16.11.06

THE FOLLY OF IDENTIFYING HATE CRIMES. DeKalb is not yet as ungovernable as Milwaukee, Minneapolis, or Fallujah, but a recent string of weekend robberies is causing the jitters. University officials met with a few students to exchange views. Much of the exchange focused on basic situational awareness.
The entire panel suggested the community can make strides to increase safety, such as walking in groups or refraining from listening to headphones while walking around campus. Students were encouraged to watch each other's backs.
A comment by Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Hemphill is noteworthy.

When one student asked if race was a factor in the attacks, [he] called the attackers "individuals," who have "no respect for our community," regardless of race, agenda or religion.

"A crime against one person is a crime against everyone," he said.

That's the correct attitude for a mugging, apparently. Whether that would be the attitude if a fraternity had a thoughtless theme party remains to be seen. I'm not conversant enough with the entire history of the past few weeks to decide whether the Northern Star cherry-picked the mug shots.

In a longer interview, Mr Hemphill makes the same point.

How do you respond to claims that only one group of people is committing these crimes?

That's a very narrow view. Crimes are committed regardless of race, age or gender and in this case, these crimes are being committed by people who don't have a lot of respect for our community.

He then goes on to push the usual diversity line.

Do you think there is a problem with race relations on campus right now?

I wouldn't say so. It's important to move beyond tolerance to a level of understanding around our differences and similarities. It's also important to continue to increase the dialogue here of what it means to truly be an inclusive community.

It's amusing to watch these diversity hustlers attempt to stay on message. Dialogue. Inclusive. Blah-blah-blah. I was under the impression, however, that the theme of the year was Academic Excellence. Doesn't that imply the exclusion of behavior not consistent with academic excellence, including strong-arm robberies? Enough with the "dialogue." Instill the Habits of Highly Effective People.

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