As the NCAA basketball tournament began and "March Madness" swept campuses all across the nation, a different sort of madness overtook the University of Virginia (UVa). This madness had nothing to do with basketball, but tells us a lot about racial politics in America.
On February 26, a 19-year-old biracial student named Daisy Lundy claimed she had been attacked by a white man. Her story: as a candidate for Student Council president, she had decided to go out for "a little late-night campaigning at the library." She walked to her car at around 2:00 a.m. to get her cell phone. The white attacker approached her, grabbed her by her ponytail and pushed her head against the car. During the assault, she claimed, the attacker said: "No one wants a nigger to be president."
(UVa has had five black student council presidents since 1990, without incident. Lundy was facing a runoff election, just before her alleged attack, owing to irregularities in her campaign. Her opponent, Ed Hallen, who is white and male, withdrew after the alleged attack, citing concerns that a "divisive" election could compromise the community's attempt to unite after the February 26 attack.")
Lundy said she suffered a minor concussion and injured her ankle and knee.
There were no witnesses.
The FBI immediately launched a civil-rights investigation.
The response of the university community was even more dramatic. UVa officials called a mass meeting titled "Community Reflection and Response." A large crowd packed the school's ballroom for the discussion.
Expressions of outrage were reported from students, faculty and race activists:
"Do you know what really hurts?" asked George Mentore, a professor of anthropology. "The fact that this looks like it was one of our own. I'm defiled by the actions of a few people in our community. We have to start doing something a little radical."
The Rev. Alvin Edwards, pastor of Mount Zion First African Baptist Church, blamed the incident on the university. He said: "We can raise big bucks for everything except solving the race problem."
M. Rick Turner, dean of the Office of African-American Affairs, declared "We cannot have a gangsterized community" (applause).
"This intolerable act insults and offends this community's core values, including racial tolerance, civility and mutual respect," Casteen stated. "Our first obligation is to close ranks around our students to ensure their safety and to reassure them of the community's protection and support."
Vice President Lampkin announced in her four-page statement that UVa was offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. She said police were aggressively investigating the assault.
Addressing black students, Lampkin said UVa officials are "committed to providing whatever support you want or need right now. If you need to talk, if you need to be angry — we will not turn away."
Lampkin's statement concluded: "This morning's attack draws anger and sadness. It should. Our institutional values do not condone physical violence, racism, stealth, intimidation or terror."
UVa created not one but two (2) committees to study "diversity questions."
The Council on African American Affairs (CAAA), a Washington-based activist group, which seeks "to enable young African-American scholars to conduct objective research on pressing policy issues facing African-American communities," offered $20,000 to help police find the culprit.
"The chant from the steps of the University of Virginia's Rotunda carried for blocks: 'What do you want?' 'Progress!' 'When do you want it?' 'Now!'"
Anne Coughlin, a white professor at UVa's School of Law, addressed the rally, saying "I am afraid to come here tonight and speak to you about this crucial matter." She added that she was worried "white folks will think that I'm blowing this out of proportion."
"My fears are produced by racism," Coughlin said. "My fear has made me an ignorant person."
At a student-faculty workshop there were calls for mandatory "sensitivity training." Faculty members recommended a slate of courses or a "reading day" during which each student would be assigned a book on racial matters.
A dean reported receiving "many phone calls" from worried black parents.
The reaction to this alleged attack stands in astonishing contrast to the reaction to a whole string of racially motivated attacks that occurred at the university a year earlier.
In February 2002, Charlottesville police arrested nine black teenagers and one adult for a series of what police themselves described as "race-based attacks" on white and Asian university students.
"Assailants did say the victims were chosen on the basis of race," Lt. J.W. Gibbon told the Media General News Service in a Feb. 3, 2002 interview.
But the Mayor of Charlottesville, Blake Caravati, issued a public statement expressing concern for the perpetrators and their families. He also announced that "whether these were or were not racially motivated assaults" has "yet to be determined by the Commonwealth's Attorney"…despite what the police had already stated, despite the evidence from the suspects themselves, despite the racial identity of the attackers and their victims.
Obviously, the NAACP and other black racial activists pressured the mayor and the police to not pursue hate crime charges. (The perps ultimately got nugatory sentences.) The Reverend Alvin Edwards, who had three of the suspects in his congregation, proclaimed "class, not race, lies at the root of the assaults."
That's the same Reverend Alvin Edwards who was decrying the racism behind the alleged Lundy attack a year later.
UVa did not organize a "Community Reflection and Response" meeting. It did not create even one "committee," let alone two. UVa faculty did not call for "doing something a little radical." School officials did not warn against "a gangsterized community." The president of the school did not issue a call to "close ranks," nor did he "reassure" the white and Asian students of "the community's protection and support." The vice president did not tell white and Asian students, "if you need to talk, if you need to be angry — we will not turn away." There were no outside groups offering $20,000 rewards. There were no candlelight vigils. No student-faculty workshops were held to call for mandatory sensitivity training or reading days about racism. White and Asian parents unquestionably worried about black gangs attacking their children, but no dean made these concerns public.
The only groups to organize around the attacks were the NAACP and other black pressure groups.
They held bake sales and community meetings to raise money - for the attackers.
Perhaps most importantly, the FBI did not launch a hate crime investigation.
Anne Coughlin, the law professor who decried white racism at the candlelight vigil for Lundy, has defended this double standard: "When people have been forced to live with slavery, their anger may be more understandable."
These comments are despicable, especially when coming from a law professor at one of the top universities in the nation. But they do give us an insight into the thought processes of the people who make and enforce racial orthodoxy in America.
Peter Bradley[email him] writes from Washington D.C.
VDARE.COM comment: Amazingly, a number of media stories have appeared that conflate the alleged attack, in principle a fairly serious crime, with an earlier incident in which white fraternity members at UVA dressed up in blackface at Halloween. This took place off-campus, but photographs were taken and the students were investigated. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for the University, there's something called the First Amendment which prevented them from being savagely punished.
It shows how seriously the race relations industry takes breaches of orthodoxy that they can't see any difference between frat boys dressing as Venus and Serena Williams for a Halloween party, and an alleged attack causing (alleged) bodily harm.