Monday, March 10, 2008

23 Year-Old PSU Student Victim of Brutal Anti-Semitic Hate Crime Beating On Temple University Campus

For one young student of my Alma mater Penn State University, the tales his grandfather told him of his experiences in Auschwitz during World War II seemed remote and far-removed from the young millennium's idyllic suburban Philadelphia upbringing.

But the walls separating the 23-year old young man's perspective from the totalitarian brutality of the Third Reich was shattered in a violent February 29th attack that took place on the Temple University campus (seen left) outside the Alpha Epsilon Pi house on North Broad Street in Philadephia around 1:30am.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Michael Walsh, 20, of Florham Park, N.J.; David Scott, 20, and Steven Scott, 19, two brothers from Willow Grove, Montgomery County; and Bryan Pediero, 19, of East Brunswick, N.J. - turned themselves in to face charges according to Philadelphia police.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage of the story seemed somewhat more sedate - insisting the the incident was "tentatively being labeled" a hate crime.

When four guys jump a Jewish guy and his friend coming out of a pizza joint at 1:30am, demand to know if they're members of the Jewish fraternity across the street then start beating the shit out of him while yelling anti-Semitic slurs I think the average reasonable person would say that fit's the definition of a hate crime.

But regardless of how it was reported, at least it was reported. It's clearly a sad testament to the growing number of hate crimes happening right now in communities not just across the US, but across the globe - skeptical?

Check out an extensive detailed list of anti-Semitic attacks from countries around the world.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report documented 888 known hate groups in the United States in 2007 - an increase of 48% since 2000.

It's heart-breaking to imagine a grandfather with the courage to somehow survive the horrors of Aushwitz being reduced to tears at the news that his grandson, a promising college student, was savagely beaten by four men who yelled out anti-Semitic slurs while their inner hatred rained down on a cold winter night in 2008.

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