Hopkins, Chick Fil-A, Carson and What He Did
The JHU student government recently voted to ban any hypothetical future Chick-Fil-A outlet from campus because of the company owner’s support for traditional marriage. The JHU student government feels that the presence of Chick-fil-A on campus would promote homophobia and amount to discrimination against the LGBT community.
JHU medical students’ successfully removed Ben Carson, a member of the JHU faculty, as their commencement speaker for his comments against same-sex marriage in 2013. It turns out in fact, Carson was most certainly not simply due to Carson’s public criticism of gay marriage.
A Dean In The Medical School
I don’t know for sure which one, though given the timing an idea of who can be formed, but apparently an openly gay dean had lived with his partner for roughly 30 years before finally being able to marry in early 2013. Dr. Carson had previously opposed his elevation to Dean in fairly personal terms, and in a way many at Johns Hopkins found disrespectful and borderline prejudiced.
The vote on commencement speaker was originally held before Dr. Carson became a political celebrity due to his confrontation with President Obama at a national prayer breakfast. Carson went on television and analogized homosexuality to bestiality just after Maryland legalized gay marriage. It became apparent that at graduation, the Dean would have to introduce Dr. Carson, give him an award, and stand next to him during his speech. Many students felt uncomfortable with the dean, to whom they were intensely personally loyal to, having to do these things for a faculty member who they felt was not behaving toward him in a way they found respectful.
Being from the mid-Atlantic region (just below the Mason-Dixon line in Baltimore), I understand this “clash of culture” in Hopkins and Baltimore at large. We are an amalgamation of the Northeast and the south. While it gets no more progressive a place than Johns Hopkins, all of its inhabitants are not. While the city’s elected officials are mainly black in a city whose majority is black, the relationship between blacks and law enforcement is still obviously exacerbated. It’s why I love my hometown of Baltimore. The north meets the south. Rural meets urban. Confusing hilarity ensues.