Hate, intolerance, and quaker colleges

As an alumni of two sites of higher education, I view each as very different. The institution where I received my master's degree was a means to an end and was not chosen with the same criteria as my undergraduate institution.

My undergraduate institution was chosen to learn about myself and the world. I wanted to go somewhere far away from home and to a Quaker institution. Guilford College in NC is where I ended up. I went there for a bigger purpose. There were many wonderful things that came with my time at Guilford. I met some of the most wonderful people in my life. I had amazing professors who ignited my love for a discipline I still work within. It was a time of great spiritual awakening, learning, and devotion.

I recently found out from another alum that over the weekend there was a racially motivated hate crime on the campus. The students who were attacked are Palestinian. They went to Ramallah Friends School, before coming to Guilford College. The attackers are from NC and are on the football team. It is a sad and sobering event. The college responded with this statement 72 hours after the event. More information in an article from the Greensboro News and Record. And the AP has picked it up.

I am having many mixed emotions at the moment that I should probably sit with until I know what is coming from a godly place and what is pure emotion. It pains me to see the media running stories connecting Quaker values and hate crimes. For now all we can do is to pray. Pray for the college community. Pray for the victims. Pray for the perpetrators. Pray for guidance in finding solutions to racism, intolerance, and ignorance. Pray for a day when we have true equality. Pray for a day when we have taken away occasion for war, strife, and violence. Pray for God's Kingdom here on Earth. Pray to be a vessel for God's work. Pray that the Spirit leads us to do good works to help create a more just and equitable and loving world.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this--it speaks to my condition this morning, as I woke to hear the news on NPR of my beloved Guilford College (I am an alum, too).

Anonymous said...

Oh dear.... How troublesome! I just took a quick look at the various headlines that are out there; I hadn't realized that both the AP and NPR had picked up the story.

I'm an alum from Haverford (1985).

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

Elizabeth Bathurst said...

While I was a student at Guilford, I was witness to a much milder incident. A girl in my dorm pulled a silly and non-violent prank involving a banner, if I remember correctly. A boy took offense, and entered my dorm and threatened a group of us in a very vulgar and violent manner while brandishing a knife. It took some time for the administration and campus safety to conduct an investigation and expell the boy in question, and I believe that time was taken in order to make sure that justice was served.
My impression is that this was a heated encounter that became violent and that the brutality of the violence was escalated by ethnic/religious intolerance. If my impression is correct, I hope that all of the boys involved will be reprimanded and punished according to the intensity of their infractions, some of which appear to be very grave indeed.
It would be nice if we, as humans, were capable of enacting swift and immidiate justice, but it takes a little while to sift through the differences in eyewitness accounts and collect evidience to find the truth. I believe taking sufficient time to be deliberate in our actions, while making sure that our sadness, our horror and especially our anger are not influencing our enactment of justice is not only appropriate but essential.

Liberalgrrrl said...

Thanks for writing this. I think you captured what many people of us (Alums) are feeling.

Genevieve (1994)