Matney was a gay student who claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime, but the burns supposedly inflicted by an anonymous assailant turned out to be self-inflicted. The Daily Tar Heel however censored comments pointing out that the injuries had been faked and now that the hoax has been exposed, is feeding sympathy for Matney.
University of North Carolina freshman Quinn Matney was walking across campus around 3 AM on April 4 when he ran into a friend. While the two were talking, a nearby man got up from a picnic table, grabbed Matney by the wrist and proceeded to burn a branding mark into his wrist while the student fought to get out of his grasp.
Matney, who is gay, told police that the man said “Here’s a taste of hell you fucking fag” as he burned him with an unidentified object.
The Daily Tar Heel reports:The man branded Matney, who is gay, on the left wrist with an unidentified object, causing third- and fourth-degree burns that damaged three nerves and a tendon, leaving the freshman with no feeling in his thumb and limited mobility in his index finger, he said. Matney said he tried to pull away — but the man didn’t let go until he received a hard punch to the face.
Matney said he then walked away quickly, trying to distance himself from the man and his two friends, who both appeared drunk. “I’ve seen him two or three times before this, always out on that same bridge,” Matney said of the man, whose identity is unknown.
Jeff DeLuca, co-chairman of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance, said he is alarmed by the administration’s silence on the attack. University officials did not officially comment until a post on Alert Carolina on Monday evening, a week after the incident. “A very blatant hate crime against a GLBT individual occurred on this campus, and we only heard about it by word of mouth,” DeLuca said.
“Despite the horridity of the event, it has let me see how much my community loves me,” Matneyvia unicornbooty.com
Whatever Matney’s issues are, had the case gone forward and had another student been arrested, a life could have been ruined. Instead the UNC has gone forward with a forum on hate crimes, even though no hate crime occurred.
And somehow Matney is still the victim
Gathering inside Gardner Hall, members of the community sympathized with Matney’s motivation to cover up an act of self-mutilation. And they worked to make sure others like him don’t feel marginalized.
“I think there’s tremendous stigma around mental health issues in our community,” said Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs. “It is disturbing and sad whenever a person feels like they have to hide.”
As narratives go this one is just crazy. Matney was the perpetrator here, not the victim. He wasted police and university resources by falsely claiming that a crime had occurred. He undermined the credibility of future hate crime victims. And yet the determination is to paint him as the victim.
Self-mutilation and mental health problems are not that unusual. But by making a false accusation that could have landed someone in jail, Matney went beyond abusing himself and into abusing others.
The excuses for Matney make no sense.
Matney’s father, David Matney III, said Wednesday that his son’s burns were self-inflicted. He said Matney reported the incident as a hate crime because he was embarrassed to admit he had hurt himself.
All he had to do was claim that he had an accident in the kitchen. No one would have cared much. He could have claimed that he was attacked by a random assailant.
Instead he did a very specific thing. He manufactured a hate crime for the likely purpose of getting attention. Mission accomplished.