Someone has finally called attention to the dog that did not bark in all the official statements and new University web pages singing the virtues of diversity and discussions, vigils, emails, chalked messages, meetings, student demands for mandatory diversity training, etc., etc., that marked UVa’s response to the alleged attack on Daisy Lundy. That dog is racial double standards, and that someone is Kristin Brown, a student columnist in the Cavalier Daily.
Calling for equal “compassion for all hate crime victims,” Brown’s column today reminds everyone of the series of hate crime attacks on white and Asian students in 2001 and 2006 and asks:
Where was this outpouring of support last year? There were no community reflections, or marches, or posters. These attacks were just as vicious and just as hateful, yet there was no outrage from the community.
Expressing outrage over one racially motivated attack and not another only furthers racial divisions. The disparity between the reactions to last year’s attacks and this year’s attack is indicative of a larger problem within the University and Charlottesville communities. We are rightly upset when a white person attacks a student because of her skin color. But we remain silent when the roles are reversed, despite the fact that both are equally despicable crimes.
What message has been conveyed to those students who were attacked last year? No one marched for them. There is no reason why they shouldn’t have received the same torrent of support last year that Lundy is now receiving. This inconsistency conveys that no, University students do not tolerate racially motivated crimes — most of the time.
Racial barriers can only be broken when all races and all people are truly given equal treatment. This includes racially motivated crimes committed by people of all races against people of all races.
“There is a race problem at the University,” Brown agrees. “But it cannot and will not be resolved until every race is seen as completely equal in every respect.”
UPDATE – As usual, Erin O’Connor has more.