A young man who is a student at Towson University is concerned about the level of crime afflicting his campus and the seeming inability of the police to stem the tide. So, he is arranging for a series of unarmed student foot patrols around the university to increase student safety. The problem? The student arranging for the foot patrols heads a group called the “White Student Union”, and its blog warns that the university is experiencing a “black crime wave”, with “black predators” preying upon the “white majority student body”. Ouch. To make matters worse, the young man, Mr. Mathew Heimbach, is an Orthodox Christian, who stated his desire to enter seminary to become an Orthodox priest. Double ouch.
What are we to make of all this? It seems that the fallen tribalisms of this age are hard to eradicate from the human heart, and sadly, can even survive conversion to the Orthodox Church. It is commendable that someone might want to arrange for student-led patrols of the campus to increase safety. It is less commendable that anyone would define himself, especially today, in terms of colour or race. Why have a White Student Union? Why call the “crime wave” a black crime wave? Presumably no one, of any colour or race, cares much about the colour of the person beating them about the head and taking their money. Defining the criminals and the victims in terms of their colour seems unnecessarily provocative, if not incendiary. Why describe the situation on campus in terms calculated to increase racial tension?
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