Politics Prompted Her Assault, Augsburg Student Says

Jerry Holt, Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul), November 12, 2008

An Augsburg College student and Sarah Palin supporter from Alaska was beaten on election night while walking to her dorm and was called a racist by a group of four young women because she had on a McCain/Palin presidential campaign button, authorities and the victim said.

Annie Grossmann, a freshman on the Minneapolis college’s hockey team, suffered blurred vision and is thought to have had a concussion from a punch in the eye, but declined medical attention, she said.

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Grossmann said she was in a dorm lobby with a handful of fellow Republicans watching election returns with “a bunch of Democrats around next to me, cheering [Barack] Obama on and rubbing it in our faces.”

Once it was obvious that Obama was going to win, Grossmann said, she left the building alone shortly after 9:30 p.m. and headed to her room.

Under a skyway connecting the two buildings, four women “bigger than I am” came up to her, she said.

“One approached me and got in my face and called me racist because I had the pin on. That really ticked me off, but I kind of left it alone because she was so much bigger than I am,” said Grossmann. She is 5 feet 2 and weighs 120 pounds, and played boys high school hockey in Alaska. “The girls in the background were just a little bigger than me. They were mocking me from the sidelines.

“I didn’t say anything. . . . This one [bigger] girl grabbed me by the shoulders and was holding me. After about five minutes, I just wanted to get out of there.”

Grossmann, who is white, said she told the women, who were black, “You guys don’t even know me. There’s no reason to think I’m racist.”

At that point, she said, she pushed the bigger one in the group, and “she punched me, and the back of my head hit a brick wall.”

“‘Are you serious?”’ she recalled saying to the women. After cursing at Grossmann, the women left, and “I held my eye and went to my room.”

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Grossmann’s parents, Bruce and Dawn, said that in the weeks leading up to the presidential election, Annie had trouble on campus because of her political leanings and for being a hunter.

Bruce Grossmann said a “PETA person” had to be removed from her dorm room because he was upset by a photo of her with a black bear she had shot. Also, he said, she attended an icebreaker on campus and was booed when she identified herself as a Republican.

“I don’t think she was prepared for the close-mindedness,” he said. “I told her she needs to take a lower profile [for the sake of] her academic and her sports careers.”

{snip}

Police and Augsburg University say they have no reason to suspect Grossmann was not assaulted.

Annie Grossman

Annie Grossmann.

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