Official statement from the three Black undergraduate senators on the Stanford noose incident

July 24, 2019, 6:10 p.m.

We are pleased to announce that the “Resolution to Condemn the Noose Incident and Urge Further Action From Administration” (UGS – S2019 – 6) has passed the Undergraduate Senate with a unanimous vote of 11-0, with four abstentions due to limited communication. Following the passing of this resolution, we, senators Alimire, Brown and Hopkins, the three Black undergraduate senators, have written some statements to share with you:

Munira Alimire, 21st Undergraduate Senate Chair

As members of the Stanford community first and elected representatives of the undergraduate population second, we stand with the Black community. When you are Black in a space that has favored white voices and perspectives, like our university, and you come across the hangman’s noose — or you discover that there was a noose on campus from a news report — you do not feel safe. You do not feel as if you are part of the community Stanford has been cultivating. That noose is a threat to our happiness, our wellbeing and our existence on this campus as Black students — and to misidentify, misrepresent or even ignore how that manifests is a continuation of the emotional violence against Black people in this country. This incident does not stand in isolation — it reflects recent anti-Black acts felt on the individual and collective level across campus. This makes what we ask for even more relevant — our university should never take this long to respond to a hateful incident like this again, our university needs to work even harder to fight intolerance and bigotry, and that we must hold Stanford and each other accountable as we move forward.

Kobe Hopkins, Treasurer

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
– Martin Niemöller, 1946

The beauty and excellence in our Black community is irrefutable. We have and will continue to stand with our fellow Black folks on this day in light of recent events and for what tomorrow might hold. Period. Time and time again we have seen communities of color on Stanford’s campus face racially targeted actions and words whose only purpose is to divide and marginalize those who are already disenfranchised. When we live in a moment where history will remember who we are and what we did in the face of racism and bigotry, the alternative, to sit aside and remain complicit, is an evil in and of itself. When we live in a moment where white supremacy is seen and heard, but not combatted and disavowed immediately, we cannot be silent. Our voices are what give us power and if we choose to not seize them and demand action from the Stanford administration, then those who hung that noose will win. The voices of white supremacists, both historical and contemporary, we have heard and been terrorized by for far too long will win. It is time to call out the injustices seen but never spoken about; most importantly, it is time to call it what it is, racist.

Micheal Brown, Senator

We cannot, in good conscience, sit with inaction, as violent hate speech and iconography fills our campus. When there are individuals or groups on campus who, sometimes anonymously and oftentimes openly, perpetrate hateful actions and use hateful speech, we believe that it is because the Stanford administration has failed to hold these groups responsible. After the passage of the 2019 Justice For Victims of Lynching Act, U.S. Senator Cory Booker ’91 said the bill was a “step towards acknowledging a long and painful history and codifying into law our commitment to confronting bias-motivated acts of terror in all of its forms.” We agree with this sentiment, and we believe that our resolution is a step toward Stanford punishing acts of hatred on campus. When groups and/or students in our community fail to uphold the Fundamental Standard and make the conscious decision to threaten and target other students, then there should be no leniency. The establishment of an inclusive community where everyone’s existence is free from danger should not be a trivial goal. It is time for this university to step up and condemn hatred, bigotry and intolerance with its actions and not only its words.

We want to thank the advocacy and effort of the Black VSO leaders, the support from the Black House and other Black administrators and the strength of the Black community on campus. We stand with you, for you and beside you, especially in moments such as these.

The Undergraduate Senate resolution can be accessed here. We have also included a list of resources if you wish to access any of them:
● CAPS Connects for the Black Community. You can make an appointment through the Vaden portal to speak in confidence with a Black CAPS staff member for 30 minutes.
● Black Community Services Center – This is a resource for any social or academic support. The Black House is a safe space for reflection and dialogue with others.
● The Office of Student Affairs is available during office hours at (650)-725-5555.

In solidarity and power,
Munira Alimire ’22 (she/her/hers)
Micheal D. Brown ’22 (he/him/his)
Kobe Hopkins ’22 (he/him/his)

Contact Munira Alimire at amunira ‘at’, Kobe Hopkins at kobeh ‘at’ and Micheal Brown at mbrown83 ‘at’

Login or create an account