Monday, November 24, 2008

Yet Another Bias Related Incident Against Christians?

I noticed an email today from a CMC dean. It read, 

Dear Members of the CMC Community:

On the night of Saturday, November 22 between 10:00 and 11:00 pm, anti-Christian slurs along with a sexually explicit drawing were written on the door of a student in Benson Hall. 

The comments and drawing were highly inappropriate, offensive, and hurtful.  They violate CMC's Harassment policy in which all community members are called to "maintain an environment for students, faculty, and staff that is free of sexual, racial, and other unlawful harassment."  CMC values and respects the dignity of each person and acts of bias will not be tolerated.  

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Dean of Students Office at x18114 or Campus Safety at x72000.

Jennifer Jimenez MaraƱa

Associate Dean of Students

One of my Christian friends approached me, telling me that he found it odd that we received two emails about bias-related incidents on Christians. He has attended Claremont McKenna for four years and the school has never considered Christians or the hateful things said about them as subjected to a "bias related" incident. 

He seemed generally happy that the school was rectifying the situation.  He couldn't be more wrong. Even though the campus climate towards Christians at times seems actually hateful as opposed to that which offends the habitually aggrieved homosexual, black, or feminist activists on campus,  it does all of us a disservice to use the facilities of the college in what seems the P.C. war of all against all.

It seems lamentable to me that Dean Jimenez Marana wouldn't tell us what was said or drawn. 

If, as we are told by HMC's dean that all bias-related incidents are effectively subjective, shouldn't we know what was said about the Christians in question? This willingness not to let us know what was said in its context is lamentable and becoming all the more common as of late. Who could forget the supposed bias related incident at Scripps College that declined to state which group was even "targeted"? 

Again, let me reiterate my position. I condemn the very idea of a bias related incident.

I don't believe that the school should confer any statement whatsoever on the views of their students when expressed outside of the classroom. Now, if the student vandalizes the property of another, like say, committing an actual crime, they should put that in a readily accessible file for students to view and police to use in their prosecution of those responsible. 

Imagine if the schools expended as much resources safeguarding against the thefts that occur seemingly weekly in North campus. 

For students that are offended, there are remedies readily available. One such remedy to unpleasant speech is well, speech itself. 

Instead, I think the proper thing to do is similiar to what I did earlier when a student wrote something hateful about Mormons. I confronted it in the comment section of The Forum (alas they deleted my comment, sparking a whole other debate on censorship of the Forum, which enemies of free speech have not yet won!) 

I also carried on a lengthy email exchange with the author and wrote a blog post about how hurtful it was. 


Anonymous said...

Does your friend have a specific instance where the deans were alerted to hateful things being said about Christians and the school did not treat is as a BRI? I think that the school has not reacted like this because it hasn't been reported before, not because of some new policy that now includes attacks against Christians as Bias Related.

As to the sudden frequency, it merely speaks to the effect crying wolf like David or Karri Dunn. It throws legitimate BRIs into doubt and casts a broad swath of otherwise personal acts of vandalism as bias related.

Theresa said...

Anonymous -- unfortunately, it has been reported, and not handled appropriately. In one instance, over a winter break, two different parts of the same dorm were vandalized. One involved swastikas and anti-Semitic language, and was taken as a hate crime. The other involved anti-Christian language and some crude things done to a cross, and the campus declined to even file a report on that one, choosing to just wash it off.