Although this incident happened at the State University of New York at Fredonia, in the conservative western reaches of that state, it could have happened at almost any university in America.
A white student provably used a racial slur on a school-based social media site. True, he misspelled the slur as “nigers,” but his intent was clear.
Over a photo of himself with a hugely swollen lip, a bloody nose and a middle finger raised in defiance, he wrote “F–king nigers are p—ies.”
By the afternoon of the next day, Feb. 10, the student realized the consequences of what his words meant on a contemporary university campus and delivered an apology worthy of a condemned Trotskyite during the Great Terror.
“So last night I was sucker punched and in my anger I acted out by posting something inappropriate and wrong. I did not fight back with fists but rather with a racist word.”
The student continued, “But I realized the gravity of this quickly and although I don’t understand why the person attacked me, I intend to apologize to him for the offense I may have caused.”
He concluded, “I’m also sorry to everyone else who was hurt and offended by my language. I’m am deeply sorry and will be seeking counseling to deal with anger in a healthier way in the future.”
If the student was expecting sympathy or forgiveness from his fellow students, he did not get it. The responses came quickly.
“Who is he, and how do we make sure he ACTUALLY gets nailed for this? Because you KNOW Fredonia isn’t going to do anything about it,” said a white male.
Said another white male, “The fact that I know who this is makes me more infuriated than I already am. Fredonia better do something about this s–t.”
Said a white female, “I think an effective way to go about presenting the issue to [Fredonia] would be to have a group of people present the pictures to either the president or even a trusted professor – someone who can have him punished for this [because] this is absolutely unacceptable.”
Said a black male, “They’re p—ies but you’re the one crying on social media after you got your ass whooped lmao [laughing my ass off].”
Said a black female, “He probably deserved it tbh. He was probably drunk coming out of his mouth sideways. If you can think about saying the word ‘nigger,’ and then posting it on social media, it’s not an isolated ideology. He’s racist. His friends who are defending him are racist.”
On Feb. 14, the president of the university weighed in. “Dear Campus Community,” wrote Virginia Horvath, “Some of you may be aware that another incident of racial bias has occurred this weekend within the Fredonia community. After an alleged altercation off campus, a Fredonia student posted a disgusting racist message on social media, and the image and racial slur were then shared widely.”
Alleged? The student’s face was a mess. His rage was such that he jeopardized his academic future with his response.
Given the local demographics, his attacker was almost surely another Fredonia student. Given trends around the country, the attack was likely racially motivated. And yet the president expressed not the slightest curiosity about the man who attacked a student in her charge.
On Feb. 19, Horvath posted an update about the “ongoing situation.” Wrote Horvath, “The social media post provoked considerable anger and hurt because for many, it was just one more sign of an atmosphere of inequity and unwelcome on campus and in the community.”
In response, Horvath predictably “put in place several next steps that build on areas helpfully identified by students, faculty, and staff, the directions in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan, and the Blueprint for Excellence (Fredonia’s new strategic plan).”
In an update a week later, Horvath observed that the university had “concluded the investigations about the recent racist social media post and related violence.”
Related violence? Who knew? In any case, all involved parties had agreed to an unspecified resolution – student privacy and all – and Horvath quickly segued into the “troubling” revelation that Mason Hall lacked an “all gender” bathroom.
Just another day in the life of still another mindless ideologue that gets to preside over a college.