Letter to the Editor: Elitist justice

I am writing to express my outrage at the elitist snobbery expressed two weeks straight on The Hatchet’s opinion page. Senior Ashly Richards wrote on April 5 (“Police harass students in bar busts”) that the “8,000” perverts in the Aston area are “allowed to expose themselves” while underage drinkers are “harassed.” On April 12, Justin Parady took his turn pointing a finger (“Policing priorities”), stating that the Metropolitan Police Department should “refocus their efforts on crimes that have a more serious human toll” than underage drinking.

For some reason or another, the writers believe that GW’s underage drinkers deserve special treatment from the law. This is evident in the way that both imply that surely MPD has something better to do than harass them or their friends – how dare they? Why are the police not fighting real crimes, such as “assault, robbery, rape and murder”?

I ask in response: why should GW students be exempt? Because our school has a rich, mostly white student body? Because our school is in one of the whitest and richest neighborhoods in an otherwise poor and mostly black city? Because the suburban police of our hometowns do not pursue underage drinkers quite the way MPD does?

There is no reason GW students should be exempt from D.C. law. Those who believe we should ask justice to no longer be blind. This line of thinking is racist, elitist and ignorant of the fact that not only is underage drinking a crime, it is a gateway to alcoholism, which has a “serious human toll.”

However, it is easier to demonize true criminals than to face the cognitive dissonance of being both an upwardly mobile GW student and an underage drinker – a criminal. District residents should be free from criminal conviction because they have committed no crime, not because they live in Foggy Bottom.

-Geoffrey Langham

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