This Friday, a member of the conservative Anscombe Society at Princeton, which advocates abstinence before marraige, was beaten to the point of unconsciousness. This is after a series of death threats had been delivered to the leadership of that organization, and is almost certainly the payoff of those threats. (Story) This is terrible and saddening, particularly on a suburban campus in which laptop thefts are the height of criminality.
But even stranger is the silence of the administration about this matter. There have been no official gestures of solidarity, besides a small student-organized one that was cancelled for some reason. There has been no administrative bombast about how “tolerance and mutual respect are among the core values of our [ideologically] diverse community.” There hasn’t even been a mass e-mail about violent thugs roaming around, and we get mass e-mails about everything. (Seriously, there was one about an odd smell in a certain building.) There hasn’t even been a notice posted on the official website.
Part of this, no doubt, is the unfortunate timing. The campus newspaper is not printing until after break, and so it’s harder to get the word out. At the same time, the lack of an administration response - even one informing students that violent thugs are about - is curious, and possibly revealing. The target of the Columbia incident was part of a politically protected group in the academic worldview; one dominated by modern liberalism. (cite: the Group of 88 at Duke) And so the response was rapid and pronounced. I do not mean to suggest that our bigwigs are sitting in their rooms with their hands over their ears, deliberately ignoring physical violence against those who disagree with their ideologies, but this contrast does suggest that physical violence against a conservative activist is less outrage-worthy than a symbolic gesture against an African-American. (As a thought experiment, imagine the response if Mr. Nava had been a prominent member of a gay-rights organization.)
But it is still early in the case, only two days, and I’m happy to be proven wrong. If a symbolic gesture is worth several rallies and mass e-mails, then beating someone to a pulp should warrant bringing in the National Guard. I will keep my eyes open.
Actually, all things considered, I’d better be keeping my eyes open regardless.