Yesterday we discussed a recent opinion piece in The Hoya implying around the turn of the century TGA was responsible for creating a climate "of angst and anger [that] would see a rash of hate crimes on Georgetown's campus."
Our focus in the post was the idea TGA's then staff had anything to do with the theft of an issue of The Voice, which alumni from that time period told us was preposterous. We also relayed some history about TGA's long-time defense of free speech on-campus (for more about our views, see here and here), and asked some basic questions about which groups in recent times have been the most active in suppressing speech in our society.
To their credit, The Hoya issued a clarification.
Today we take an actual look at events occurring during that time period and present some important information missing from the column, which is no surprise if you're even the least bit familiar with The Hoya's history of media bias and conveniently ignoring facts which don't support the paper's liberal agenda, a problem which appears to have gotten worse under their current editor-in-chief. We conclude by asking for both a correction and an apology. Read the full post and you'll see why.
First, here's what Matthew Quallen, the author of the piece, wrote about TGA . . .
But the Academy received some of its strongest criticism in spring 2001, when it joked that the next editorial in The Hoya, which the Academy viewed as extremely liberal, would call upon members of the Stewards to wear yellow stars. The comparison the besieged journal was making was, of course, between an element of conservative life at Georgetown and Jews during the Holocaust.*
Naturally, letters poured in and the reaction grew more severe. When the March issue of the Academy hit print, one staffer quit and wrote an open letter announcing his disgust for the organization. The GUSA senate voted 14-2 to demand an apology from the Academy. Students asked the university to review its media policies. In November of that year Terrence Boyle (SFS ’63, LAW ’72) wrote to highlight the ways in which personal attacks, even when true, had become increasingly and dangerously the norm in a campus media climate of hostility. Students began stealing one another’s publications — 5,000 copies of the Voice disappeared and the Academy disappeared multiple times from distribution sites. This prompted the Academy’s lawyer, Manuel Miranda (SFS ’82), who also serves as counsel to William Blatty, and to an effort to strip Georgetown’s Catholic identity or compel reform via canon lawsuit, to write an incensed op-ed in the Hoya.
The next years in this climate of angst and anger would see a rash of hate crimes on Georgetown’s campus.
How many is a rash?
Well, the piece doesn't say, because Matthew doesn't tell us or provide links to any evidence detailing what type of criminal activity occurred.
So we did some extensive research in the archives of The Hoya and The Voice and read every article between 2001 and 2010 related to hate crimes. We also examined statistics from Georgetown's Bias Reporting Team. We reviewed GUPD's crime stats. And finally, we looked up institutional data on Georgetown from the U.S. Department of Education's Campus Safety and Security data analysis site.
We encourage anyone reading this to do so as well. We may be doing some additional reporting on this topic in the future since it's an important one. Most of all, we recommend both The Hoya and The Voice to do an honest, serious analysis. The facts show the hate crimes issue has been co-opted by the grievance industry hustlers and professional victims among us who regularly take events that aren't hate crimes and pretend they are so as to generate protests, media attention, and concessions from the administration in the form of cash and prizes.
In our research we found an extremely important piece of evidence Matthew missed when it comes to answering the question of whether or not TGA was responsible for creating an intolerant campus climate that led to hate crimes (and it's not this piece in The Voice noting that "Newsweek ranks Georgetown among the nation’s most diverse and LGBTQ-friendly schools").
The information we found totally exonerates TGA.
In other words, the idea The Georgetown Academy was involved in contributing to such a culture is, to put it plainly, entirely false and made-up. Some might say it was nothing more than wishful-thinking, yet another of many attempts to delegitimize the arguments and ideas TGA puts forth by dismissing us as hateful, no good, very bad people. Others might claim it was intentional because calling people racist, sexist, homophobic, or whatever -ist or -ic you want is the preferred method of left-wing liberal social justice warriors when it comes to dealing with those who don't cater to them or who put forth ideas they oppose.**
Anyways, the evidence is a commentary from the Chair of The Hoya's editorial board (which let's be honest, is hardly a bastion of libertarian or conservative thought . . . just ask yourself when was the last time they endorsed a right-leaning position or anyone other than a Democratic candidate), and was published in September 2004. The piece examines protests that occurred in response to two incidents of tipping over of the JSA's menorah in December 2000, with two fake hate crimes in February 2004, and which also led to some protests from students and demands of the administration (more special programs, more expensive administrators, and mandatory diversity training).
According to the piece, there appears to be a four year gap between "hate crime" incidents and student activism against such behavior. The whole analysis is fascinating about the campus culture at the time. If last semester is anything to go by, not much has changed.
Somehow, four years later the specter of intolerance had again reared its ugly head. Talk of hate crimes was in the air. The successes of four years prior – forgotten.
That phrase “hate crime” has permeated the discussion. One would think that hate crimes were occurring just about every weekend. Georgetown’s report on crime awareness and campus security contains statistics on every incident reported to campus authorities, regardless of whether there was a formal police report or investigation, regardless of whether the incident was substantiated.
According to the most recent report exactly zero hate crimes have been reported since 2000. If hate crimes are really occurring all the time and none have been reported, then a new hate crime-reporting website must be necessary.
Either that, or maybe Georgetown does not have a hate crime epidemic. Two incidents were cited as the cause of last year’s rally: a racist e-mail and an offensive comment in a class.
The e-mail came from a man in Florida who had nothing to do with the university. The comment was made by a minority student who said that being a minority helps a student get into Georgetown. A true statement – Georgetown does use affirmative action in its admissions decisions. Not exactly hate crimes
Racism is a deeply-rooted social problem. The university’s response in 2000 was a multi-pronged response to the issue and four years later problems persisted. The response in 2004 has so far been a website to report something that might not be a problem in the first place. If the response stops here, Red Square probably has not seen its final rally.
Remember, it was the March 2001 issue of The Georgetown Academy that was used to accuse staff members from that time period of creating a hostile environment on-campus that led to "a rash of hate crimes." Presumably other issues that year and years prior also contributed to a hostile campus scene.
Yet according to The Hoya, citing a GUPD report, there were no reported hate crimes during the following three years, and the two incidents that ended up happening in 2004 involved an email sent from some dude down in Florida who wasn't in any way affiliated with Georgetown, and a minority student saying being a minority student helps minority students get into Georgetown, which we all know to be 100% true due to affirmative action which provides for easier admittance standards for certain minority groups.
In fact, the earliest hate crime incident reported to GUPD doesn't appear to have occurred until September 2007, and that event occurred off-campus, six years in the future, and charges were dropped against the alleged student perpetrator because there was no physical evidence putting him at the scene and his lawyer says he had an alibi.
Let all this sink in for a moment. Read it all again if you feel the need. We'll wait.
Now ask yourself how, if TGA's editors and writers from the turn of the century generated a "climate of angst and anger [which] would see a rash of hate crimes on Georgetown’s campus," then why were there no hate crimes at Georgetown between 2001 and 2004?
Again, but this time in big block letters:
If The Hoya is saying TGA generated in 2001 a "climate of angst and anger [which] would see a rash of hate crimes on Georgetown’s campus," then why does The Hoya report there were no actual hate crimes at Georgetown between 2001 and 2004?
So at this point, in addition to the clarification they've already added, we're now formally asking The Hoya to issue a correction and apology.
Because journalistic ethics.
*Apparently the satirical piece about the Stewards having to wear yellow triangles was alluding to The Hoya having a ban on Stewards not being allowed to sit on the editorial board (our sources tell us that everyone who ran for a position during those years had to answer the question "Are you a Steward?"), and frequent attempts that have been made over the years to expose and root out Stewards belonging to GUSA or other clubs.
**We're not accusing Matthew of this behavior and don't believe he thinks like this since we're friendly with him and have had repeated respectful exchanges and know he's a thoughtful person. We are saying this is a tactic others use regularly.
***Of course, just because none are reported doesn't mean none occurred. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. All the more reason for hate crimes, like sexual assaults, to be reported. That said, the record clearly does not indicate that TGA's publishing in the late 1990s and early 2000s resulted in a rash of hate crimes.