Some of you may know I'm a grad student at Tech, and many of you have heard of our little "bomber" who got arrested a couple weeks ago for some explosive pop bottles he left outside his dorm. Sure, it was a little crazy for a couple hours as the bomb squad came out to "detonate" the "devices," but for crying out loud, it was dry ice evaporating in plastic drink bottles, hardly the work of even Jose Padilla.
Getting to my point: the student, Theodore Hollot, was arrested and released on bail, due to be arraigned in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Tech has lifted his suspension from classes, now that we know he was just being a dumb freshman, but he is no longer allowed to live on campus. Here comes our false plot point: Hollot is a rather bland looking white guy.
Cue the hysterics:
On Saturday, a Marietta-based community activist group called New Order complained Hollot should not have been allowed back in classes, insisting he would have been treated more harshly if he had been black or of ethnic background. "We feel like if he had a different name or was from another country, he would still be locked up in jail," said Gerald Rose, who said he is New Order president. "We feel like the kids on campus will be uncomfortable. We are demanding that this young man not be allowed to go back on campus." Rose said his concerns were based on conversations with people at Tech and an anonymous call to his office. He would not specify whether he had talked with Tech students or officials or say who they were.
Okay, let's get this straight: Gerald Rose is condemning an academic institution, and seeking greater punishment for a student, based on what may or may not have happened in a hypothetical infraction that exists nowhere outside his angry mind. Notice the important part of his allegation: "We feel like." So, you speculate that there might have been injustice in some other possible universe, so you demand that injustice be visited upon the pate of some dumb kid so that he might be denied an education? And this is somehow a good move on the part of a so-called human rights organization? That sounds like the kind of demented irony I expect from the religious [sic] right.
What's more disturbing (to me) is that in searching the internet to find out who this Gerald Rose character is -- I mean, this is the internet, he could be just another wingnut with a free website -- I found out that among his bonafides is a House commendation adopted by the Georgia General Assembly this year sponsored by none other than our favorite singing youngest Rep Alisha Thomas Morgan.
Right. Back to my point in the form of a question: really, is it in any rational way productive to seek to promote equality and human rights by punishing a dumb student more than a student of any color would deserve just because he's white, and you speculate things aren't all on the level?