Free Speech

"Yes, This Is a Witch-Hunt: A University's Office for Access and Equity Launches a Full-Scale Persecution Campaign"

From leading liberal constitutional law professor Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern), in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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See this Chronicle of Higher Education post (free registration required), or the excerpt by Paul Caron (TaxProf Blog):

In January the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Law disgraced itself with its foolish persecution of Jason Kilborn, a professor who was accused of racism for asking students to address an ordinary hypothetical, of a kind they are likely to encounter in normal legal practice. That episode has now ballooned into calls for his firing, with an ill-informed Rev. Jesse Jackson leading protests against him. And the university, while it refuses to fire Kilborn, is continuing to punish him for things it knows he didn't do.

The trouble started when, in a "Civil Procedure" exam, Kilborn asked whether a hypothetical company, sued for discrimination, must disclose evidence to the plaintiff. In the test's scenario, a former employee told the company's lawyer "that she quit her job at Employer after she attended a meeting in which other managers expressed their anger at Plaintiff, calling her a 'n____' and 'b____' (profane expressions for African Americans and women) and vowed to get rid of her." The exam did not spell out those words, which appeared exactly as you just read them. (This was just one of the test's 50 questions.)

Lawyers face such situations all the time. The question was entirely appropriate. One student, however, declared that, on seeing the sentence, she became "incredibly upset" and experienced "heart palpitations." The Black Law Students Association demanded that Kilborn be stripped of his committee assignments, denounced him on social media, and filed a complaint with the university's OAE (Office for Access and Equity)….

On February 17 the OAE sent Kilborn a notice of "investigation into allegations of race-based discrimination and harassment." Evidently someone had been collecting such allegations, because there were many new ones. They included the exam question, the comment to the student (which the notice mischaracterized as "a comment that you would 'become homicidal' if you read the petition"), and—this claim appeared for the first time—"referring to racial minorities as 'cockroaches.'" Because the notice said nothing about when he was alleged to have said that, it was impossible to respond.

The "cockroaches" claim has since become the central grievance against Kilborn. It is provably false….

The discussion in which Kilborn used the word took place on January 23, 2020, nearly a year before the exam that started the trouble. That date was revealed to Kilborn for the first time in the findings letter, and he only recently obtained the school's recording of that class. In that discussion, he tried to get the students to place themselves in the unfamiliar mind-set of defendant-company directors making a cost-benefit assessment of settling what they considered frivolous litigation to avoid expensive discovery. A student asked him whether it would be better for those directors to defend such lawsuits and collect victories, thereby deterring future litigation. Kilborn replied:

The fact that other plaintiffs see that one other plaintiff lost isn't a disincentive. If it were, frivolous litigation would have ended long ago, because lots of plaintiffs have been pushed to the wall and lost. You don't hear about those stories in the media. You hear about idiot people winning $1-million verdict against Subway for having 11.5″-long sandwiches. That's what makes the press, right, that Subway lost. Not that they win against this ridiculously frivolous case. That wasn't in the media, only in the legal media, maybe, if you were paying attention. And that's the problem. If they win, no one hears about this. They only hear about it if they lose, and God forbid that, then all the cockroaches come out of the walls, they're thinking, right? …

There is no reasonable way to read his statement as directed at minorities. University officials not only ignored this; they appear to have actively concealed it. No wonder the report that was given to Kilborn was so vague about what he was supposed to have done. …

Kilborn has recently settled a legal claim against the university (in which, astoundingly, the school unsuccessfully tried to get him to sign a nondisclosure agreement forbidding him to comment on his case). He told me that, a few days after the settlement was announced, "my interim dean turned around and denied me a first-in-several-years across-the-board 2-percent 'merit' raise, despite my (by her own admission) extraordinary scholarship production and service. I got her to admit in writing that she had denied me this $3,000 raise SOLELY due to my purported violation of the discrimination policy on the basis of OAE's findings. I had had quite enough by that point." Now, he says, "I feel I have an obligation to carry forward this fight. I'm far less vulnerable (I hope) than many of my colleagues across campus, so I have to fight for them."

We are dealing here with administrators who seem to regard truth as an inconvenient obstacle and who appear not to mind convicting the innocent….

It is embarrassing to have to say it, but the antiracism movement needs to regard truth as its friend. Episodes like this tend to discredit it and to reinforce the notion that complaints of racism are overblown.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: November 18, 1811

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  1. Truth is not the anti(neo)-racist movements friend, though. To be blunt there would be no movement if it's adherents spoke truth on a regular basis.

    1. That was my immediate reaction as well. Truth cannot be their friend because truth would gut their claims to perpetual victimhood.

      1. My ideology has the facts and yours does not is a boring battle to try and have yet again. Indeed, the very fact-free level you engaged indicated at what level you hold factual fidelity.

        In fact, any sufficiently large policy coalition is going to have both truth-free zealots and more grounded pragmatists. You should not generalize about it.

        Like, I think people deep into fear of voter fraud are wrong on the facts, but I'm not so prideful as to insist my understanding of the facts is so blindingly true that they must not care about the truth - some of them do! And the cost benefit is absolutely more nuanced than just 'fraud can never happen all measures are bad.'

        1. My ideology has the facts and yours does not is a boring battle to try and have yet again

          I agree that it's not entertaining to have to repeatedly point out when someone, like...say, you, for instance... is constantly spouting bullshit, but I can see why you'd be against it.

  2. This sucks, and the school should absolutely be ashamed. But I don't see a witch hunt, just a Star Chamber.

    Both are monstrous, but fishing versus targeted persecution seems an important factual distinction.

    1. "...fishing versus targeted persecution seems an important factual distinction."

      "fishing"? "targeted persecution"? What you even mean is clear as mud.

      The essence of a witch hunt is that people who obviously aren't witches are persecuted for being witches. And that's what happened here.

      1. I think I was pretty clear - a witch-hunt is broad spectrum, a Star Chamber is targeted.

        1. So were many witch hunts, which tended to be targeted at those someone wanted to accuse of being a witch as a way of getting rid of them.

        2. I always understood the difference between a witch hunt and a Star chamber to primarily revolve around,

          1. There aren't actually any witches, so witch hunts can only ever convict the innocent. (This is why the Crucible was such a BS metaphor for the hunt for Communists: There really were Communists. And they were far from innocent.) While Star Chambers certainly are capable of convicting the guilty, though one shouldn't count on it.

          2. Star chambers are defined in terms of secrecy and lack of procedural safeguards. A witch hunt can proceed right out in the open, a Star chamber is always secret.

          So, given the dean's complaints about the recording, they seem to have aspired to running a Star chamber, and ended up instead with a witch hunt.

          1. I'm sure you like your analogies clean, but The Crucible really changed the public valence of what a witch hunt is.
            The keys to witch hunt are the self-feeding paranoia leading to guilt by association and thus accusations and more paranoia. Whether there are witches or not is immaterial to the fact of the community destroying itself.

            Star Chambers did not try groups. They targeted an individual and pronounced them guilty based on evidence with no relation to reality. Their inner workings were secret, but their convictions sure were not!

            This is more a collateral discussion of angels dancing on a pin, but better than getting into the eye-rolling take that a prof. saying nigger is sanctionable or in bad taste or fine, actually.
            I can't bring myself to care enough to even take a position beyond it's not sanctionable.

            1. I had to read The Crucible in school, just like I expect you did. The central theme of it was that the hunt for witches could never harm any but the innocent, because there are no witches to harm.

              That point isn't, as I recall, actually mentioned in the book, but the book still derives all its force from that modern understanding.

              If witches, as understood in Salem, were a real thing, hunting them would be a reasonable thing to do, maybe even an urgent necessity, and the book would have to be read in a completely different light.

              Of course, The Crucible was a metaphor for the "Red Scare", and as I said above, a BS metaphor, because there absolutely were communists to hunt, and they were eminently worthy of being hunted.

              Perhaps if we'd done a better job of it we wouldn't have just nominated one to be Comptroller of the Currency.

      2. The essence of a witch hunt is that people who obviously aren't witches are persecuted for being witches. And that's what happened here.

        Obviously.
        Q: Why are they doing it?
        A: https://reason.com/volokh/2021/11/18/yale-law-school-deans-response-to-traphousegate-controversy/?comments=true#comment-9216988

    2. As a UC alumnus, I am gravely disappointed and embarrased.

  3. Episodes like this tend to discredit [the antiracism movement] and to reinforce the notion that complaints of racism are overblown.

    Well, good. And it's not a "notion", it's a here-demonstrated fact.

  4. It's a bit disingenuous to describe it as just a hypothetical. People weren't offended by the hypothetical, they were offended by the professor's use of racial slurs in the hypothetical. I went to law school and never had any professors use racial slurs in the classroom, and I don't think that'd be the difference between me being a good attorney and a bad attorney. Just a whole lot of dishonesty going around in this hubbub.

    1. 'n____' and 'b____' (profane expressions for African Americans and women)

      He went out of the way to avoid making a slur.

      Facts are important when analyzing a legal issue. I think your clients have cause to be worried about you.

      1. I think your clients have cause to be worried about you.

        So does his therapist.

      2. Hey Bob, nice of you to be concerned for my clients, but they pay me for my work and therefore get an attention that posts here do not. All that being said, at no point in my time during law school did I ever have a hypothetical where a professor used muted racial slurs.

    2. He didn't actually use any slurs though. He wrote one minced racial slur and one minced gendered slur.

    3. The professor didn't use racial slurs in the hypothetical, which is a good indication that the students were not, in fact, offended.

    4. As others have pointed out, the professor *didn't* use any racial slurs. He didn't even *quote* any racial slurs. He merely indicated that people in his hypothetical used a racial slur, and he did so in the context of a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, almost certainly for the purpose of indicating that the plaintiff had a pretty good prima facie case. That means he's *against* the use of racial slurs.

      I can only speculate that people had it out for him for a long time for other reasons and that they pounced (see, it isn't just for Republicans any more) when he handed out this exam.

    5. they were offended by the professor's use of racial slurs in the hypothetical

      Speaking of disingenuousness...

      1. There's nothing disingenuous about my point as I'm not trying to pretend I'm not invoking a racial slur by leaving out "igger" when it's obvious what is meant.

        1. by leaving out "igger"

          Why are you posting racial slurs, you racist racism-spouter?

          1. I'm not a professor at a university, I'm anonymously posting on a "libertarian" free speech blog

            1. Which is, of course, utterly irrelevant with regard to whether or not you're posting racial slurs, for whatever purpose.

              1. Right, it's relevant to whether or not I am in an environment where it's okay to post racial slurs. You're going on the ignore list if you keep this idiotic crap up with me.

                1. Right, it's relevant to whether or not I am in an environment where it's okay to post racial slurs.

                  So the rule is that posting racial slurs is OK so long as you're doing it anonymously on the internet. Got it.

                  You're going on the ignore list if you keep pointing out my own idiotic crap to me.

                  FIFY. Ignore away.

                  1. I wouldn't go posting slurs in a kids chatroom but I guess you are so bereft of critical thinking skills that this sort of an obvious distinction between different parts of the internet never occurred to you. And, it will be my pleasure.

                  2. I wouldn't go posting slurs in a kids chatroom

                    And now come the straw men, not to mention the song-and-dance about why it's OK for you to post racial slurs.

                2. it's relevant to whether or not I am in an environment where it's okay to post racial slurs.

                  Are you saying it's ever OK to post racial slurs?!!! That's it, I'm reporting you to your state bar, your state's Human Rights Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and, for good measure, the U.N.!

                  1. Don't forget: his/her employers. Until people start facing consequences for their actions, they'll just continue posting racial slurs.

                    With any luck, people like IPLawyer will become permanently unemployable, and with minor changes to the law can then be prosecuted for "hooliganism," just like they could back in the late, lamented USSR.

    6. The professor didn't use racial slurs in the classroom here, even if we construe expurgated "n___" a racial slur. This was an exam, not classroom discussion.

      And if you never read the n-word, unexpurgated, in any writings in law school, you must have gotten a pretty bad education. It appears in some pretty important cases such as Brandenburg v. Ohio.

      1. When I was in law school, all my exams were taken in the classroom and were written by the professors that were teaching the class. Litigating that its use was or wasn't in the classroom is really besides my point. I also don't think you get to avoid it being a racial slur just because you don't type half of it, when it's clear what was meant. Imagine being called an "n-word", maybe it's not exactly the same, but its clear what the person would meant and I'd think I'd be hard pressed to not be offended just because they didn't say the "igger" part. I'm disappointed to see you, someone who seems incredibly reasonable, taking issue with these points. Also, I read those cases, my professors didn't say the words and didn't use them in exams. That's the difference, I'm sure you can appreciate it.

        1. Look who's quick to use a racial slur!

          You don't get to claim otherwise just because you didn't type one sixth of it.

          1. Glad to see you agree with me!

            1. My position is as follows:

              1. The n-word appears, unexpurgated, in important primary legal materials that students need to read to learn about the law. Therefore any notion of legal education that says that students will never have to see the word is basically off the table. It's like saying you can operate a medical school for people who can't stand the sight of blood.

              2. With all respect to students, I think the outrage over this is performative. I wish this wasn't true, but the n-word is actually everywhere in our culture. Students have heard it, they have seen it uttered, and they have read it in print. They have seen it mentioned, and they have also seen it used.

              Not to put a fine point on it, but any student, of any race, who claims actual trauma, let alone "violence", from reading "n_____" on an exam is lying. Not telling the truth.

              What is the motive for the lie? Some combination of attention-seeking, a power trip, and virtue signaling and saying what you are "supposed" to say. But it is, in fact, a lie. Nobody's traumatized. And really, schools need to say that. You aren't traumatized. We don't believe you. If you can't accept that this is the way we view what you are saying, maybe you should go to a different school. But we don't discipline or fire our employees because students fabricate charges against them.

              3. In general, I do think that professors should "read the room". If mentioning the n-word is going to be met with this sort of reaction, perhaps the better course is to keep it off the exam. Just like rape hypotheticals used to be common in law school and now are more rare. I don't think professors are REQUIRED to do this- they are protected by academic freedom- but I do think there's something to the notion of common courtesy and if you have a bunch of people who say they are uncomfortable with certain things, there's something to be said for not deliberately picking the scabs.

              4. While I fervently believe in (3), I also think there's a cost to (3) that needs to be acknowledged. While nobody is actually traumatized or suffers violence because of a hypothetical on a law school exam, education does suffer when professors self-censor. So while (3) is good practice, I also think that school administrations should be very vocal about the fact that it is purely a courtesy and that in no way are they agreeing that the outrage expressed by students is real, and that if (3) is not followed, they expect students to do the work, not make false complaints, and transfer out if they don't like it.

              1. 1. I don't think the notion is that they never have to see the word. I haven't seen that. The notion is that there is no need for the professor to invoke it in the context he did. That's my take on it, at least.

                2. I don't care for the word trauma and I never used it. That being said, I went to law school and never had a professor use those words in any way during any of my classes or exams, etc.

                3. Wow, that sounds reasonable. If only this blog could address this issue with that sort of reasonability, I wouldn't be here in the comments pointing out how gosh darn unreasonable everyone is being about this.

                4. Sure, fine with me.

                Glad we could agree.

                1. The blog's position (or more accurately Prof. Volokh's and Randall Kennedy's position) is that the use-mention dichotomy takes care of it, and therefore they disagree with my (3).

                  FWIW, the great civil rights lawyer Johnnie Cochran, probably the most famous Black lawyer in Los Angeles' history, agreed with the Volokh/Kennedy position. You can find it here: scroll down to where it says "my good friend, Mr. Chris Darden".

                  http://simpson.walraven.org/jan13.html

                  I have a particularly visceral reaction to the word. I hate it. I don't say it. So that's why I do come down on the side of using some discretion.

                  But I would say- if I had been in F. Lee Bailey's position in the OJ trial? I would have done exactly what Bailey did. If it's necessary to say, it's necessary to say.

                  And it's a reasonable debate as to what situations it is actually necessary. Education- even about very uncomfortable topics- is really important, and schools can't be so afraid of offending students that they lose the thread.

                  1. Yeah, if I was at trial it'd be different than if I was a professor in a classroom. Funny enough, that's true of everything else that happens at trial vs in the classroom. Like I've said here so many times, I went to law school, no one used the word, my education wasn't at a loss over it. That's why I think the post is disingenuous, it's sweeping it into a category in order to not engage with what we both agree is a legitimate question. You can't put your head in the sand and say you aren't racist while not actually engaging with the question at issue.

                    1. My use of "you" in the last sentence is a general you, not a Dylan-you.

                    2. And that should be Dilan and I should probably proofread my posts here

              2. The problem with #3 is that it's post facto. You don't know whether people are going to have a tantrum until after they do. (I mean, I assume that now he's on notice.) Also, and despite IPLawyer's disingenuousness above, this professor did "read the room"; in order to avoid offending people, he expurgated his exam. It just didn't help.

                1. He clearly did a poor job of reading the room, so maybe you should rethink the efforts you believe he put towards that. He inarguably did a poor job. There's nothing disingenuous about my point. It's not a legal proceeding, it's classroom. Get your head out of your ass.

                  1. Texas sharpshooter fallacy. By your definition of "reading the room", there is no standard of performance that is defensible against after-the-fact reinterpretations of reasonableness.

                    If anything, the professor was overly solicitous of the students feelings at the expense of their actual educational needs. The students' claims of "trauma" are implausible but to the extent they are true, they represent a fundamental unreadiness for adult society in general and participation in the legal profession in particular.

                    1. I'm not the one that said he read the room, so you are confused if you think I'm the one stressing that point...

                      "If anything, the professor was overly solicitous of the students feelings at the expense of their actual educational needs. The students' claims of "trauma" are implausible but to the extent they are true, they represent a fundamental unreadiness for adult society in general and participation in the legal profession in particular."

                      See my response to these issues upthread.

            2. So can we approach your local bar and get you disbarred for using 5/6 of a racial slur, repeatedly? I mean, that's not a even a one-off, but a pattern of racial harassment.

              1. You could certainly try but I don't think they'd agree with you and I don't think you citing to this controversy would convince them otherwise

                1. Let's have a go at it, then, please post your real name here and where you are licensed, and I'll take the appropriate next steps.

                    1. So, you're not such a brave and principled soul when it comes to something that may have real-life consequences, no matter how remote. Color me shocked.
                      But I think my little hypo served its purpose: you don't think your bar would or should discipline you for doing exactly what this professor is accused of doing - needlessly and repeatedly using a redacted form of a racial slur to.
                      Hopefully you learned little lesson today.

                    2. I'm not putting my public information out here so people can harass me. If you want to come at me, you can do your homework and find out who I am. If you want to approach me in private, you can do that too. There's a big difference between me not being scared about the bar repercussions for doing something that doesn't violate my obligations (the professor isn't in any trouble with his bar either) and not wanting to be harassed by the morons that proliferate this forum. Your hypo serves nothing but to show that you aren't too good at thinking.

                    3. The peeing lawyer is not only a racist hypocrite, but a coward too. And maybe a fan of pedophiles trying to chase down children.

            3. I think we need to distinguish between "using" a slur, as a slur, and making reference to it.

              If I say, "Kike" is an old ethnic slur referring to Jews.", I'm not meaningfully using a slur. Not AS a slur.

              And that said, anyone who suffered heart palpitations on hearing or reading "n-word" or anything similar should lay down and call 911, they probably have a serious heart condition and are at great risk of death if they do anything strenuous, like walking on level ground.

              1. You can make the distinction all you want but that doesn't make it inherently a meaningful distinction. Categorically, it's obviously true that not every use of the word that is merely "mentioning" it isn't "meaning". You could obviously harass someone by repeatedly expressing "mere mentions" of the word at them, in a pejorative fashion. So I think this whole distinction is nonsensical and solely just a means to avoid the substantive discussion folks don't want to have: is it really necessary that the words be used on the exam in any way at all? I think the answer to that is obviously no. But then again, what do I know? I just went to law school and those words were never used by professors, so I probably don't realize how badly my education suffered because of that.

                1. If it's not a meaningful distinction, then why wouldn't or shouldn't your bar discipline you for repeatedly expressing "mere mentions" of the word ?
                  Is it really necessary that the words be used in your posts in any way at all? If not, why did you it?

                  1. Because there are other more meaningful distinctions they can use to determine if what I did was wrong. Like, did that not ever occur to you?

                    1. Like what?

                  2. "Is it really necessary that the words be used in your posts in any way at all? If not, why did you it?"

                    You are making my point for me.

                    1. I don't think so. Think it through.

                2. " I just went to law school and those words were never used by professors"
                  You repeat that on and on, but you went to school in ancient times when harassment claims were not a cottage industry among employment lawyers.
                  Besides, why should your experience be a gold standard. It is only your experience.

                  1. I graduated in 2019, get a grip.

                  2. It's not the gold standard, my point is that reading "n____" or "n****" on an exam really has nothing to do with a legal education contrary to what some people here seem to be insisting otherwise.

                    1. Wow, you just can't let go of that racist epithet can you?

              2. OMG, Brett Bellmore said "Jehovah", er, "kike"! Stone him!

                /dodges stones thrown at him for saying the very word he wants people stoned for

      2. The professor didn't use racial slurs in the classroom here, even if we construe expurgated "n___" a racial slur. This was an exam, not classroom discussion.

        More importantly, even if he had written it out, it would be mentioning the slur, not using it.

          1. And sane people regard that as a significant distinction.

          2. And?

            And anyone with an IQ above room temperature should be able to discern the difference between things like, say, Rosenbaum's repeatedly addressing someone using the racial slur in question at an alleged BLM protest vs witnesses recounting what he said as part of their testimony in the Rittenhouse trial. Apparently that excludes you.

            1. If you are so smart surely you'd realize that mentioning the word is a use of the word. Perhaps you mean "meaning it"? The professor used the word in the exam. He wasn't quoting anyone, it's his own hypothetical. Obviously that's not the same thing as using it pejoratively against students, but I wasn't the one that made up the nonsensical use/mention dichotomy.

              1. If you are so smart surely you'd realize that mentioning the word is a use of the word.

                Pedantry isn't an argument. In the context of "mentioning the slur, not using it" the phrase "using it" clearly means "using it as a slur".

                It's amazing how fools like yourself who think they're the smartest person in the room are always so eager to prove otherwise.

                1. It's a slur, if you are using it you are using it as a slur. It doesn't suddenly become not a slur because you are referring to the fact that someone said a slur. You are repeating their use of the slur. You just aren't actually calling that person the slur. Try and use your brain.

                  1. It's a slur, if you are using it you are using it as a slur.

                    I repeat...

                    It's amazing how fools like yourself who think they're the smartest person in the room are always so eager to prove otherwise.

                  2. It's a slur, if you are using it you are using it as a slur.

                    And if you are mentioning it, you aren't using it.

              2. If you are so smart surely you'd realize that mentioning the word is a use of the word.

                In the search for statutory meaning, we give nontechnical words and phrases their ordinary meaning. See Chapman v. United States, 500 U.S. 453, 462 (1991); Perrin v. United States, 444 U.S. 37, 42 (1979); Minor v. Mechanics Bank of Alexandria, 1 Pet. 46, 64 (1828). To use an instrumentality ordinarily means to use it for its intended purpose. When someone asks, "Do you use a cane?," he is not inquiring whether you have your grandfather's silver-handled walking stick on display in the hall; he wants to know whether you walk with a cane. Similarly, to speak of "using a firearm" is to speak of using it for its distinctive purpose, i.e., as a weapon. To be sure, "one can use a firearm in a number of ways," ante, at 7, including as an article of exchange, just as one can "use" a cane as a hall decoration - but that is not the ordinary meaning of "using" the one or the other. 1 The Court does not appear to grasp the distinction between how a word can be used and how it ordinarily is used. It would, indeed, be "both reasonable and normal to say that petitioner `used' his MAC-10 in his drug trafficking offense by trading it for cocaine." Ibid. It would also be reasonable and normal to say that he "used" it to scratch his head. When one wishes to describe the action of employing the instrument of a firearm for such unusual purposes, "use" is assuredly a verb one could select. But that says nothing about whether the ordinary meaning of the phrase "uses a firearm" embraces such extraordinary employments. It is unquestionably not reasonable and normal, I think, to say simply "do not use firearms" when one means to prohibit selling or scratching with them.

                Or, you could look up the Use-mention distinction.

                1. There are many philosophical movements that we do not organize our society by. Your burden is to establish why this distinction is of any use.

            2. To quote Dilan, the student was lying. Plain and simple.
              As a malicious actor, the student is the one deserving punishment.

              1. "...a malicious actor..."
                There seem to be more & more of these. What are they teaching kids in school?!
                Dennis Prager says that, as a result of leftist indoctrination in schools, kids come out not only less conservative, but less decent (more mean, cruel, intolerant, hateful).

    7. Should we care that people are offended?

      We hear skin-color based slurs (I.e. "redneck") all the time and no one gives a second thought to whether anyone was offended.

      What gives very special people the right to never experience negative emotions when others are denied that right? Do individuals of specific races have additional rights denied to individuals of other races?

      1. https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/what-we-lose-when-we-lose-thomas
        The author argues that the forces behind the taking down of this (and other) Jefferson statutes are not targeting Jefferson out of a desire to uphold everyone's rights (which Jefferson denigrated by owning slaves), but rather out of a desire to denigrate what Jefferson stood for -- universal respect for everyone's rights.

  5. We are in the end days. Cats and dogs are living together. Objective truth does not matter because it does not exist; only lived experience matters. Everyone’s rights will trample over everyone else’s rights.

  6. It’s scary that these children in adult bodies will soon be lawyers.

    1. There are already a lot of lawyers that fit that description, many of them commenting here.

      1. or at least people claiming to be lawyers. I have my doubts.

        1. Must be so sad to be some aggrieved loser here who has to pretend other people aren't lawyers in order to justify your stupid perspectives. It's not hard to become an attorney. At all. Look at Blackmans' posts. He's celebrated despite teaching at one of the worst law schools to EVER exist. It's a really low bar and your lack of inclusion in the club speaks to your own shortcomings, not others.

          1. I never said it is hard to become a lawyer, just that we have no way of knowing if most posters here claiming to be one actually are. Why they pretend is a different question, and I have my theories about it.
            My "lack of inclusion in the club" is by choice, and I am well accomplished in my field.

            1. Why bother doubting it if it's of no meaning or consequence? Oh, because of the exact reasons I explained...

              1. You seem to have trouble reading . I never said it is of no consequence. And doubting something is really not that big of a bother.

                  1. You think you made a point here, somewhere? That's cute.

                    1. zztop is a band that deserves better than this, you are shameful

          2. It's not hard to become an attorney.

            Which you might well be living proof of.

            1. Perhaps, I certainly never claimed to be the best attorney. Just that I am one.

              1. I don't have to sit here and instill a belief in myself that you are in fact now young as opposed to previously young, JUST because you disagreed with me. But you do you!

              2. Perhaps, I certainly never claimed to be the best attorney.

                Which of course has precisely dick to do with what you're responding to.

                You're not the sharpest bulb in the drawer, are you?

                1. We get that you aren't a great thinker but you don't need to post about it constantly.

                  1. Your need to hide behind a sock puppet is just icing on the cake.

  7. The difficulty here is that accusations of racial discrimination get shielded from retaliation. So it would appear that legal recourse against people who make intentionally false accusations of discrimination for harassment and revenge purposes may be limited.

    Or is it? What legal recourse do victims have against people who make intentionally false accusations?

    And what about merely reckless accusations? Merely grossly negligent?

    Students and university administrations are in a position that is in many ways an analog of the police officers who simply assume that black people with afros and bulges in their pockets are violent people carrying guns. For decades, police officers repeatedly got qualified immunity for reciting that the person had a bulge in their pocket and a violent look in their eyes or similar.

    To what extent is ones subjective perception of danger allowed to be considered an expert judgment entitled to deference? Why shouldn’t the white university professor here be treated like the black motorist? After all, he doesn’t get shot for doing something that catches the authority fogure’s attention as suspicious and dangerous. He merely loses his job.

    If the police officer gets qualified immunity for shooting the motorist on evidence no less flimsy, why shouldn’t the administration get immumity for firing the professor? Or is it just that professors are supposed to have status vis a vis students and administrstors, and motorists don’t vis a vis police officers?

    1. Yeah I don't think you are gonna meet the bar for an intentionally false accusation here, that's just ridiculous.

    2. He should sue whomever made the "cockroaches" report for defamation and tortious interference. Unfortunately he might not win on those claims.

  8. In a local news broadcast last night about the release of the men jailed for the murder of Malcolm X, he was described as an “anti-racist leader”. Wonder how he’d feel about that.

  9. One student, however, declared that, on seeing the sentence, she became "incredibly upset" and experienced "heart palpitations."

    Said student is incapable of functioning in society, let alone as a lawyer.

    1. Someone will have to put the EMT's on alert status in case the student, after becoming a real lawyer, ever hears an actual racial or gender slur in courtroom or deposition testimony.

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