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11.23.2007

frat boys, water balloons and racial slurs

Police in Seattle are investigating an apparent hate crime involving a University of Washington frat house: Police investigating apparent hate crime at UW frat house. Witnesses told police last Sunday that they saw several people hurl water balloons and yell abusive comments from the Delta Upsion fraternity house. Water balloons? Big deal, you say. It's just a bunch of stupid drunk frat boys being the assheads that they are. Right? Not so fast. According to police, witnesses saw an Asian student get hit in the head with a water balloon, with four or five people on the fraternity balcony yelling racial and anti-immigrant slurs at the man, who ran from the house.

While water balloons and racial slurs may seem like a minor matter to some, I would argue that it opens the door to all sorts of hate and intolerance. It's not the water balloons. It's the aggressive, hateful, de-humanizing sentiment behind it. It starts out as something innocuous, but what's to say that the next time it won't be something more dangerous or violent? The frat guys, of course, deny any wrongdoing. The Delta Upsilon president told police that he and other members of the fraternity were in a meeting when the incident occurred. Responding officers classified the incident as assault and malicious harrassment. Unfortunately, police were not able to locate the victim immediately after the incident. I hope he comes forward. Meanwhile, here is the contact information for the Delta Upsilon chapter at UW. Do what you will with this information...