Is this really a hate crime [“Students arrested in connection with hate crime,” Morgan A. Zalot, Feb.26, 2008]? Or is this one brother trying to defend his little brother? It appears that the younger brother was beaten up by a member of the Jewish frat house. This is what started the whole thing. The older brother was attempting to retaliate in an effort to defend his younger brother. Isn’t that a natural reaction?
I am by no means condoning the means by which David defended Steve. These two boys are very young, and to send them to prison for a hate crime is far too harsh. Does anyone involved here really know these boys? David reacted to a telephone call from his brother. He made a bad decision in the heat of the moment. We throw around the words “hate crime” any time someone uses offensive words. If the use of offensive language constitutes a hate crime, then many more people should be in prison. David’s physical fighting with the victim was not motivated by David’s hatred of Jews, it was done in retaliation to what he perceived as a wrong done to his little brother.
Again, I reiterate that I am not condoning David’s actions. Yes, he should be expelled from Temple for fighting. Yes, he should face criminal charges for the assault and battery of another person. Is this a hate crime? I am a full-time student at Temple University and I feel that to label this campus as a place of violence or intolerance would be a terrible mistake. Temple is a campus with an enormous amount of diversity. That very diversity is what makes this university great. A university of this size is bound to have problems. When you put this many people from so many diverse backgrounds together there will always be problems.
I have known David and Steve’s parents since before the boys were born. They are two decent, honest hardworking people. It is my hope that all sides of this story will be considered before anyone jumps to conclusions and labels these boys as the perpetrators of a hate crime.
Class of 2009