Hate crime on campus

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.

When a noose was hung on a professor’s door at Columbia, it provoked outrage, large protests (Link) and an immediate administration response (Link). Here, so far, there has been nothing.

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.

Reading the OP over, I think I ought to clarify that of course my first response was shock and sympathy; the political stuff is secondary. But in 48 hours there has been plenty of time for the secondary reactions to develop.

That’s very disturbing indeed. I hope the lack of administrative response is due to the winter break, and nothing more than that.

I dunno, I can’t tell from the linked article if the attack occured on campus. As to other comparisons, I suspect that if this happens during a holiday break, the administration may be basically gone.

Break does not start until Wednesday. Also, the same unresponsiveness occurred with the threatening e-mails, as this op-ed points out. According to a blog for a conservative publication, the attack took place about a block from campus, and the attackers referred to words from the previous e-mails, which were sent from the campus library.

I wish I could say I’m shocked at the lack of response, but I’m not. Someone once said “There is no one more intolerant than a liberal preaching tolerance.” The non-reaction of the university doesn’t do anything to disprove that adage.

I can see why they wouldn’t put out a mass email. The violent thugs are targeting a specific (presumably rather small) group who presumably already know about the threats. This differs from something like the funny smell in a building because of the number of people it will directly affect.

Notice on the website probably isn’t going to happen because the university doesn’t want to draw any more negative publicity. Even if there were going to be something on the website, it probably isn’t going to go up by Sunday regarding an incident that happened on Friday. Administrations aren’t geared to react that quickly, especially over weekends.

I can’t imagine what these abstinence people could be doing to engender such a violent reaction. Talk about the perfect time to embrace a “make love, not war” philosophy! Maybe somebody’s girlfriend took the pledge and some horny college boy found himself cut off? Weird.

There’s also no proof that the beating was related to the e-mails. I mean, I agree it seems likely, but the only evidence is that the words “Shut the fuck up” concluded both encounters and that’s not exactly an original phrase.

Hopefully the police will be able to track the assailants down and we’ll know what happened for certain. It’s a shame that it wasn’t able to be printed in the student paper (though I’m sure it’ll be front page by the time it is printed). Does anyone know if the administration has taken actions that the article referenced by the OP doesn’t mention?

And in any case, good for the victim in publicly stating that he’s going to keep on with his work and not be intimidated.

Part of the problem may be that so far the victim is about the only source of information with respect to the threats, the attack, and the connection between the two. No other source, official or otherwise, is confirming any part of it. This is a problem because, as others have noticed, advocating abstinence before marriage isn’t exactly breaking dangerous intellectual ground, and while it may be labeled a conservative viewpoint, it isn’t one that’s politically or personally threatening to anyone whatever.

A noose hanging on a professor’s office door, on campus, and anti-gay slurs written on dorm walls, on campus, are worthy of official response. There may have been something about the threats Nava claimed to have received that upon scrutiny and investigation seemed less imminent, less serious, and/or less credible. You can’t necessarily fault the university for that, even though sophomore McGinley finds hysteria to be the appropriate response.

Racism and homophobia are familiar enough that a university can be expected to react when they manifest themselves for all to see on campus. Organized, violent anti-virginity thugs are rare enough that some small degree of proof may be expected from a kid claiming to be the victim of a hate crime in retaliation for his fierce and noble protection of third base.

Breaking News: Nava '09 admits to fabricating assault, threatening e-mails

Francisco Nava '09 has admitted to fabricating an alleged assault on him that he said occurred Friday evening and also to sending threatening emails to himself, other members of the Anscombe Society and prominent conservative politics professor Robert George, Princeton Township Police said today.

"He fabricated the story," Det. Sgt. Ernie Silagyi said . . .

Breaking news: Dudes not getting any have lots of free time… :wink:

But liberals who preach tolerance are so dangerous that it could have happened, so we have to take it in the spirit of the symbolism in which it was intended.

So he committed self-abuse?

Yeah, that’s an…interesting development. We shall have to see what the deal is; if he had himself beaten up to prove a point, he probably needs some serious help. (Note that he pulled a related stunt in high school.)

In my defense, though, the earlier points still stand. A campus e-mail would still have been a good move if there was a chance of violent thugs running around. And likewise, the Duke and Columbia folks had no problem giving a same-day response. And as the fabrication was discovered by a single professor, it seems unlikely that the administration was being cautious due to the possibility of a hoax. In retrosopect, of course, their silence has turned out to be the best move.

Francisco Nava = Onan the Barbarian.

The silence might have been because there was evidence that it was a put-up job from the start. For instance, the “hate-mail” was some time back – it’s possible that was already known to be bogus, but nobody acted until the thing got escalated to what is clearly a crime – filing a false police repor, at minimum.

I am part of the Columbia community. I didn’t get the official response until a day or two after the incident occurred.


I’m so sick and fucking tired of people in the power holding/majority demographics complaining about being discriminated against.

Yeah, that never happens. Ever!

I think in light of what happened at Princeton, and the commotion the noose incident caused, perhaps we ought to report on further news concerning the professor threatened.

Like, say, the fact that she was just cited for plagiarism.

The investigation began in 2006, so it was going on when the noose appeared. That, and the fact that Prof. Constantine had impeded the investigation into the noose incident in certain ways, leads naturally to suspicions that she wasn’t a victim here, not at all.