A gay Duke student threatened with death comes forward

Jack Donahue

Jack Donahue

“My message was to not allow this incident to be viewed as an outlier but rather a physical manifestation of prejudice and oppression that queer bodies experience daily. I also wanted people to understand that these macro aggressions only exist because of micro aggressions that are done daily and commonly on campus. Lastly, I stressed that the average cisgender straight person is the issue, as very few “allies” are truly active allies.

I do not think anyone will be found culpable nor do I know who might have done it. What I mean by that [statement] is that hatred exists. Hateful people exist. Violence exists. We cannot change those things. What we can hopefully change is the general attitude toward and treatment of queer people. One bigot need not be the focus of this incident….

Duke’s administration can improve life for LGBTQIA+ students by following through on the list of [demands] made by Blue Devils United as were voiced at the rally. These included a zero tolerance hate speech policy, sexuality major, and establishment of a committee to review the historical targeting and expulsion of gay students. Moreover, demands should not be strictly the responsibility of student but also staff. The burden to relieve oppression is on the oppressor, not the oppressed.”

— Duke freshman Jack Donahue, in an interview with The Washington Post‘s columnist Steven Paltrow. Donahue recently spoke at a Nov. 6th gathering to address a death threat written on the first floor of his residence hall: “Death to all fags @ Jack.”

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