Cheap Shots All Around
Given the video that Marc posted yesterday, showing a pro-union demonstrator issuing what might be termed homophobic threats, I can’t help but wonder whether this story is evidence of additional union rallies on the University of Rhode Island campus:
Angered by a succession of incidents involving hateful epithets and vandalism, University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley issued a campus-wide memo Wednesday, saying that such acts will not be tolerated.
In recent weeks, he said, offenders “have shouted homophobic taunts from cars to individuals on sidewalks and written hateful words on white boards; drawn a swastika on the forehead of a poster of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; vandalized a mezuzah which contains a scroll of Hebrew scripture, and written in permanent marker hateful statements targeted toward URI community members of Latin descent.”
According to another report, a spectator at a URI basketball game in the Ryan Center shouted a word offensive to homosexuals at the opposing team.
What actually appears to be happening is that the university, which has recently been lamenting cuts in its revenue from the state budget, has been soliciting reports of incidents through its new Chief Diversity Officer, Kathryn Friedman, and a Bias Response Team Web site. The article isn’t clear, but it appears that President Dooley has been culling the reports and will post a list for the purpose of appropriate self-flagellation (or -aggrandizement, as the case may be) on campus.
Personally, I don’t get the urge to shout epithets of any kind, and particularly those that mix with identity politics. Still, it doesn’t strike me as entirely healthy that a generation of URI students is being trained to respond by rushing back to the dorm and making anonymous reports that cumulatively create the impression that the state’s largest public institution of higher education is a hostile environment.