Paging David Neiwert. [Updated and Bumped.]
Although I don't expect him to answer the call unless this turns out to be a hoax.
By Moe Lane Posted in Culture — Comments (19) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
[Last UPDATE, probably: Our own Constant Reader civil truth has given us the link in comments to a report that Mr. Nava has confessed to creating a hoax. If that checks out, then expel the... fellow. - Moe Lane]
[The Nigh-Ultimate UPDATE: Ryan T Anderson of First Things has written a clear, concise, and balanced article reviewing the Princeton incident. I recommend it to anybody prepared to start swinging over it. - Moe Lane]
[Further UPDATE: Guess that Neiwert will be getting involved after all: Former hoax and injury details complicate picture of assault (Via Fausta). Short version: the kid wrote some anti-gay slurs outside of his high school dorm room; he's readily copped to doing that as part of a hoax, but the Anscombe Society is asking that people not start shouting about the attack until it's confirmed that there actually was one. So there's that. OTOH, the same article reports that the cops are going off the record to say that this looks like a real attack. So there's that. OTGH, I think that the article implied that Francesco Nava is himself gay, or formerly gay, or something - which tells us absolutely nothing about whether all of this is more or less likely to be true, but will nonetheless be brandished by various people to support various arguments. Ah, the Internet. - Moe Lane]
[UPDATE: Fausta lives in the area, and she's a sensible sort, so she'll probably be keeping on top of this. - Moe Lane]
We either have a fairly serious hate crime going on here at Princeton University, or an elaborate hoax. Let's walk through the chronology:
1). Several members of the Anscombe Society - a Princetonian conservative group that is pro-chastity and anti-gay marriage - have reported receiving hate mail, including death threats.
2). It's also been reported that the response to this by Princeton University was distinctly anemic.
3). One of those students - one Francesco Nava, who has written what was apparently a not well-received article about the University Health Service's providing of condoms here - was reportedly attacked on Friday night by two individuals who used the same language as that found in the emails. The reported injuries were relatively minor; cuts, abrasions, and a mild concussion. More details here and here.)
(Originally via Instapundit.)
All caught up, then? Excellent.
First off, a disclaimer: while I was chaste for quite long periods of time in college, it wasn't for lack of trying. In fact, I would have been happy to be quite the filthy libertine, if only I could have found somebody willing to indulge me. Of course, now that I am older, happily married, and have a kid, I am of course free to be the absolute hypocrite and solemnly declare that college students shouldn't fornicate their brains out. And really, they shouldn't, and they are capable of not doing it, agitprop to the contrary... but I'm more concerned with the idiotic things that they're learning from their professors, really.
All of this means that I'm not necessarily on the Anscombe Society's side (in fact, when it comes to same-sex marriage I'm on the other one) with regard to their core issue. I'm also quite aware that we've had quite the rash of hate-crime hoaxes coming from the Other Side lately; there's nothing stopping one of ours from doing it, alas, and to be honest? The timeline sounds a little smooth, and there's not much ambiguity here. For all I know, that's just a relic of the way this was reported (you'll note that it's all campus newspapers reporting this so far), but I still look with some interest in the University's conclusions.
And they will have to investigate this now. As it is, if this turns out to be real, Princeton University is severely hosed. There's already enough for a killer civil suit; the last thing the university would need is some sort of suggestion that a cover-up took place. For that matter, I'm kind of curious myself why it apparently requires an actual physical assault to make a university agency take notice of threats against conservatives, and I suspect that all of you are kind of curious, too.
PS: I am addressing the possibility that this is a hoax not because I seriously believe that it is one (I don't have enough information yet either way), but because it is not outside the realm of possibility; and just because people like Neiwert check under their beds each night for scary, violent right-wingers, doesn't mean that I should do the equivalent.