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Root of Problem Is Overreaction, not Malice

In the past few weeks, a small scale war seems to have developed between Tau Epsilon Phi and Lambda Chi Alpha, or at least small factions therein.

If I understand correctly, it started with some TEP brothers performing what they considered to be a good-natured hack on the Harvard Bridge Smoot marks, which brothers of LCA originally painted. LCA did not think it was good-natured. A small group from LCA retaliated with a bad-natured hacking spree at the house of TEP. Part of this attack included painting an arrow on the sidewalk with the words, "To TEP ' 33 nerds + 1 queer."

This quote has subsequently been declared "homophobic" by Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals at MIT, TEP, LCA, and parts of the administration. LCA has (correctly) issued an apology for the actions of their brothers, mostly focusing on these words. This I don't understand.

The vandalism did not read, "33 nerds and 1 queer, who is inherently evil because he is gay." The word "queer," I believe, is used by the gay community, so that can't be the problem. I doubt the context was intended to be offensive somehow, as it would be just as offensive to nerds, and very rarely do members of a group best known for laying a guy on the sidewalk several hundred times disrespect mild forms of insanity like being a nerd.

I believe people have overreacted to the words used in this insufficiently thought out reference to the "This Way to MIT" sign by Harvard Bridge. While the unrepresentative sample from LCA did some unfriendly, illegal things toward TEP, I don't think any malice was intended, or effected, toward the lesbigay community.

Steven Jens '97