Officials Issue Statement on Noose

Share:

nooseAn investigation is underway into what the Davis Police Department is investigating as a hate incident, the hanging of a noose, found by Davis School District Safety Coordinator Marc Hicks on Friday, hanging from the goalposts at the Davis School football field.

The investigation is still underway.  Officials are taking this matter very seriously, believing it very important that all people in this community feel safe.

The timing of the noose coincided with the celebration of Juneteenth, which is an international day celebrating Freedom and Emancipation from slavery.

Officials have stressed that they are not treating this as a prank.  The incident has been reported to the Davis Police Department for investigation.

“The city of Davis is a community of acceptance, inclusion and understanding.  We emphatically deplore the act of hate that occurred at Davis High School over the weekend.  We stand firmly with all members of our community, especially those who have known the pain of discrimination and prejudice in the past,” said Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza and Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson in a joint statement released on Tuesday afternoon.

Susan Lovenberg, President of the School Board stated, “The hanging of the noose at our football stadium goes against everything we believe and teach our students.  As a community, we deplore this act of hatred and ignorance.”

At this time officials do not know if children or adults are responsible for displaying what they are calling a “symbol of violence and hate.”

Lt. Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department told the Vanguard late on Monday evening that he will be assigning a detective to look into this matter further.

Right now he said there was nothing other than the noose itself to suggest any type of hate message behind it, but obviously given sensitivities and the history of such a symbol they will be examining that question far more closely in the coming days.

“The incident is an unfortunate reminder that we must redouble our efforts in the community – and in our classrooms – to teach and emulate equality and justice,” Mayor Krovoza and Mayor Pro Tem Swanson said.

They noted that a police report has been filed and the Davis Police Department is pursuing all possible leads to locate those responsible.

“We are also asking the city’s Human Relations Committee to advise the City Council on steps to further promote and foster inclusion and nurturing of all people in our community,” the Davis City officials said.

“Hate and intolerance stem from fear and ignorance,” said Superintendent Winfred Roberson. “This isolated event does not distract us from the positive work and cultural responsiveness that has taken place in DJUSD and the City of Davis.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

37 thoughts on “Public Officials Issue Statement on Noose”

  1. Frankly

    I’m sorry David, but all the responses from public officials are robotic… the same prepared script, the same weeping public platitudes and angry dissertations. That fact is that we know NOTHING about the source and the intent of this prank… just like we knew nothing about the Duke Lacrosse team. Yet, the robots jump to conclusion.

    I think my comment was very appropriate.

  2. David M. Greenwald

    I disagree. I spent a good deal of time talking with these public officials and know the amount of attention they gave this matter trying to figure out how to draw the right balance between not giving the situation too much credence and at the same time understanding that this type of incident is hurtful to people in this community. I wish you would have spent half the time they did, considering the impact on the community.

  3. Don Shor

    Jeff, do you believe that the action of putting up the noose on Juneteenth was intentionally inflammatory and worthy of condemnation, regardless of who did it? How do you believe the public officials who represent the city of Davis (mayor and mayor pro-tem) should have responded?

  4. davisite4

    And I could have equally well predicted the robotic denial from those who seem to think that Davis and the rest of the U.S. are beyond racism, despite ample evidence to the contrary. Some people seem to have a great deal invested in the illusion that we have a racism-free society. Some people seem to think that it only counts as racism if there is actually a person swinging on the end of that noose (and then maybe not even then).

  5. Frankly

    Jake, Thanks, I certainly will. I think there is very good chance David will be apologizing to me.

    David, I went searching for your comment. I haven’t found it yet. However, I was astounded over how much I had posted on previous topics on the claims of racism in Davis. It seems to hit a sore spot with me.

    I did find this however:

    [quote]

    AdRemmer

    12/26/11 – 05:51 AM


    Eric Holde, USAG uses race card…

    In response, Charles Krauthammer noted: Eric Holder ‘one of the most incompetent attorneys general in US history’

    http://news.yahoo.com/krauthammer-eric-holder-one-most-incompetent-attorneys-general-184735408.html

    David M. Greenwald

    12/26/11 – 06:34 AM


    Charles Krauthammer is a conservative columnist rather than an impartial observer, so it’s not exactly meaningful what he thinks of Holder.
    [/quote]

    David, I think you might owe AdRemmer an apology too.

  6. Phil Coleman

    Note the term used by the police, “hate incident,” is deliberate. I know because I installed the policy. City leaders wanted a periodic compilation of all acts that were hate-based or motivated. Some were clearly within the criminal definition of a hate crime. Many more fell below the criminal standard but were indisputable hate inspired. They were classified as hate incidents and most arose from domestic disputes involving family and friends, unfortunate as it may sound. Hate directed towards a stranger exists, but less often.

    Hate is an emotion found in most everybody. Most can suppress or control it, but when it can’t, it becomes a compiled statistic in Davis. As reflective of the general population at large, Davis seems to be pretty much normal on the “hate scale.”

  7. Frankly

    davisite4:

    Racial bias and ignorance exist. I never said it did not exist.

    So does bias against red-heads.

    And heavy people.

    And short people.

    And Muslim people.

    And Christian people.

    And in rural Texas, liberal people.

    And in San Francisco, conservative people.

    But in Davis, exept for bias against Christian people and conservative people, the remaining bias is de minimis and not worthy of all the attention. For these race-obsessed Davis folk, it is like they lost their wallet in the dark, dank basement… but are looking for it in the grassy park because it is a much more beautiful space to look for a wallet.

  8. Edwin S

    Bias does exist, the issue here is it’s expression.

    Don asked: [i]Jeff, do you believe that the action of putting up the noose on Juneteenth was intentionally inflammatory and worthy of condemnation, regardless of who did it? How do you believe the public officials who represent the city of Davis (mayor and mayor pro-tem) should have responded?[/i]

  9. Don Shor

    Trying again, since the topic is the public statements by the mayor and mayor pro-tem on the incident.

    Jeff, do you believe that the action of putting up the noose on Juneteenth was intentionally inflammatory and worthy of condemnation, regardless of who did it? How do you believe the public officials who represent the city of Davis (mayor and mayor pro-tem) should have responded?

  10. Frankly

    [i]”I disagree. I spent a good deal of time talking with these public officials and know the amount of attention they gave this matter trying to figure out how to draw the right balance between not giving the situation too much credence and at the same time understanding that this type of incident is hurtful to people in this community. I wish you would have spent half the time they did, considering the impact on the community.”[i]

    How about…

    “We don’t know the purpose and intent of the person or persons responsible for displaying this noose. We know that certain imagery can be offensive to people, but we urge the public to not jump to conclusions and wait until our investigation is complete. At that time we will make a full disclosure of the case.”

  11. Frankly

    Edwin S.

    We don’t know the reasons nor the intention of the person or persons displaying the noose. See above for my suggestion of how to appropriately respond.

  12. Don Shor

    [i]We know that certain imagery can be offensive to people, but we urge the public to not jump to conclusions[/i]

    It is not jumping to any conclusions to state firmly that this was almost certainly — with a very high degree of probability — intended to offend and inflame, regardless of who did it? “[i]Can be[/i]” offensive? How about “IS” offensive? Do you not find it offensive?

  13. Edwin S

    I’m glad you’re not an official. “Move along folks, nothing to see here” doesn’t do anything to comfort your citizens and show any sensitivity or empathy. If anything, it distances them. When people feel hurt, or outcast, or alienated from society, that sort of response only adds insult to injury. It implies a lack of concern or lack of importance. It would make me feel as if Davis, and it’s citizens, simply don’t care. Or as if some citizens are more concerned with political-correctness being rampant than actual impact on related minority groups.

    A noose left hanging during a celebration of Emancipation Day at a school for teenagers should be troubling. Even as a “joke by kids”, as I said in the other article that I agree it probably is, it is ignorant and racially insensitive. It’s not much different than hanging a Swastika on Yom Kippur. Not knowing the intent of the person doesn’t make it any less hateful. It’s a hateful hurtful symbol intentionally put on display on a symbolic day – in this case, a day that was being actively celebrated. It should be doubly troubling that it was done at a school for teenagers.

  14. Frankly

    [i]”It is not jumping to any conclusions to state firmly that this was almost certainly — with a very high degree of probability — intended to offend and inflame, regardless of who did it? “Can be” offensive? How about “IS” offensive? Do you not find it offensive?”[/i]

    Don, now you are jumping-rope to conclusions.

    NO, I don’t find it offensive because I am a white, male, conservative, business person, and we have no feelings.

    But, I am otherwise objective to a fault… and thinking about the probably source for someone to act like this… thinking what would motivate the type of people that are lucky enough to live in or visit Davis… I think the probability is that it was a stupid prank by a kid or kids, or possibly an racism activist stirring up the heat for his/her cause… or maybe someone crying for attention.

    The point is that neither you nor I know yet. We can only guess. And at the point we are guessing, we should not be making public statements that require assumptions.

    Even if this was a racist idiot; we give him/her far too much power. The reactionaries react as expected. The racism activists get their career extension. Meanwhile society is no more or less racist. What a waste of time and energy.

  15. Don Shor

    A noose in proximity to Juneteenth is offensive in the sense that a swastika in proximity to a synagogue is offensive.
    It is intrinsically offensive, intentionally so.
    It doesn’t require any conclusive investigation to state that.
    It doesn’t matter who did it.
    It doesn’t matter if it was a “stupid prank,” though it is worth pointing out that your words trivialize the incident.
    It merits a short, simple statement from those who represent our city that we, as a community, find this unacceptable. That’s what we got. Yet for some reason you feel the need to criticize our city leaders for doing their job, and take this on as some kind of intellectual exercise, and throw in a bunch of pointless generalities about other forms of bigotry as well.

  16. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]But, I am otherwise objective to a fault… and thinking about the probably source for someone to act like this… thinking what would motivate the type of people that are lucky enough to live in or visit Davis… I think the probability is that it was a stupid prank by a kid or kids, or possibly an racism activist stirring up the heat for his/her cause… or maybe someone crying for attention. [/quote]

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself. I don’t see you as “objective to a fault” at all ; )
    After all, isn’t it you who made statements about attacks on marriage from gays who only want the same rights as you have to marry the person of your choice ?
    And haven’t you made statements that liberal positions are attacks on the traditional values of America, as though you were the sole arbiter of what it means to be American ?
    And haven’t you accused me and others of being brainwashed and overly emotional without having even once met me and had a conversation with me to explore my ideas and feelings rather than just putting me into a stereotypical hole of your own making ? I would hardly characterize any of the above as “objective”.

  17. medwoman

    I cannot help but wonder if those who would trivialize the hanging of a noose at the time of a celebratory event for a specific group of people would have also trivialized the taping of and posting of a sexual encounter on a social networking site if Tyler Clementi had not committed suicide .What does it take for people to realize that these kinds of activities do have the potential for “material harm”. To say nothing of emotional and social harm.

  18. Edwin S

    [i]Even if this was a racist idiot; we give him/her far too much power. The reactionaries react as expected. The racism activists get their career extension. Meanwhile society is no more or less racist. What a waste of time and energy.[/i]

    Actually, it’s not a waste, it’s rather successful. You got the reasoning wrong though.

    A “racism activist” does something, and by suggesting the city officials should respond to it as a stupid prank and say that it may be offensive but we shouldn’t worry unless we know it to be intentional; or saying ‘hey, no material damage’ and suggesting it’s a harmless prank, you’re sending a message to the victims: You don’t care, and don’t think it’s worth condemning. Actually, there are no material victims…

    I agree with Don completely: “A noose in proximity to Juneteenth is offensive in the sense that a swastika in proximity to a synagogue is offensive. It is intrinsically offensive, intentionally so. […]It merits a short, simple statement from those who represent our city that we, as a community, find this unacceptable. “

    You know what the real impact of hate crimes are? Worse, usually, than being warned or threatened or slurred against? It’s oftentimes not the original racist/offender. It’s the secondary impact. Having your neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens do the additional damage. Not believe you, not support you, or not care. Or in some cases, criticize the city officials for daring to be sensitive to voice that it’s inappropriate.

    The original perpetrators work is multiplied, no additional effort on their behalf needed. Just yours.

    Try to think of how you’d feel if situations were reversed, and ask yourself if you really think the best response is utter neutrality unless some sort of intent to inflict material damage is proven. Because when you’re on the receiving end of something like this, it’s really hard to see that there are people who don’t find it unacceptable.

  19. Frankly

    [i]”Actually, it’s not a waste, it’s rather successful.”[/i]

    A world with hate crime laws is a world that cries for maintaining racial differences and inequality.

    A world where hate crime laws are exploited for dubious cause (e.g., it hurt my feelings) is a world without freedom of expression.

    Neither are “successful” in my book.

  20. Rifkin

    The Lexicon Artist has issued an official statement on the noose situation. Here is that official statement in full: [quote]The Lexicon Artist ([url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/opinion/opinion-columns/find-your-pot-of-gold-in-winters/[/url]) officially inculpates idiots, idiocy and indecipherable idioms.
    [b]–The Lexicon Artist™[/b][/quote]

  21. Frankly

    [i]”Try to think of how you’d feel if situations were reversed”[/i]

    This is kinda’ funny to me. I don’t expect you to know my background, but let’s just say I arrived at some point believing the principle, “what doesn’t kill me just makes me stronger”… and I had a lot of lessons of life that allowed me to grow stronger.

    Of course, it is all attitudes. If you let the stupid people get in your head, then they win… but more importantly, you lose.

    I’m trying to understand the material damage done by a story of a noose. Putting myself in a black man’s position, I think with what I know today, it would think it would be an unhealthy distraction for me to even dwell on it. It would not apply to me, or my situation. I would not harm me. It would make me laugh at the thought of the idiot that took the time to “express” himself in that way. I would feel sorry for him, not me. I would not welcome activist-race-obsessed-liberal-do-gooders coming to my rescue lumping me into a special group that requires their protection. I would think, “Why the hell don’t these people drop their white guilt about a history that they had no part in and just move on.”

    But that is just me.

  22. hpierce

    I’m “white”. Was physically attacked by a black kid the day after Dr Martin Luther King was killed. Was my attacker identified? Yes. Was he apprehended? Yes… by my black, history teacher who was also the VP. Was the perpetrator punished? Yes. By the VP who “lit into him” (verbally) saying Dr King would have been enraged by the student taking it out on me. Did it still “hurt”? Yes (physically and otherwise). Were the Police brought in? No.
    Did I feel, at the time (and now), that ‘justice had been served’? Hell YES.

    May it be the same for whoever did this stupid thing.

  23. Frankly

    Me: [i]”But that is just me.[/i]

    medwoman: [i]”Now that was objective. ; ) [/i]

    Well, not this time! =)

    When I commented “I am objective to a fault”, it was more about me arguing for positions that don’t benefit me directly and may even go counter to my feelings. For example, I can’t see much good coming out of my name clearly being associated with my position on this topic (and a few others) and subjectively I would like to be seen as caring for others. However, I can’t accept a concept owning so many liabilities compared to so few benefits.

  24. Mr.Toad

    Clarence Thomas almost never speaks during oral argument. The one time he did though it was during a case on cross burning objecting to the notion that it was protected speech. My guess is that this is not protected speech either. The leaders of the community and the school district have a responsibility to condemn this conduct for two reasons. First to use their bully pulpits to make it clear to the community that this is not acceptable conduct in Davis and second to teach the young people of our community why it will not be tolerated. Attacking community leaders for fulfilling their obligations to the community as robotic is asinine.

    If it seems robotic to you Jeff it might be because there is so much hate that needs to be challenged. When does it stop being robotic? When a synagogue gets burned or someone goes on a racially charged shooting spree?

    i do understand your argument about hate crimes Jeff. The conduct should be what is outlawed not the idea. We are not a society that holds people accountable for their thoughts as Thomas Aquinas would believe us to be sinners for our thoughts instead of our deeds. Still, this is not a passive act or protected speech, it is violent threatening speech. It is not like the KKK marching through Skokie Il where we protect the most vile person’s right to free speech or where we protect a flag burner’s right to be offensive in order that all of us have our freedom of speech protected. Defending it as you did by attacking those who rightly condemn it for possibly being hasty can only serve to empower those who would engage in this behavior. I’m sorry Jeff you are wrong.

  25. Mr.Toad

    “I’m trying to understand the material damage done by a story of a noose. Putting myself in a black man’s position, I think with what I know today, it would think it would be an unhealthy distraction for me to even dwell on it. It would not apply to me, or my situation. I would not harm me. It would make me laugh at the thought of the idiot that took the time to “express” himself in that way. I would feel sorry for him, not me.”

    You are not putting yourself in anyone else’s shoes with this statement. You are obviously expressing your view as a non-black person who fails to understand how someone might be threatened by this.

  26. Mr.Toad

    Thomas Assails Cross Burning as Terror Tactic
    The Supreme Court justice, normally silent during oral arguments, says such action doesn’t deserve free speech protection.
    December 12, 2002|David G. Savage | Times Staff Writer

    Comments
    0
    Share1
    WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who sits silently during most arguments, spoke up Wednesday to condemn cross burning as the “symbol of a reign of terror” that does not deserve the 1st Amendment’s protection for free expression.

  27. biddlin

    ” I’m trying to understand the material damage done by a story of a noose. “
    There is the problem . You don’t understand on a material level and apparently haven’t the capacity to empathize on a visceral level . Here’s a hint that may help in business and life: Not everyone is motivated solely, or even principally, by the material ! And by the way, it’s not just a story. It happened in your town and hurt people you live and work with in the community, in the sense that their chests tightened, they tasted bile, their heads began to throb and then they began wondering which of their neighbors could be so hateful and a mental inventory began. Maybe they suddenly wondered where their children were, or went to check on their pet’s safety . They will go through this cycle for a while before things settle back down . They will also remember that, when they needed comfort and reassurance, in some neighbors, they met only scorn and resentment .

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for