Thankfully, I am not a UNC student, but I am a gay man. Hate crime victims deserve support and justice. Matney, however, is not a person I would waste my sympathies on as he is not a hate crime victim. Rather, through his self-mutilation-turned-hate-crime-claim, Matney's attention-seeking terrorized the UNC GLBT community, much like a bona fide hate crime perpetrator's acts would have. The correct response to learning the truth about Matney's actions would be to condemn them, implore him to get the psychological help he needs, demand an apology from him, and then turn one's sympathies to people more deserving. But the good-intentioned folks (and probably fake liberals) at UNC have done just the opposite: they continue to garner Matney with more support and public attention. This, of couse, just gives fodder to the anti-hate crime folks; and, it serves to cheapen the actual suffering that actual hate crime victims (many of whom are transgendered, gay, and lesbian) actually suffer.
Although at first blush DeLuca's concerns about the campus reporting of Matney’s feigned homophobia-fueled assault has some merit (campus police should report violent attacks sooner than a week after they are said to have happened), it is frankly pathetic that DeLuca either can't see or refuses to state that in the case of Matney, the delayed reporting did UNC's GLBT community a lot of good in that it spared them a week of heightened anxiety.
The bottom line about hate crimes at UNC is this: if you are a bunch of white heterosexual males who threaten the life of the president with racist graffiti, you don't have any charges pressed against you; and, even your identities are kept secret. If, however, you are a gay man who commits an act of self-mutilation and then pass it off as a gay hate crime, you get charged with a crime (and rightfully so), but at least you get the sympathies of the people you victimized. As I said, thankfully I am not a UNC student.
Indy Week • 302 E. Pettigrew St., Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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