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Hate Graffiti Hits Williams and Dartmouth

Dartmouth

Earlier this month, a vandal tagged an area at Dartmouth College with homophobic graffiti:

The vandalism, which was located adjacent to the gender-neutral floor, has spurred concern in the bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender community. Gender-neutral hall residents are worried that the incident reveals negative undertones towards LGBT students on campus, various residents said in interviews with The Dartmouth.

The Dartmouth staff columnist Adam Mehring sounds off:

The community response has predictably been one of regret. After an initial lag in administrative action and student notification, news of the vandalism inspired many to speak out against such behavior. Campus rhetoric has framed the incident as an isolated occurrence unrepresentative of general community sentiments. This sort of thing doesn’t happen at Dartmouth, apparently. The real problem lies with our current communication channels, or administrative transparency or the transgressions of a single apostate.

The truth is that our problems are more fundamental. Most students would individually recognize that the word “fag” is hateful. But seldom do we function individually, separated from the influences and dynamics of our community and peers. And in certain spheres within our community, it is considered quite acceptable to use the word “fag” or “faggot.”

The use of these slurs is not only acceptable — it’s prevalent. I stopped counting the number of times I’ve heard “faggot” bandied about casually like a comment on the weather. Unsurprisingly, the most frequent site of violation has been the fraternity basement — that fabled locale where reckless indulgence pairs effortlessly with unbridled masculine rage.

Meanwhile, Williams College was hit with a similar hate crime:

Early Saturday morning, a student called into Campus Safety and Security reporting that the phrase  “All N****rs Must Die” was written in a dormitory. Originally described by the administration as a “racially hateful phrase,” the writing of the graffiti has since been filed as a hate crime by the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). Following collaboration with the Faculty Steering Committee (FSC), senior staff and students, President Falk cancelled all classes and athletic practices on Monday. It was the first time in over 30 years that the administration had decided to cancel class in response to a specific act of racial discrimination. On Monday, students, faculty and administrators organized a day of programming to address issues of discrimination, racial and otherwise, in the wake of the hate crime.

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Comments

  1. I know the person who scribbled this meant it as an insult and it's hate-speech etc.

    But my first reaction was: "Yeah we do. So? What's new?" I mean, if you're going to insult someone, don't just describe them, you know? "Black people have brown skin!!!!!" - err, yeah, your point?

    Posted by: G.I. Joe | Nov 21, 2011 10:03:17 AM


  2. Well, G.I. Joe, racists/homophobes/etc. aren't known for their intellectual capacity. Also they see being black/gay/etc. as an insult and offense in itself, so therefore that's why they do things such as this. You know, they want to stick it to us.

    Incidents like this only show that there is and will always be a minority of individuals who are bigoted, and that educational levels don't preclude poor morals. Doing things like this are the height of cowardice. But it's also a reminder that it's no longer socially acceptable to be bigoted in public, which is why bigots do things like this anonymously.

    Also, the article from Mr. Mehring is right on the money. Incidents like this show that the f-word, the n-word, these slurs are NOT something that should be said in jest or made light of. Although a lot of straight guys who in their hearts don't say it with a means to offend gay people, everyone needs to realize there is a reason why these slurs are rendered exactly that----slurs.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 21, 2011 11:19:19 AM


  3. they're also great at spelling

    Posted by: Joe | Nov 21, 2011 11:31:49 AM


  4. Look at the lower window: "Penis? Yes please"

    If that's not a cry for help I don't know what is. Some bewildered freshman suddenly realizes what he really really wants is available? And he's polite, too, not just gay.

    Posted by: tit for tat | Nov 21, 2011 12:35:42 PM


  5. Francis...I agree, but I'd also add that treating these words so preciously only adds to their power. I'm a faggot, sometimes I do faggoty things and have faggoty opinions. It's just a word. Giving it more power isn't going to help anyone.

    Posted by: Donald | Nov 21, 2011 1:12:39 PM


  6. The word has power on it's own, in fact, all words that have been declared as slurs by our society, have power on their own merit, because it isn't just a word. But a negative representation of a particular class of individuals. I agree that one shouldn't allow themselves to get overly hurt by these words, but they aren't just words.

    And tit-for-tat............totally agree with you. Just another closet case lashing out. Hopefully this person gets the attention they clearly desire in a healthier way, and they come to grips with who they are.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 21, 2011 1:28:54 PM


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