Title IX

A Black Male Student Says a White Woman Bit, Choked, and Pinned Him While They Were Kissing. Guess Who Got Suspended?

A judge sides with a Brown University student who says the Title IX process was unfair and discriminatory.

|

Dale182 / Wikimedia Commons

A Brown University student suspended for alleged sexual misconduct has won an important victory: His lawsuit against the university, which makes some of the most eye-popping claims of unfair treatment that I've seen in my years of covering these issues, has survived a motion to dismiss.

Rhode Island District Judge John McConnell, an Obama appointee, ruled that the student, a black male athlete referred to as "John Doe," had presented evidence that Brown officials engaged in an "ongoing, racially discriminatory pattern" of behaviors that violated John's rights, wrecked his freshman and sophomore years, caused his grades to plummet, and may have even contributed to his suicide attempt.

The case should now proceed to a jury trial, according to McConnell.

This case is especially noteworthy because of John's contention that he was essentially presumed guilty because of his race. John is black and his accuser, "Jane Doe," is a white woman. Moreover, Jane was the initiator, at least according to the allegations contained in the judge's decision. John even complained about Jane's behavior—to no avail, he says, because Brown was only interested in Jane's complaint.

I have reviewed both the judge's decision and John's amended complaint. They represent just one side of the story—the side most favorable to John. McConnell has only ruled on the defense's motion to dismiss, which means that his task was merely to consider whether an impartial jury could conceivably side with John. That said, this case has already been "governed by three separate complaints and been subjected to two motions to dismiss," in the judge's words, which means Brown has not made good use of the opportunity to cast doubt on John's rather striking claims, including direct quotes from Brown officials that provide evidence of bias.

John claims that in 2013, he went to a bar where he met Jane. Both consumed alcohol, though both were underage. Outside the bar, they flirted with each other and eventually started kissing. According to the allegations outlined in the judge's decision:

In the back alley, they engaged in some "kinky" behavior. Jane bit John's lip and choked him. She pushed him against the wall and held him there. John had to defend himself against Jane's advances. Jane restrained John and tried to keep him from leaving. She was the more aggressive one and at one point told John, "I make the rules."

Jane initiated a sexual misconduct complaint under Title IX, the federal statute that obligates universities to adjudicate such disputes, in December 2013. Brown discriminated in favor of Jane in a number of ways, according to John: Officials did not take his counter-accusation seriously, and they permitted Jane to amend her complaint the day before the hearing took place, without giving John any chance to prepare his defense. Brown eventually found John responsible for nonconsensual contact and underage drinking and gave him a one-year deferred suspension. Jane appealed the decision because she wanted John expelled, but she lost.

John and Jane were ordered to have no contact with each other and not to talk about the case—conditions that Jane repeatedly violated, according to John. John is an athlete, and Jane attended parties for his team that he was certain to attend; when his mother complained about this to a dean, she was told "it is normally expected that the guy would leave the area."

Months later, just before the end of the school year, Brown informed John that he had to leave campus immediately due to a second sexual misconduct accusation against him. According to John, this accuser, "Sally Roe," would later tell him that Jane had motivated her to make her complaint after discovering that they had both kissed him. (Jane and Sally were in the same sorority.) Sally later apologized to John "for the grief she had caused him," he claimed.

Administrators saw Sally as a way to resume their case against John. One dean, Maria Suarez, called John's coach and said, "We got your boy now, he is out of here," according to the allegations of fact.

John claims he failed two exams because of the added stress. Brown informed him in August 2014 that the investigation had concluded and he could come back to school for his sophomore year.

John became "plagued with self-doubt," according to his lawsuit, and threw himself in front of a moving car after a sexual encounter in October. According to the alleged facts:

John was discharged four days later; that day, Dean Suarez "summoned John and his mother to an 'urgent' meeting" and informed John that if he did not leave the University, he could expect to face hearings on "several matters," including for damage to the vehicle sustained by his attempt at self-harm, which would be brought up as a vandalism charge. She also told him that there was an allegation that he had violated his no contact order with Jane, and that the University could revive the allegations involving Sally. Within the week, John left campus.

John eventually returned to school. He initiated his suit in 2017 after learning from Sally that both Jane and the administration had urged her to make a complaint against him. His suit alleges that Brown engaged in racial discrimination, created a hostile educational environment, and violated his rights in myriad other ways.

Again, that's all according to the information provided by John. It's possible that Brown will refute these claims at trial, or provide evidence that officials had stronger grounds to investigate John—and deem him responsible for nonconsensual contact—than is alluded to here. As best I can tell from the judge's decision, Brown's legal strategy so far has been to argue that John's claims fall outside the statute of limitations. (McConnell did indeed dismiss some aspects of John's lawsuit for this reason.)

Even so, this decision raises very important questions about fundamental fairness for accused students at Brown. It also forces us to confront a particularly vexing matter: whether Title IX is disproportionately enforced in a racist manner against black male students who have sexual encounters with white women. Reporting by The Atlantic's Emily Yoffe has turned up some evidence this is indeed the case.

At the very least, this lawsuit should prompt fourth-wave feminists who cling to a believe-the-victims-at-all-cost mindset to consider why Jane and Sally were entitled to this preferential treatment but John was not.

NEXT: Stop Whining About Not Being 'Allowed' to Criticize John McCain

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

85 responses to “A Black Male Student Says a White Woman Bit, Choked, and Pinned Him While They Were Kissing. Guess Who Got Suspended?

  1. Hard to judge with only one side of the story, but nothing surprises me any more.

  2. I think the real moral of the story here is ‘don’t ever stick your ____ in crazy’.

    Although, I guess that could also be an apt metaphor regarding enrollment at some universities.

    1. I think the real moral of the story here is ‘don’t ever stick your ____ in crazy’.

      Sounds like Sally has more than earned a second date though. If she’s anywhere above an 8 she’s well into the Date or Wife zones.

      1. I dunno, she’s in a sorority with Jane. And you know the old saying: “birds of a feather… scream obscenities, stalk reluctant men, and cut themselves together.”

    2. Crazy=White college women

  3. Well this is inconvenient. Will Al Gore switch fantasies and make a new movie and win new fabulous prizes? That title of his is remarkably flexible.

  4. A surprise to me is the university claims jurisdiction over under-age drinking too. What else will they claim responsibility for — robbery, murder, nuclear war?

    1. Even back when I went to college, if you started a nuclear war on campus, you were probably going to get expelled.

      1. You tell that to kids nowadays, and they won’t believe you.

  5. Jungle Fever!

  6. The real issue is the university kangaroo court regime, not race.

    1. ^^^ Truth.

    2. Yeah. I wouldn’t be too surprised if black men get some extra scrutiny and bias against them. But it’s not obviously the case (to me anyway). The real problem is, as you say, the ridiculous process and the deck seemingly being stacked against men in general.

      1. Then you won’t be surprised to find that a very disportionate amount of these kangaroo claims are from white females against black males.

        1. This is not necessarily indicative of racism in the administration, but by the alleged victim.

          1. A lot of possibilities:

            The complainant might allow her racism to re-frame the respondent’s actions in her mind.

            The complainant might reason that the respondent’s race would lead the university to take the complaint more seriously.

            The respondent might reason that his own race would lead the courts to take his cross-complaint more seriously.

      2. EXACTLY!!!!

    3. More likely misandry than racism, actually.

      1. Definitely sexism here. I usually don’t believe racism charges because the media and the left calls everything racist, but I’ve got an open mind on this one.

        1. It’s Brown. It’s far more likely that Brown acted the way they did because he’s male and he’s an athlete.

    4. Correct. Far too many people in university, typified by Dean Maria Suarez, are fighting a war – and act accordingly. Whereas sane people mostly view these incidents on a case-by-case basis, warriors see everything as a battle to be won, and everyone outside the clique as enemies. I think Robbie et al see this, but make the mistake of assuming it’s a race war. It’s honestly hard to imagine much racial animosity at a place like Brown, so downplaying the misandry is strange. Although it’s strategically sound for John Doe to play the race card, it is counterproductive for the liberty-lovers who report on the issue.

  7. I love the assumption that he was assumed guilty because of race and not because of sex. MEN are assumed guilty period.

    1. Not assumed guilty; are guilty.

    2. I noticed that, too. If you’re black and something negative happens to you it must because of race. I do wonder who’s idea it was initially.

      1. He had to use racial discrimination as part developing a hostile environment theory which negated the statute of limitations on earlier events. Even if that weren’t the case, racial discrimination is easier to argue than misandry. Just like whites cannot be victims of racism, men can’t be victims of systems gender bias and hatred. After all, attempting suicide is merely his expression of privilege and vandalism.

  8. There’s plenty of evidence that John would have been punished no differently had he been white. It’s enough that a female initiated a claim against a male. To call this racially motivated takes away from the real problem (in this particular type of case) of today’s “men are guilty even after proven innocent” culture.

    1. While true, it doesn’t help his case–it’s acceptable to discriminate against me, but it’s not acceptable to discriminate against black people. The student is presumably interested in winning.

      1. “against men” even. This comment section needs an edit button…

    2. Exactly! Semper Fi, brother. You beat me to it. They’re trying to make it a race thing when it’s really that men are presumed guilty and their rights are stomped on based on a mere accusation, regardless of race.

  9. This must be an example of the unbigoted, enlightened, liberal universities Kirkland is always talking about

    1. I believe you are correct sir! I’m sure RAK (Royal Arse Kisser) would even agree with your assessment of his enlightenment.

  10. I read this article and get upset that what type of people are available in the world.
    ps3 emulator for android

  11. …at one point told John, “I make the rules.”

    As Brown later confirmed.

  12. Let courts judge guilt.

    Let colleges educate the young dum-dums.

    1. Believe me, he got an education – – – – – –

  13. So, apparently, this is going to be judged on who is on the higher level of the social justice victimhood stack (white woman or black man) rather than if Brown’s Title IX procedures or just unfair or not. That is amusing, but nothing to get excited about except the hope that the identity politics destroy each other.

    1. You may find at certain institutions there is inherent discrimination against jocks from the faculty, as that’s not a real part of education.

    2. Yeah, the overt dependence on race as the excuse is damaging to the cause. It isn’t because the process is inherently unfair and biased and just plain wrongheaded from the start…. it is only because white people hate black people.

      In the same way that #BLM has completely stalled momentum on police reform by re-framing it as a racism problem, this case re-frames the debate over Title IX as racists misusing an otherwise perfectly fine policy. In both cases the fish is rotten from the head down, with race being an incidental factor.

      1. Yup. White Progressive Elitist Masters using their Uncle Tom Overseers to control the Proletariat Serfs on the Progressive Plantation. BLM started with a good premise then was taken over by white Progressives and their $$$.

  14. Jane initiated a sexual misconduct complaint under Title IX, the federal statute that obligates universities to adjudicate such disputes

    20 U.S. Code ? 1681
    No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance

    Excuse me?

  15. Just for the record:
    This racist, sexist, bureaucratic letter defined and driven madness is the direct result of the policies of Emperor Hussein.

    So much for all racists being white.

  16. My friend has brown skin and his baby-mamma is a White woman from Florida. She once choked him in the middle of a church as the congregants watched without doing anything to stop her. I’ve heard of turning the other cheek, but after a certain point you’ve got to admit that a congregation is too freaking for you.

    1. Reverse the genders and the outcome is astonishingly different. Reverse the races and the results still would track gender.

      It is what it is.

      1. You have solved for the social justice victim-hood hierarchy.

  17. So Brown committed a modern day lynching of a black man who looked at a white woman.

    1. I’m no lynching expert but threatening to charge him for (metaphorically) vandalizing their (?) hanging rope seems like a new twist.

    2. “So Brown committed a modern day lynching of a black man who looked at a white woman.”

      Nope. If you want to phrase it in archaic parlance it would be closer to this: “Brown horsewhipped a man for being with an unchaperoned female.”

  18. I’ve seen in my years of covering these issues

    I must be getting old that a kid like Robby gets to use a phrase like this.

    1. Well if Robby has more than one year covering an issue then technically speaking he/she/it can use the plural form of the word. 😉

      Don’t feel bad, many of us are already old. Hell, my kids called me old when I was in my early thirties.

  19. making it about race undermines the point about these kinds of cases.

    just like BLM undermined the case against police brutality.

    1. Kinda.

      For any type of crap law, the underclass are usually going to bear the brunt of it. And far too often, there is going to be an obliviousness if not outright denial from those not caught in the crosshairs. So often the perception is bulwarked under socio-economic or racial lines. It’s not like those not directly affected were going to do much about it anyways.

      Charles Murray does a pretty decent job of detailing this type of cultural conceit.

  20. “At the very least, this lawsuit should prompt fourth-wave feminists who cling to a believe-the-victims-at-all-cost mindset to consider why Jane and Sally were entitled to this preferential treatment but John was not.”

    Surely Robby is jesting.

    1. The very notion of fourth-wave feminism being legitimate is what makes me laugh. They’ve been reduced to massaging statistics and blaming men for the independent choices of women as the entire basis of their continued existence.

      Even the NAACP is more legitimate than 4th wave feminism.

      1. OK, so 1st wave was Susan B. Anthony and the suffragists and making it easier for wives to have separate property…second wave was Betty Friedan and NOW and those folks, third wave, I though, was the modern feminist movement. When did it get to four?

    2. Rico Soave has lost his way. Or he was frustrated he could find no way to segue into bashing Trump in this article.

  21. fourth-wave feminists don’t consider.

  22. I mean, fuck Brown and fuck these Title IX hearings, but this isn’t entirely accurate:

    “That said, this case has already been “governed by three separate complaints and been subjected to two motions to dismiss,” in the judge’s words, which means Brown has not made good use of the opportunity to cast doubt on John’s rather striking claims, including direct quotes from Brown officials that provide evidence of bias.”

    Those motions to dismiss are arguing: “Even if what you allege is true, we’re not legally liable.”

    They don’t really get to cast much doubt on his factual claims until summary judgment.

    But again, fuck Brown.

  23. Whoops, looks like black male trumps white girl on the victim stack. Well, at least in this case that is. If only she had claimed to self-identify as male!

    1. Not according to the Brown Administration, BELIEVE THE VICTIM!!!!

  24. It’s a shame it’s presented with the racial implication only. The guy is “guilty” because he’s a GUY. The persecution is of men, although I’m sure the “black man-white girl” added to the lynching. The gynocentrism of the left (and that’s what democrats are now) will persecute all men regardless of race, color, or religion. http://nymensactionnetwork.org/dueprocess/

  25. So just a pissing match between anti-sexists and anti-racists?

    This probably hurts more than helps any return to rationality and objectivity.

  26. “this lawsuit should prompt fourth-wave feminists”

    Yeah, and I’m going to win the lottery without buying a ticket.

  27. A black male getting screwed by a kangaroo court in the name of Title IX.

    Title IX is racist.

  28. That’s it. I’m going to begin archiving these stories and when my son is 16 or so I will have him spend the afternoon reading all of them (there will be a quiz). Since he’s only 3 now here’s hoping we return to sanity by then and any perusal will be to lament the “bad ol times”.

  29. “At the very least, this lawsuit should prompt fourth-wave feminists who cling to a believe-the-victims-at-all-cost mindset to consider why Jane and Sally were entitled to this preferential treatment but John was not.”

    They won’t, though, because fourth-wave feminists have completely lost contact with a little thing most of us call ‘reality’. They think they live in a dystopia run by a shadowy ‘Patriarchy’, and never mind that if their fevered imaginings were in any way true they would be chained up somewhere.

  30. Hey, pal.
    You’re in America.
    You’re guilty until proven innocent.
    That’s how it works.
    How else are we going to fill the prisons?

  31. Women can do anything men can do, ’till they can’t.

  32. At the very least, this lawsuit should prompt fourth-wave feminists who cling to a believe-the-victims-at-all-cost mindset to consider why Jane and Sally were entitled to this preferential treatment but John was not.

    Well, that’s naieve.

  33. Witch Hunts don’t end until the “wrong sort of people ™” get accused. That is how they work. If the racial bias is what finally breaks the Title IX Kangaroo Court BS, then so be it.

    1. It won’t be.

      It will be some kind of monetary penalty, imposed by courts or legislatures.

  34. At this point, why would anyone in their right mind want to attend Brown?

  35. Where in the entire narrative presented here is race the issue and not the sex of the individuals?

    Seriously Robby, if you’re going to declare the bias was against him for his skin color you should at least spend a sentence backing that up. I get that your progressive sensibilities leave you uncomfortable with going against the prevailing victim culture and that’s a way to shoehorn them in but do your damn job.

    1. It wasn’t Robby (thanks for making me defend Rico), it was the basis of the plaintiff’s motion and the judge’s decision.

  36. This seems to be less a case of rascial discrimination than it does gender-discrimination. I cant see anything being different here, had he been white, or any other race. My guess is their Lawyer is pushing the racial angle for the points it usually scores, because like everyone else, they know there is little sympathy for the males in these cases.

  37. “Jane bit John’s lip and choked him. She pushed him against the wall and held him there. John had to defend himself against Jane’s advances. Jane restrained John and tried to keep him from leaving.”

    Wow! Jane must be a VERY huge girl to be able to forcibly restrain and hold a male University athlete against his will.

    Although the university may have treated John Doe unfairly, I am rather very skeptical about his account of what happened. And it looks like any bias here was due to his sex, not his race.

    1. The untold story: Jane’s a trans identifying as female. John found out, got disgusted. Jane vows vengeance. Brown is aware, feels it must side with trans or risk losing social justice status.

    2. “Wow! Jane must be a VERY huge girl to be able to forcibly restrain and hold a male University athlete against his will.”

      You missed the specific wording.

      “Jane restrained John and tried to keep him from leaving”

  38. There has to be a legal agreement before any intimate activity. It must describe what is allowed and what is not allowed and the time and date of this planned event.

  39. Progressives always claim about “institutional racism” but can never give specific examples of what laws/regulations or institutions are responsible for this injustice. I just found my first example. The law is Title IX and the institutions applying it in a racist manner are universities.

  40. Um, you should probably give a little evidence it’s about race. Most of us understand it is always about gender. A woman says he did this, and he get’s expelled. It’s always been a gender issue, what prompted you to jump to race, outside the fact that 1 person is black?

  41. Feminists and liberals in general have long made sure white women enjoy supremacy over black men. See:

    “Why affirmative action failed black families where it matters most” http://malemattersusa.wordpres…..-families/

    This is NOT what you may think it is. It may be shocking for some.

  42. Sometimes it’s hard to tell an expos? put-on from a Soave and deboner Reason article. Future tribal racial collectivism sex intrigues might be profitably relegated to the Brickats section to enhance their ambivalence and present them in a more appropriate context.

  43. Race had nothing to do with it. It was 100% about “women don’t lie”

  44. He sure as hell is lucky he’s black! That forces liberals heads to explode, what with the contradictions, hating men versus minorities can do no wrong… So the proggie judge actually did him right.

Comments are closed.