Hate crimes

Two years ago, the Sigma Chi fraternity was serving out a suspension for doing a lighthearted skit in black face. At the same time, a black student was beaten on Hillcrest by a group of white students over a traffic incident. Another white student came to the aid of the victim. Although the victim stated that he did not think that the incident was racially motivated, every black organization jumped on the Hate Crime bandwagon. Now it’s 1992, and we must recognize that the pendulum is swinging the other way. The university as a whole, the professors, the administration and students, black and white, must work hard to stop this outbreak of racial violence.

Hate crimes are caused by a combination of evil and ignorance. In the past, I have been the victim of racial violence. For those who don’t know, there is nothing more scary than someone attacking you for the color of your skin. Because of this, I have given the issue a lot of thought and have some ideas on what should be done here at NIU.

FIRST, white students should resist the temptation to act on this violence! Although the administration seems blind to the problem, we must remember that to respond to violence with violence does not solve anything. We should all admire the restraint that Mike Hicks demonstrated when his group was slurred by a black greek member. In addition, the retaliation of violence would be devastating. The BSU, B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. and the Black Greek Council are more united and organized to react to violence than the white community, and the violence could escalate to widespread, indiscriminate, racially motivated violence.

SECOND, the Student Association should cut the social funds out of these organizations. The SA’s primary function should be to help students graduate. They should help to create an atmosphere of racial harmony and unity in our diversities and to provide money for fun and entertainment to all students. Instead, the SA has bent over backwards to please the black organizations by bankrolling them with an abundance of funds and allowing them to abuse the money.

What abuse? Examine the events that brought Farrakhan here, or Omega Psi Phi’s long alcohol binge roadtrip in NIU vans and the numerous series of black on white violence occurring after black sponsored events in the HSC. Some student fees should sponsor events to allow black NIU students to explore their culture, but this does not mean that we should supply blacks with an endless three-ring circus of rap contests, roadtrips and racist reverend speakers.

THIRD, the leaders of the black organizations that sponsor these events should be held accountable. True leaders don’t just organize and motivate—they take some responsibility. Rev. Schmidt, this means YOU! But instead, they shrug it off. It would be racist to take action against them. In fact, the leaders of black student organizations have no power over their members. Their job is merely to panhandle the SA for more funds once a year. Well, it’s time for these leaders to grab the reigns and steer their organizations back on course!

FINALLY, Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Henley should take action. She, La Tourette and the rest of the administration have been looking the other way, but when we look up in shock at Saturday’s 10 p.m. news to learn of a stabbing in one of our residence halls, it’s time to act! When the situation was reversed, Henley was quick to scream Hate Crime: “You’ll answer to me!” attitude. Now where is Barbara? Someone has her priorities out of place.

After this situation is resolved, we can worry about issues like the geese. If NIU students would only relax a bit, they would realize that DeKalb can be a really nice place to go to school!

Andrew Krenke