Everyone at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee had a very sick surprise on their campus Monday morning. Some rainbow colored nooses were found hanging in the trees near the art building.
University President Alisa White said:
“This is a lesson for everyone about sensitivity and respect for all people and how inclusive and understanding we need to be as a campus community. While we support the freedom of expression on our campus, we also have to keep in mind that there are symbols that have very specific and negative meanings to everyone, especially if context is not provided. Therefore, the artwork was inappropriate and had to be removed for the safety of our campus. I am deeply sorry for the impact this has had on our campus community and we will learn from this and ensure something like this does not happen again.”
Images of the nooses have been shared all over social media, and people were sharing their concerns.
— Janell J. Lewis Ford (@JanellJay) April 20, 2016
Someone commented on the University Facebook page saying that this was an “art project.” There have been many complaints made to the university. People are concerned about the obvious hate symbolism. It took campus security 45 minutes to decide to take them down.
Seriously, people?! You had to think about rainbow nooses being allowed on your campus?!
In a bit of a twist, the University had a campus forum about the incident yesterday afternoon. The student will not face disciplinary charges, and was allegedly not aware of the meaning. I call total bullsh*t on this one!
Rainbows have been associated with gay people for a long time. We all rainbowed our Facebook profile pictures when the gay marriage ruling came down in June. The rainbow has been used since 1976; we celebrated the country’s bicentennial. Gilbert Baker, a drag queen, and artist, created the first rainbow flag in 1978.
The FBI looked into this incident and decided that that it is not a hate crime.
Featured image via Twitter.