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Hate crimes are practically becoming routine in the region these days, and local universities are ground zero: from the University of Maryland (the noose incident), to Georgetown (the early morning homophobic attack), to most recently Gallaudet. This morning’s District Briefing in the Post reports a “possible hate crime” at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf on the Gallaudet University campus. Six white students and one black student scrawled “KKK” and swastikas all over a black student. I don’t quite understand what’s “possibly” hateful about this incident. Having symbols of vicious prejudice scribbled all over your body isn’t exactly a hobby.

Meanwhile, over at Georgetown, students gathered Monday to protest bias-related incidents at the university, according to school newspaper The Hoya. Members of a LGBT student group, GUPride, gathered signatures “for a petition supporting reforms to university procedure for addressing future hate crimes,” and three professors and college group leaders spoke at the rally. But the article didn’t mention any direct condemnations of Philip Cooney, the Georgetown student who was arrested in connection with the attack last month.

Is history at work here? Would Cooney have been spared if this crime had occurred prior to March 2006? The incident I’m referring to is, of course, the Duke Lacrosse scandal, which Cooney’s lawyer referenced to NBC 4.

“The police investigation was nothing,” he said. “You have a complaining witness who says he saw someone who he thought may have attacked him vis-à-vis the Web. That’s the investigation. Did they try to talk to Mr. Cooney before the investigation? No. Would you expect the police to do that? Yes,” he told NBC.