The 'Noose' That Put a University on Edge Was Actually Just a Fishing Knot

Combined Shape

When victimhood becomes vogue, some people end up seeing “oppression” where it never remotely existed.

That sure seems to be what happened at the University of Michigan this past month. Police officers were called and the faculty went into hysterics back in late June, after someone reported finding a noose at University Hospital in Ann Arbor.

The staff immediately went into red alert, with the head of the medical school declaring that they’d uncovered “a symbol of hate and discrimination.” That alleged hate crime made headlines — but now officials are sheepishly walking back their over-reactions.

It turns out that the “symbol of hate” was nothing of the sort. It wasn’t even a noose; it was a fly fishing knot that had been tied for practice. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

“Yesterday, in one of our hospitals, a noose — a symbol of hate and discrimination — was found at the work station of two of our employees,” dean Dr. Marschall Runge of UM Medical School wrote in a mass email on June 21st.

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“We have taken immediate action to have this investigated as both an act of discrimination and a criminal act of ethnic intimidation,” Dr. Runge continued, according to MLive. “This act of hate violates all of the values that we hold dear and will not be tolerated.”

Those were dramatic words, no doubt ramping up the fear and anxiety on campus. Was a racist bigot truly making threats at a major research university in 2019?

As it turns out, no. Not even close.

On Monday, nearly a month after pulling resources from other matters to investigate the “hate crime,” authorities admitted that there didn’t seem to be a hint of hate around the incident after all.

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“A rope resembling a noose found inside University Hospital was not the result of a hate crime, but a practice knot used in fishing, University of Michigan police have found,” MLive reported in a follow-up article.

“UM’s Division of Public Safety and Security concluded the spool rope used for medical procedures was being used by a person on a break to practice tying a ‘Uni Knot,’ which is a type of knot used for fishing.”

Oh no. A fishing knot? Hide the women and children. How will we survive?

The report added that the so-called “noose” wasn’t even found by itself, but was just a knot tied on the end of an entire spool of medical-grade chord used for surgical procedures.

University safety official Heather Young added that there was no evidence of any crime or racial bias surrounding the incident.

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“It was a case of (the rope) getting moved by several different people,” she said.

Here’s an obvious question: If there was no evidence of a crime, why in the world did the dean of a top medical school jump to conclusions and publicly declare it a hate crime?

The answer, if I’m being honest, is perhaps that he was looking for outrage. That’s the pattern behind so many of these fake, not-even-close “hate crimes.” In nearly every case, it seems that people were so bizarrely eager to find oppression that they invent it to fit a narrative.

Take a look at this similar non-incident which occurred at Michigan State University two years ago. Headline: “‘Hate Crime’ at Michigan State University Was Actually Just a Missing Shoelace.”

Or examine the more recent Jussie Smollett case, which also involved a noose. Of course, we now know that almost everything about that “crime” was fabricated, and even police are frustrated that their time was wasted on a hoax.

The list goes on and on. It turns out that over 70 percent of hate crimes turn out to be hoaxes, according to professor and author Wilfred Reilly from Kentucky State University.

The reason is that America is a far more tolerant and accepting place than much of the left and the media would have you believe. Sure, there are outlying incidents here and there, but the narrative of racists hiding under every rock, tying nooses to terrorize minorities, just doesn’t hold up in reality.

One side seems to cling to a narrative of hate, as if they secretly long for it to be true, either for attention or political points.

Here’s the truth: We’ve made amazing progress as a nation since our darker days. Maybe it’s time to recognize that, instead of seeing specters of imaginary hatred where none exist.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.