Students must work to end hate crimes

Danny McLaughlin

Those neocons are up to no good. I can’t imagine what goes on behind the closed doors of College Republican meetings — I can’t say for sure if the doors are even closed — but I assume last week’s meeting went a little like this:

“Did you hear about those liberal activist judges in Connecticut shoving civil unions down our God-fearing throats?” said the guy in the “Cheney is a Dreamboat” T-shirt. “Actually,” offered a girl in a Nixon mask, “I heard it was passed by the state legislature … and signed by the governor.”

“Silence!” cried a sweaty man in a Mussolini costume. He had to shout to make himself heard over the Ted Nugent blaring over the PA system, “It’s clear that those lawmakers were paid off by the ACLU.” The crowd murmured in agreement.

A young gentleman standing next to a life-size inflatable Reagannequin spoke up. For a minute, it seemed as if it were the voice of the Great Communicator himself, “You know if it can happen there, it can happen here, too!” Angry shouts of “Mercan Prahd! Mercan Prahd!” could be heard from down the hall.

“We gotta stop ‘em fer they got us all eatin’ Pad Thai!”

“And smoking American Spirits!”

“And meditating in school!”

“And listening to ELO!”

And thus the neocons’ crusade against sexual minorities at Kent State was born. From here, the meeting degenerated into an orgy of chanting, flag waving and burning Dan Rather effigies. This much is true — I saw them outside the Student Center and have photographic evidence (if you’re willing to accept stickmen drawn on notebook paper as a photograph).

Now journey with me if you will to the night of April 14, to the Eastway store, where I had ventured to purchase nerds ropes. I had just stepped off the staircase when I was struck by a projectile. I caught a quick glimpse of my assailant, who at first appeared to be a Klansman, but turned out to be a nice-enough-looking young woman. I thought I heard someone shout, “Go home Faggot!” but that was just someone sneezing in the background. I never got a good look at the projectile because my assailant quickly snatched it back up, but I believe it to have been Blistex.

“I’m sooo sorry!” she sneered. Sorry for what? Sorry I was born? Sorry I choose to live my life the way I please?

She then identified herself as a member of the College Republicans.

Ah. Of course. It all made sense now.

A crowd had gathered, awaiting a provocation — hoping for any reason to drag me Matthew Shepard-style to the nearest natural foods co-op. My pride was battered, but I carried on to the store for fear of my life. Presumably, they returned to their work on amending the Constitution to allow for an Arnold Schwarzenegger presidency.

I write this as a warning to the student body. I believe myself to be the first victim of a wave of hate crimes waiting to be committed against sexual minorities of Kent State, and action must be taken. Write your ombudsman, organize a sit-in, a walk-out, a love-in. Anything — provided it’s hyphenated. Now is no time for inaction. Do we sit and allow further atrocities like this to be committed? I say no. Vote Quimby.

Danny McLaughlin is a sophomore integrated social studies major and a guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.