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U. Maryland picks up where it left off: ‘scary’ and ‘terrifying’ hate/bias incidents

A pair of “hate/bias” incidents rocked the University of Maryland over the month’s first weekend, which included a scribbled swastika and anti-LGBT epithets in the dorms.

The situation was described as “scary” and “terrifying” by at least one student, especially since there are currently no suspects in the cases.

The Diamondback reports Queen Anne’s Hall resident Madeline Redding said her friend had noticed “This is gay” written on her dorm room whiteboard, whereupon she wrote back “Whoever erased my message and said this is gay, a member of the LGBT community lives here. Words hurt.”

The harassers made their presence known again later that day as they changed a pro-LGBT message to “Queer Anne’s against hate,” followed by a late-night banging on Redding’s friend’s door with an accompanying yell of “You’re so gay.”

From the story:

Students in Queen Anne’s Hall received a written statement from Mary Breaker, the resident director on duty at Queen Anne’s Hall, Redding said.

“Incidents such as this one have the potential to hurt all of us in the community. As students living in the residence halls, each of you deserves respect and to feel you have a rightful place in our community,” the statement read. “As a community, we must work together to support each other in our goal to create an inclusive and welcoming campus for all.”

University Police also responded Sept. 2 to a report of a swastika drawn on a students’ whiteboard in La Plata Hall.

Vivian Borbash, a freshman electrical engineering major, said she saw a swastika drawn on her whiteboard, erased the symbol and responded with a message saying “You suck.”

The hall’s fourth floor resident assistant noticed this and reported the drawing to the police. Borbash said neither she nor any of her roommates are Jewish.

In a statement released Thursday, this university’s NAACP chapter called for more transparency from university administrators on diversity issues.

Regarding that “transparency,” The Diamondback says in its report the school community is “still reeling” from the May 2017 murder of a black Bowie State University student by a white former UMD student, and notes that two of the 15 verified “hate” incidents from last year were committed by then-employees of the university.

Omitted from those two cases — unlike in the Bowie State student’s murder — is the race of those former UMD employees: They happen to be African-American. Is this information not relevant … especially in hate/bias matters?

The paper didn’t feel this information was worthy of mention last year, too, when the incidents happened. In fact, a total of one news outlet noted the suspect’s race in one of the occurrences; in the other, none did. The College Fix had to contact the college’s police department to obtain the information.

Read the full Diamondback article.

MORE: Man charged in UMD swastika vandalism is black former employee

MORE: News reports omit race of man arrested for UMD hate crime hoax

IMAGE: Bartolomiej Pietrzyk/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over a decade, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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