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December 30, 2008

Comments

Anna

And instead of being fired the bint responsible gets a promotion. It's social justice!

David

“It’s social justice!”

Quite. What’s striking is the behaviour of affirmative-actionista Marguerite Watkins, who didn’t seem interested in what the book was actually about (let alone willing to question whether quietly reading a history book should constitute “harassment” and a basis for punishment). It’s also interesting that the rest of the faculty kept their heads down instead of pointing out the absurdity of the accusation. Though maybe not as interesting as the university’s Director of Media Relations, Richard Schneider, who claimed that Mr Sampson was actually being punished for other “harassing behaviour,” the details of which he refused to divulge despite repeated requests.

http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/9525.html

I believe the term is “closing ranks”.

James S

"You used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your black co-workers."

Jesus wept. He was "openly reading" the book. Not just reading it, but reading it flagrantly.

David

Not only that, he *“insisted”* on “openly” reading a book. In his own time. And on campus property too.

Yet many of the people who defend sensitivity policing seem to assume that someone employed to promote “tolerance” couldn’t possibly be inclined to abuse their power and indulge in petty malice. Even though their job has unprecedented scope for doing precisely that.

fozzy

This is the directory of the office that disciplined the student:

http://www.iupui.edu/~oeo/directory/

Five women and one man to do the math.

CJ

We need to insist on the following: FALSE ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM WILL BE CONSIDERED FORMS OF RACISM. FALSE ACCUSATIONS OF RACIAL POLITICS WILL BE CONSIDERED RACIAL POLITICS.

False accusations have the same effect as racism/racial politics. And there is little disincentive to engage in it.

You would see some of this garbage diminish if we insisted on that rule. It’s reasonable and can be applied universally. And it’s absolutely essential if we are to improve race relations, or even think that we can have a stable, multicultural society.

David

Regular readers will know that incidents of this kind aren’t exactly in short supply, and the attitudes that inform these incidents are certainly commonplace. When egregious abuses of power are dealt with so badly - and only as a result of external pressure - one has to ask whether something is seriously wrong with the academic environment and its prevailing culture. The situation doesn’t seem likely to spontaneously correct its own excesses unless those involved face serious penalties.

Spiny Norman

The PC Gestapo are clearly incapable of shame.

Brian H

Once again it looks like you only get listened to if you belong to a "victim" group.

David

“The PC Gestapo are clearly incapable of shame.”

There does seem to be a certain ideological imperviousness. You’ll notice that the Chancellor’s belated “apology” to Mr Sampson is hardly an apology at all, in that it doesn’t concede the actual substance of the grievance. Neither the Chancellor nor the Affirmative Action Office apologised for their handling of the “harassment” complaint or their subsequent “investigation,” or the absurd “interview” or its “finding”. Presumably, the Chancellor’s non-specific wording was an attempt to deflect any possible legal action by not admitting to any of the abuses of power. Again, one gets the impression that those involved believed they could act with impunity, and perhaps still do.

But as the Founding Bloggers site points out, these incidents are hardly trivial for those on the receiving end:

“A finding of racial harassment is no small matter. Once that is in a student-employee’s permanent record, it can follow them around forever. Even though Keith was completely exonerated of any wrong doing and the university apologized to him, that is small consolation considering a Google search of his name immediately returns links to this whole sordid mess. Certainly more than one of Keith’s future employers might take the time to perform a Google search. That should make for some interesting job interviews.”

http://www.foundingbloggers.com/wordpress/2008/12/video-political-correctness-vs-freedom-of-thought/

And some of these incidents become truly sinister. As when Steve Hinkle found himself not only subject to lengthy and bizarre campus judicial proceedings and threats of expulsion, but also police involvement and suggestions that he should seek psychological “counselling” – all for posting an innocuous flyer.

http://brain-terminal.com/graphics/private/hinkle-police-report.jpg

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/02/what-to-think-n.html

RickZ

And the book causing racial harassment by being openly read near a black co-worker was in the University's library! Truly Alice in Wonderland stuff (if Carrol's book is even allowed to be read on campuses today).

With the PC Police, the Peter Principle no longer applies, as shown by this wanker Charleston of IUPUI's Affirmative Action Office: She was promoted above her level of incompetence. Oh, and I'm sure the Univerity refused requests to be interviewed for the short documentary by FIRE. They can't defend Star Chamber actions in the glare of camera lights. I'm glad I went to college thirty years ago; today, I'd be guilty of so many politically correct charges.

Gort

"Again, one gets the impression that those involved believed they could act with impunity, and perhaps still do."

Instead of getting fired she got a promotion. Sounds like impunity to me.

David

Gort,

“Sounds like impunity to me.”

Of all the instances of this kind I’ve mentioned over the last two years, I can’t recall anyone being fired or demoted as a result of their incompetence and/or vindictiveness.* The nature of the job – its very premise – invites abuses of authority and opportunist claims of grievance, yet none of this seems to trouble the people who defend such measures. As I wrote a while ago:

“Perhaps Professor Fish imagines that every student unfortunate enough to be charged with a speech code violation – say, for causing ‘embarrassment’ while on college property - has the perseverance and wherewithal to challenge those codes and fight their enforcement in court - a process that may take months, even years, and no small amount of money... Given the loaded nature of many speech codes - and given the leanings of those most keen to implement them and most keen to file complaints – unilateral license can be given to the feelings and beliefs of certain ‘protected’ groups. It would be naïve to assume that some members of those groups - and of some groups in particular – won’t exploit that advantage for purposes of their own. If designated victim groups discover that they receive compensation for injured feelings, or some other leverage, then those groups have an incentive to be ‘offended’ all the more - and all the more emphatically. Thus a climate is created, and possibly a feedback loop. Professor Fish may assume that the pretentious, neurotically ‘sensitive’ atmosphere in which such codes exist – despite their alleged ineffectiveness – is a trivial, costless matter and something to be dismissed out of hand. But students on the receiving end may disagree.”

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2007/10/herring-not-so-.html

*If anyone finds an example, please let me know.

erm

what a bunch of disgusting grievance-mongering shits.
i'd like to terminate her employment... with extreme prejudice.

WTP

I once played golf at a course called Cantememberthefullname Plantation. Bought the nice collared golf shirt that had the name of the course on it. When I wore it to work, a white co-worker was shocked that I would wear something that had the word "Plantation" on it, especially to work, because the word was obviously offensive to blacks.

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