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UNC Journalism Student Couldn’t Google Discrimination

Oh, Hannah Macie, how did you manage to get so much wrong in just four short paragraphs? Let’s start at the beginning and take this point by point.

I’m having a hard time understanding where “discrimination” came into play here. The novel depicts graphic sexual scenes between two women, which he felt contradicted his Christian beliefs, but in no way is this discrimination.

Duke freshman Brian Grasso did not claim the novel itself discriminated againt Christians. If you would read the Daily Tarheel report you cited, It clearly states “the selection process for the summer reading book discriminated against religious people,” not the book itself.

In the very next sentence, Grasso expands on this claim. He says, “They talk a lot about challenging ideas and challenging beliefs at orientation, but really the only people who are challenged here are religious people.” I haven’t reviewed the entire list of past summer reading choices, but I’d wager Duke University hasn’t selected many titles designed to put the fear of God into Grasso’s more promiscuous peers, despite the school’s Methodist and Quaker roots.

The novel depicts graphic sexual scenes between two women, which he felt contradicted his Christian beliefs, but in no way is this discrimination. The word “discrimination” tends to be associated with repeated unjust prejudices. Think: racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.

Again, it was the selection process, not the content of the book itself that Grasso felt discriminated against Christians. As for your word association, your contention that certain forms of discrimination are more common is irrelevant. I doubt you would claim sexism is nonexistent simply because racism is more common, or vice versa.

I find it hard to believe that a Christian man would find himself challenged in a society that was founded — and continues to be governed — by Christian men. How a freshman would believe that Christians face discrimination in college based upon his two-week college career is ludicrous in itself.

Perhaps Brian Grasso is just smarter and better read than you, Hannah Macie. Christian groups have lost their recognition at dozens of colleges, both private and public, for refusing to compromise their religious beliefs. Wesleyan offered its students LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM housing. “Evangelical housing” is not an option.

The only thing ludicrous about your last sentence is dismissing a student’s concerns because he’s only been at the university for two weeks. If a black freshman wrote about being called the “n-word,” would you similarly dismiss his claims, or would that headline be plastered across the front page of the Daily Tarheel?

One final note–and a point of agreement. The title of your article was “exposure to ideas is not discrimination.” Perhaps you’ll remember that the next time your fellow students vote to boot conservative speakers off campus.

Title photo by Evonne on Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Shaun King’s 1995 “Beating” Didn’t Merit a Followup by Local Paper

The Woodford Sun, a local Kentucky newspaper in “in continuous publication since 1869” didn’t think Shaun King’s 1995 beating was newsworthy enough to merit a follow-up. According to The Woodford County Historical Society, which maintains back-issues of the Sun, the incident merited just one mention in the “News of Record” section of the Sun’s March 8, 1995 issue which stated, “according to a March 1 report filed, a Woodford County High School student said was he was assaulted by another student while at school.”

The Historical Society reviewed subsequent issues of the paper for a follow-up story, but found no other references to Shaun King’s March 1, 1995 fight at Woodford County High School.

King has faced intense scrutiny and public criticism after a report by The Blaze disputed details of a fight King was involved as a high school student. King has repeatedly claimed he was a victim of a racially motivated beat down by a group of white students, but according to The Blaze:

The police report and witness statements from the incident characterize King’s injuries as only “minor” and make no mention of a gang assault, but suggest it was rather a one-on-one fight over a girl.

“His description of his injuries are different from what I observed,” former Versailles detective Keith Broughton told TheBlaze. “Keep in mind I didn’t see any X-rays or anything taken, but when I interviewed him and saw him in the emergency room he was not beaten to a pulp. His injuries appeared to be minor to me.”

“He had an abrasion on his face. He complained that he had some rib pain. But he was able to talk to me and describe to me — he talked to me and told me what happened. I do not recall anything mentioned about a gang assault because obviously I would have noted that in my police report,” Broughton continued.

“All of the witnesses described it as a one-on-one fight. Now there was a crowd gathered around, but I assume they were just watching the fight. Only Mr. King and the individual that assaulted him were involved in the altercation,” Broughton added.

King has prompted two former Woodford students to post accounts of the event to Facebook that corroborate his story. Both assert city officials “did not want this getting out” and imply investigation into the incident was suppressed.

Not only was Shaun beaten to a bloody pulp by a mob of students while we were in high school, my city of Versailles did everything it could to cover up and down play the event from the moment that it happened, as evidenced by half-assed police report and lack of news coverage at the time of the event.

King has not responded to questions about why his claim that he was attacked by roughly a dozen students was not included in the police report, nor has he provided any evidence from the time of the incident to support his claims that he was attacked by more than one person and that the attack was racially motivated.