Cura Personalis

November 6th, 2009

As reported in “GU rally decries anti-gay violence” (Washington Post 10/31/09), “2nd GU student hurt in anti-gay attacks” (Washington Post 11/03/09), “Hate motivated assault Tuesday night” (Georgetown Voice Vox Populi blog 10/28/09), and “Bias related assault at 36th and N Streets” (Vox Populi 11/01/09), a Georgetown student was assaulted (she thankfully suffered only minor injuries) on Tuesday 10/27/09 at 9:10 pm as she walking back to the campus. Two men who appeared to be in their twenties shouted anti-gay insults at her, grabbed her book bag, pushed her to the ground, and hit her with the bag. Then, on Sunday 11/01/09 at 1:32 am (i.e., Halloween night), a male student (also on his way back to campus) was first verbally and then physically assaulted. Since both assaults occurred off campus, the DC Police have jurisdiction, but so far neither victim has been willing to file a police report. Adding insult to injury, both assaults took place during the school’s celebration of GLBT History Month. For further information, see Vox Populi’s series on the hate crimes. Watch the student-made video below, and SIGN THE PETITION below to protest these crimes, support the victims, and demand that action be taken.

Georgetown University

Is right down the street from me.

I also attended Georgetown Law Center

And still keep in contact with my mentor.

 

My last poem about Georgetown was funny

About a kid with no time and too much money.

That one was meant to be tongue in cheek,

But this one’s meant as a serious critique.

 

This one’s about a serious matter

About something in society seriously the matter.

This one’s about intolerance

And the evil acts that it foments.

 

Last week, a young woman was walking down the street

When two young men she happened to meet.

Regular-looking twenty-somethings, but set apart

By the chips on their shoulders and hatred in their heart.

 

They shouted anti-gay insults and pushed her around,

Took her bag, and shoved her to ground.

They hit her with the bag as she lay in dirt.

Her crime: wearing a gay rights t-shirt.

 

There was another attack early last Sunday,

Again apparently because the victim was gay.

A male student returning to campus on Halloween night

Crossed paths with a man with his face painted red and white.

 

The man assaulted him verbally, then physically too.

What would you have done if that had been you?

Who knows why the perp did it – maybe it was part of a plan,

Or maybe he felt the need to prove he was a “real” man.

 

Since both assaults occurred off school property

The DC Police have jurisdiction, all parties agree.

But so far the police aren’t able to fully investigate:

Neither victim filed a report, for which the police must wait.

 

This kind of thing has happened at Georgetown before,

Last fall, in Sep. 2007, and many other times more

Apparently, such cases happen a lot;

Perpetrators are often not reported, and even less caught.

 

Last fall, a medical student was hit with a bottle (and needed stitches as a result)

By two men shouting a homophobic insult.

In Sep 2007, a student did a gay sophomore attack

(The case was dropped due to evidence lack).

 

As one student said “This stuff happens all the time,”

Usually with no clear reason or rhyme–

Except of course that the victim is gay,

Apparently an offense for which she/he must pay.

 

Princelings may be annoying, but they’re better than thugs.

That’s the kind of behavior that can’t be swept under rugs.

That’s especially true at Georgetown, a Catholic University.

I know Christ wouldn’t condone such acts of bigotry.

 

Why don’t victims file reports with the police?

Maybe they feel their pain would thereby increase.

All the community can do is give them support,

Whether or not they file a police report.

 

I hope they do, and that there’s a full investigation

So police can find those responsible for this abomination.

You see, this isn’t just a simple altercation,

But an open-and-shut case of anti-gay discrimination.

 

Some may say the victims weren’t badly hurt, so it’s not serious,

But I think that view to society is deleterious.

Hatred of any minority is a social infection–

Its spread must be stopped with hate crime protection.

 

Hate crime isn’t just a matter of degree—

Remember, these things can also happen to you and me.

Should anyone be attacked when they with others disagree,

Or their lifestyle isn’t what others think it should be?

 

Sexual orientation is in-born, not a selection,

But bigotry is learned, and that IS open to correction.

When homophobia can’t be defeated by education,

Actions it motivates must receive clear condemnation.

 

But it’s not enough to have denunciation

In severe cases of molestation.

Since gay hate crime’s criminalization,

Such acts should result in incarceration.

 

Let’s hope that’s what happens in this case

So that justice and healing can both take place.

The school now has a resource center for GLBT students–

Hopefully it will help make a difference.

 

Unfortunately, the LGBTQ Center has also been the object of hate,

The effect of which to it’s importance adds weight.

In an act all civilized people should deplore

An anti-gay slur was written on its door.

 

President DeGioia,

This verse is for ‘ya.

You’ve supported gay rights and tolerance before,

So now I’m asking you to support it some more.

 

Cura Personalis, as every Georgetown student learns

Means respect for the individual’s circumstances and concerns.

So please promise to do all you can do

And sign our letter addressed to you.

 

Finally, a PS to Rick P:

If you’re Christian at all, you’re sure not the same kind as me,

Given your deep disgust with sodomy

And the alleged sin of homosexuality.

 

You say “unprovoked hitting of other students is inexcusable.”

But the word “unprovoked” makes being gay as an excuse usable.

You might as well bring up the Twinkie defense

To pardon any conceivable hate crime offense.

 

But Rick P, whatever your brand of Christian,

Concerned as you are with acts of grave sin,

I suggest that you look to your own immortal soul

And not assume the moral policeman’s role.

Georgetown University students hold a candlelight vigil to support hate crime victims

PPS: As a credit to the student population

Almost all commenters roundly rejected Rick P’s discrimination.

Master Cooper, if you were among that procession,

Then you’re completely forgiven for your earlier indiscretion.

  

PS to readers: Rent or buy Milk if you haven’t seen it. It’s excellent.

***



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