LETTER- Gay slurring tolerated

I'm writing to comment on the [November 2 "4Better or Worse"] blurb concerning the near gay-bashing incident at Foxfield.

Had this been an incident where a UVA student was hurling racial or religious slurs, the coverage of the story would have been comprehensive, and it would have included mention of the student's dismissal from the school.

But homophobic slurs by a UVA student? Nothing new. Not worthy of a full story. No disciplinary action taken by the school.

No need to mention the student's name. Let's not ruin a young man's future when all he did was call a homosexual a bad name. He'll sign a diversity pledge, be told how naughty he was, and it'll all be forgotten.

Yet, the next time he gets drunk, he might just tie a gay classmate to a fence, beat him to death, and everyone will marvel at how Charlottesville became the new Laramie.

This student deserves expulsion; anything less would be an official endorsement of bigotry on the part of the University.

 

Clayton Kinnelon Greiman
Charlottesville
kinnelonswim@yahoo.com

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2 comments

Excellent letter!

Just why is this still going on?

When are you as media going to say enough is enough and get on with the true job of reporting?

To comment on Mr. Greiman's comment...

I pray that Mr. Greiman does not actually believe what he has written. Since when did modern liberalism compel us to predict the future culpable behavior of fellow community-members and stigmatize and ostracize them prospectively?

First, as to the speech act, i.e., the homophobic slur, Mr. Greiman is understandably upset. I suspect few would disagree with Mr. Greiman that such speech has little value in a modern, liberal society. However, such speech does not and should not subject a speaker to legal punishment. The Constitution protects us when we are speaking truth or spouting hate.

Second, as to the "attack," i.e. the beer-throwing. Yes, one can be punished for throwing a beer on someone. Whether one should be punished or held more culpable when one throws beer while having a discriminatory motive is up for debate. Mr. Greiman seems to take it for granted that an actor is obviously more culpable when acting discriminatorily. Granted. However, I say, 'when was the last time someone threw a beer on you with a non-discriminatory motive, i.e., a particularized, hateful motive.'

Finally, whether one agrees or disagrees that hate crime laws are acceptable in a society that values free speech, good or bad, one must find Mr. Greiman's comment particularly disturbing in its hoped-for vision of society in which individuals may be punished for behavior they have not committed, considered, or even have proclivity to commit. According to Mr. Greiman, the UVA Law student's behavior at Foxfields suggests to Mr. Greiman that the student "might just tie a gay classmate to a fence, beat him to death." Our laws do not and should not punish individuals for behavior they have not committed. And individuals should not stigmatize and ostracize individuals in the public forum for behavior they suspect may, one day, potentially occur. Mr. Greiman's 'Minority Report' vision of society does not exist now, and I pray that it will never exist in the future or else "everyone will marvel at how Charlottesville became the new" facist state of the twenty-first century.