By Wendy Kaminer
Reacting predictably to spate of noose hanging incidents in late 2007, New York
governor David Patterson has signed legislation criminalizing display of a noose with intent to harass or threaten because of bias against the usual categories, including race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability.
Every few weeks a story pops up about how someone – often a college student or an employee who has been fed propaganda to the effect that he or she is entitled to live an offense-free life – was “harassed” because someone else left nasty comments on their door dry-erase board, or some such thing. The most recent example comes from the University of North Dakota, where one student was just charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for smearing ice cream on the wall of the dorm elevator to write the words “Scott is a Jew.