Shortly after midnight Saturday, outside a dorm on a normally quiet Quaker college in Greensboro, N.C., at least three football players cursed and hit three Palestinian students with fists, feet and brass knuckles, according to police.
“These people who beat me I had never seen before in my life,” victim Omar Awartani told reporter Joe Killian of the Greensboro News & Record. “They just began insulting us, calling us ‘dirty,’ ‘terrorists’ and ‘sand niggers.’ We tried not to fight them; we did not insult them back, but they beat the hell out of us.”
Joe, a night cop reporter, broke the story and he’s been on it ever since, trying to find out the truth about what happened at Guilford College.
The story has appeared around the world, horrifying readers.
It’s particularly big news in Ramallah, the West Bank town where the three students hail from. But bloggers and journalists everywhere are examining the incident to see what larger messages it carries.
But Joe’s doing the real work. He’s getting the story, rooting around to find witnesses, to figure out exactly what happened and why. He’s doing what good reporters do – to search through the murkiness to find the truth, and tell it to a wary world.
This week, we’re particularly proud of Joe, whose work for The Tattoo helped make it something special years ago. He’s been our friend, and a mentor to budding journalists, ever since.
Go read what he’s writing about this awful episode of hate and violence in a place that’s supposed to be devoted to the Quaker ideals of peace and justice. It’s good stuff.
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