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St. Louis Post-Dispatch dumps George Will for speaking uncomfortably about campus victimhood

St. Louis Post-Dispatch dumps George Will for speaking uncomfortably about campus victimhood

George Will experiences the Shut Up Culture.

Some privileges are permissible topics for discussion on campus and in the media.

For example, White Privilege is the obsession of some faculty and students.

George Will pointed out that there is another privilege on campuses — false or contrived claims of victim status.  Will did not argue that real victims, be it of actual racism or sexual assault, share some special privilege, but rather, that there are people who contrive or encourage others to falsely create victimhood where none exists.

We see it in theories such as microaggression, where in the absence of proof of actual racism, critical race theorists find racism in routine everyday interactions where the participants do not even realize they are being “racist,” much less have any racist intent.

We see it in repeated instances of fake, self-inflicted “hate crimes” in which the victim is, in fact, the perpetrator.

We also see it in the lowering of the standards of proof and definitions of what constitutes sexual assault.

I think everyone agrees that sexual assault as used in the criminal law deserves condemnation and punishment. But colleges, under pressure from the Justice Department and supposedly feminist groups, have started using definitions of sexual assault that can reach absurd results.

When I was in college, the standard for sexual assault basically was the title of Susan Brownmiller’s book — used during Freshman orientation — Against Our Will — Men, Women and Rape.  That made sense — No means No, whether expressed verbally or by conduct.  Or if the victim were incapable either by reason of age or physical condition of giving consent, that also made sense.  And those standards roughly equate to the criminal law’s understanding of sexual assault and rape.

Now, however, “against our will” on campus has become murky, using standards in which two completely willing participants who evidence no indication that the sexual activity is against either of their wills, will have committed a campus offense.  But only men are prosecuted.

The campus movement — reflected in proposed California legislation — to require affirmative verbal statements of consent at each and every stage of sexual relations creates crimes where no crimes exist in any real sense.  And those contrived crimes, in which both parties in fact willingly participated in conformity with their will at the time, allow after-the-fact claims of sexual assault months or even years after the event, sometimes after consultation with others.

Mere intoxication at a non-disabling level also may create a campus violation, as K.C. Johnson describes at Minding the Campus, If She Had Drinks, You May Be a Rapist:

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has been waging a war on campus due process, ordering colleges to change their disciplinary processes to make it more likely that students accused of sexual assault will be found culpable. Many schools, however, have gone beyond the OCR’s demands in various ways, both in terms of due process changes and in terms of dramatically expanding what constitutes a sexual assault. So the chances of an innocent male being branded a rapist are growing.

Not suprisingly, we are seeing an increasing number of lawsuits by men convicted in campus tribunals of sexual assault under vague standards and loose if any burdens of proof.  Kangaroo campus courts are what await men accused of sexual assault, where lives can be ruined even though no criminal charges were filed much less prosecuted.

George Will pointed some of this out. And for that wrongly was accused by propagandists of sanctioning sexual assault and rape.

Will now is experiencing the campus Shut-Up Culture, in which the statistics or standards used to make claim to a “rape culture” cannot even be subject to debate.

Except that Will is not being shut up by a college newspaper, but by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editor’s note: Michael Gerson replaces George Will:

Starting today, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson replaces George Will on Thursdays and Sundays….

We believe that Mr. Gerson’s commitment to “compassionate conservatism” and his roots in St. Louis will better connect with our readers, regardless of their political bent.

The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.

We have heard from both conservative and liberal readers asking for new conservative voices. We believe Mr. Gerson’s addition to our op-ed page will be a refreshing and revitalizing change.

In coming weeks, we plan to bring more diverse voices to this page, and to connect our print readers with some of the other vibrant conversations taking place in the digital universe.

If you have any comments about the change, please email me at [email protected] or call at 314-340-8382.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch didn’t need to write such a long explanation. It could have just written, “Shut up, George.”

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Comments

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | June 19, 2014 at 10:26 am

How Racist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch!!!

They’re no Saint!

We should demand that their copyright to that name be cancelled!

At some point, somebody who is treated like this by a school that gets federal funds is going to sue under the Fourteenth Amendment. And win.

Every one of these actions taken by a gubmint funds recipient is unconstitutional. And when they are kind enough to put it in a formal policy, it is pretty easy to prove that they intended to do it which authorizes punitive damages.

Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers coach was asked at the requisite press conference,immediately after a loss, what he was going to do to deal with such a disappointing outcome.

He laughingly said,”go home and beat my wife”. He immediately then said, “that was a joke, I don’t condone domestic violence, etc. He spoke lovingly of his wife and kids and said they help him immensely with his stress of coaching, etc.”

The perpetual outraged are calling for him to be fired. Seriously. They are on social media, screaming that he should at least have to take sensitivity training, go to battered women’s shelters, etc. He should be fined, suspended, all manner of things for daring to make a flip joke about domestic violence.

If Gerson had a pair of balls (which he does not) he would resign immediately.

    Or rather have the paper actually suffer from the decision; perhaps subscribers will be moved to cancel their subscriptions (and advertisers moved to cancel their ads) with a similar expression of disgust with the paper’s distortion of Will’s views. I suspect the editors have been looking for an excuse to dump Will for many months or even years.

“Well.” As Mr. Will is wont to say.

That makes the subscription decision all the more simple for the people in the Post-Dispatched market area.

“No. I don’t want your crappy, gutless, cringing, Collectivist bird-cage liner any longer. I will read Mr. Will on-line from one of the numerous sources where I can find him.”

Feel free to cut and paste, or make up your own.

It is also telling that the editors did not bother to refute what Mr. Will correctly observed. Likely as not because…

1. they cannot, and

2. the truth of the matter is of no consequence to them.

Michael Gerson, the pundit who replaces Will needs to be asked if Gerson will resign and not take the job.

Gerson is a well-known Republican, known for his “compassionate conservatism“. Now we shall get to see the depth of Mr Gerson’s values.

If anyone has contact information for Gerson, please post it here so we can ask him to resign.

    tarheelkate in reply to [email protected]. | June 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I believe Michael Gerson can be reached at michaelgerson -at- washpost -dot- com.

    Will and Gerson are both syndicated. They don’t work for the papers, the papers buy their columns from the syndication agent.

    Typical syndication deals don’t include an option to refuse an outlet, because only idiots would do that. But if Gerson did, it would just leave the Post-Dispatch without any conservative voices at all.

Truth IS the “compassion” this world needs right now.

My email to the PD:

I have been a loyal reader of the Post-Dispatch for ages. As a Cardinal fan, I regularly visit STL Today. I voraciously read Bernie, Jeff, and Brian’s takes on the Cardinals, and this interest has often led me to read other parts of the PD. My mother was born in St. Louis and my father was born in Willow Springs. I have lived in Ironton, MO and Columbia, MO, where I received my PhD. My grandmothers live in Willow Springs. I say all this to make it clear to you that I am not some drive-by respondent. I am exactly the sort of reader who supports the P-D, and I have done so through thick and thin. However, given your unconscionable editorial decision to silence George Will, I am no longer going to read the PD or visit STL Today. I may be just one reader, but I will not lend my support to an institution that attempts to silence the other side of the debate, particularly when you disguise such actions as some kind of principled stand. George Will is an established right-leaning and leading voice, but he is no rabble-rouser or extremist. And his column on campus treatment of sexual abuse allegations deserves praise – not condemnation. Furthermore, his article on the serious degradation of due process rights for the accused in campus sexual assault “cases” was neither “offensive” nor “inaccurate.” In fact, what is both offensive and inaccurate is your editorial comment on his article announcing the PD would no longer carry Will’s column. It offensively levels a false and slanderous charge against Will, and inaccurately portrays the content of his article. Nowhere in Will’s article did he suggest “sexual assault victims” enjoy a “privileged status.” Rather, Will took issue with is the increasing resemblance that imposed innovations on campus ‘judicial’ proceedings regarding sexual assault have to the Star Chamber – no due process, no rights for the accused, and a single judge, jury, and executioner. Nothing in Will’s article suggest that real victims of sexual assault enjoy a “privileged status” or that they should be treated in any way other than victims should be treated. What Will objects to is the low standard of proof applied to “victimhood” status – a bar which we have traditionally set high precisely to guard against false accusations. Those falsely accused are victims as well – and creating a presumption that the accused is guilty, which is what the new procedures that Will criticizes do, hearkens back to the Salem witch trials and the Spanish Inquisition. Perhaps you have a different view, and that is fine – reasonable persons can disagree. But to treat Will’s defense of traditional due process as if it is beyond the pale, and to falsely characterize it as an attack on real victims of sexual assault, is itself beyond the pale. Is unconscionable. And I, for one, will not stand for it. If the PD wishes to change its lineup of op-ed writers, that is within your purview. But to do so under the color of intolerance, of silencing dissent, and of rank hypocritical dishonesty, is too much for this reader. I bid you and the PD farewell, and I implore you to reconsider this rash, illiberal, immoral, and unjustifiable decision. Or you will end up speaking to the echo chamber you apparently only listen to.

Don Gooch

    Juba Doobai! in reply to GOOCH. | June 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Sorry, I went for the Reply button and hit the down vote. iPad user.

    Very good response. I hope you organized it into paragraphs because that makes so the content seem less dense and easier to read, therefore more likely to be read all the way through.

May I suggest the progressive “Four S’s”:

Silence critics
Slander opposition
Suppress dissent
Suspend free speech

[…] Professor Jacobson recently reviewed conservative pundit George Will’s experiences with the “Shut-Up Culture,” after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dumped him for a column that addressed concepts related to the campus victimhood mentality. […]

[…] Professor Jacobson recently reviewed conservative pundit George Will’s experiences with the “Shut-Up Culture,” after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dumped him for a column that addressed concepts related to the campus victimhood mentality. […]

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