Posts Tagged “Bias”
Last Friday, the D.C. Regional Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League commended Georgetown for its quick response to recent bias-related incidents.
In a press release, ADL Regional Director David Friedman highlighted the Department of Public Safety’s “rigorous investigation and swift apprehension of a suspect in the recent bias related graffiti incidents on campus.”
“The University’s response sent a clear and unequivocal message that Georgetown will not tolerate hate crimes and expressions of bigotry,” Friedman added.
Last week, DPS apprehended a freshman student allegedly responsible for the bias-related incidents, which happened in New South and Darnall Halls on September 6 and 11. The suspect is accused of drawing swastikas and writing the word “Hitler” on whiteboards in the two dormitories.
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Several separate bias related incidents occurred in two freshman residence halls in the last week, a Public Safety Alert sent out by the Department of Public Safety reports. In New South on Monday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 11, four students had Swastikas and the word “Hitler” written on the dry erase boards on their doors. They reported the incidents to DPS on Sept. 12, after which DPS learned that a similar incident had taken place in Darnall Hall sometime between Sept. 11 and 13.
There were no witnesses in any of these incidents.
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The Georgetown Heckler isn’t out of the woods yet. Following a letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, and two campus-wide e-mails—one from University President John DeGioia and one from Provost James O’Donnell—the Georgetown University Faculty Senate has issued some excoriating words of its own about the December incident involving Heckler articles that some students found offensive.
On Friday, January 22, the Senate passed the following resolution:
We, the Georgetown University Faculty Senate, within the framework of respect for the right to free expression, as determined by the law, and to academic freedom, as determined by the Georgetown community, unequivocally condemn the abuse of such rights. We declare it our common view that the December 12th Georgetown Heckler article, “The Hoya holds annual cross lighting ceremony in Dahlgren quad,” was such an abuse because of its use of egregiously hurtful visual and verbal images that emphasized hate and dehumanization.
We urge President DeGioia and the rest of the University community to join us in condemning this abuse and in reaffirming Georgetown’s commitment to the Cura Personalis, with its “individualized attention to the needs of the other” and its “distinct respect for his or her unique circumstances and concerns.” (Georgetown University Mission & Ministry Statement) In violating those principles, this article was an affront to our entire community, particularly its African-American members, who were the specific targets of its bigotry. Claims of innocent intent do not lessen the impact of these racist images, which rub salt in wounds still fresh in the minds of many Americans, of all races.
We further condemn the unconscionable assault on common decency made by the inclusion of a fully identified child in this article. No possible intent can justify such a disgraceful debasement of our common discourse. We urge the author and editors to apologize to President DeGioia and his family for this outrage.
The offending article is still available on the Heckler‘s website here.
Reporting by Will Sommer
Image from the Georgetown Heckler blog
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On Sunday evening, representatives from several campus groups met to discuss a proposal for a ‘nonviolence week’ later on in the semester. Hate Free Georgetown, an event being organized by Joshua Goode (COL ’10) and Lauren Cucarola (COL ’10) is an attempt to bring together different social groups and campus activities that would normally be separated in an effort to promote peace in the recently hostile Georgetown community.
At the beginning of the meeting, Goode outlined the need for such a week. He cited the many bias-related incidents Georgetown has seen in the past year or so, including the several bias-related incidents which took place at the beginning of the year, prompting the vigil shown at left.
Goode then described the ideas that had already been discussed as examples for events that might be held during the week. These ideas included a big lawn game day, dorm competitions, a barbeque, and a performance festival featuring as many campus performing arts groups as possible where students express the importance of nonviolence in an artistic way.
“The only way it’s really going to work is if we have this broad coalition,” Goode said, adding that the cultural and sports groups at Georgetown have sometimes been difficult to reach out to.
“The biggest way to stop violence is if you know the people around you,” Goode said. “And that’s only going to happen if we get these groups together. Otherwise we’re going to have pockets of people who aren’t intermingling.”
Photo by Kara Brandeisky
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Earlier this week, I wrote about a Jerusalem Post piece that attacked two Georgetown centers, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, and championed the Program for Jewish Civilization as an antidote to those two.
Since my initial post, a few more of the relevant faculty members have chimed in with their responses, with professors on both sides saying that the article was ill-informed about what actually goes on here on campus. Listen to what CMCU Director John Esposito and PJC Director Jacques Berlinerblau have to say, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
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The fighting in Gaza may have cooled for now, but the Arab-Israeli conflict seems to have set its sights on Georgetown.
Amir Romirowsky of the Jerusalem Post published an article earlier this week lauding Georgetown’s Program for Jewish Civilization and lambasting the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU), alleging that the Centers have a pro-Arab bias.
CMCU Associate Director John Voll called the article “basically ill-informed” and took issue with its characterization of his Center as “the locus of academic apologetics for Wahhabism in America”:
“I have seen the article and am glad to see that the Program for Jewish Studies gets a positive description. However,the author clearly has not bothered to read anything that the people on the faculty of the Alwaleed Center have written. For example, I would find it difficult to describe what I have written on Sufism (the mystical tradition in Islam which is opposed by strict Wahhabi teachers) as presenting ‘a glossy version of Wahhabi Islam.’”
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The two suspects in last Friday’s alleged hate crime against a Georgetown medical student aren’t doing much to prove they aren’t prejudiced:
The suspects physically resisted arrest, yelled racial slurs at their arresting officers, threatening to kill them.
Those slurs? According to the attacked student, one of the suspects said, “”When I get out I’m going to kill you N cops.”
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Metropolitan Police arrested Georgetown student Phillip Cooney Wednesday in connection with an anti-gay hate crime, according to police chief Kathy Lanier.
According to the MSNBC article, on the September 9th a gang of men yelling homophobic insults attacked a man on 36th Street. The victim checked Facebook, found Phillip’s profile, and thought his attacker and Phillip had more than a passing resemblance. Looks like that annoying guy you know who won’t get a Facebook account because he says it’ll limit his career prospects was right, if indirectly.
The real question is, if Phillip’s guilty, who were his gay-bashing cronies? I doubt a Georgetown student would cruise Washington for homophobic partners-in-crime, so other Hoyas would seem like natural accomplices. If all his friends have alibis, Tucker Carlson has a history with this sort of thing.
Phillip’s either gone underground with his Facebook account or deleted it. I guess not all Georgetown students have the guts to thumb their noses at police on social networks.
-Will Sommer, blog editor
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