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Students Accuse Professor of Racism, Professor Sues [updated 11/18]

It’s a story that sounds like it could’ve come from the University of Oregon: a law professor got on the wrong side of a group of minority students and found himself on the receiving end of a bunch of bogus racism charges intended to smear his reputation and drag his name through the dirt.

What did the professor, one Richard Peltz, do to provoke these accusations of racism? According to Inside Higher Education:

The complaints started after Peltz participated in a campus debate on affirmative action — at the invitation of the black law students’ group — and argued against it.


… he used an article on the death of Rosa Parks from The Onion to prompt class discussion. The black students’ memo called The Onion “a conservative based medium that uses satire[Huh?? -ed] and said that the article “poked fun at the contribution Rosa Parks made” to the civil rights movement.


Another accusation against him was that — in the same time frame when he had criticized affirmative action — he was insensitive in passing out “a basic grammar worksheet” to the class and telling students to focus more on their writing. There was no accusation that he focused on the black students, only that he raised this issue shortly after he has been critical of affirmative action. [emphasis mine]

Because of these (frankly insane) charges, and others, he was barred from teaching.

Peltz’s response? He filed a lawsuit against the students who’d accused him of racism. Now, if there’s one thing that universities all over the country strive to avoid at all costs, it’s a lawsuit involving their institution. In return for Peltz dropping his suit, the University of Arkansas School of Law the Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock promised a full investigation of the accusations against him.

Unsurprisingly, they found that he’d done nothing wrong whatsoever:

The statement from the university that Peltz said made him comfortable dropping the suit reviewed the various charges and said that there was no basis for calling Peltz racist. “With reference to any charge of racism levied against you, there is no evidence that you are or have been a racist or acted in a racist fashion during your employment at the law school” …

In addition to reviewing the charges brought by students, the university’s letter also cleared Peltz of a charge brought by a faculty member. At a 2005 faculty meeting, Peltz argued for hiring as faculty members only candidates who already have published scholarship. One of his colleagues accused him of racism because one of the job applicants for a position at the time was an African American with no published scholarship. [emphasis added]

Of course,  Peltz  “said he will be careful about any discussions of race from now on, fearful of being wrongly accused again… ” He added:

“When I started teaching 10 years ago, I thought universities were the quintessential market place of ideas. I was so naïve, and so, so wrong… It’s not an open market place of ideas — I hope we can get back to that notion because our society desperately needs places where we can have truly free discussion. I just can’t say I see that in the American university today.”

People often ask what’s really so wrong with the obsession with “diversity” on campus. I think that Richard Peltz’s case is a perfect illustration of what fostering a racially-obsessed campus environment can lead to: baseless and scurrilous accusations of  “racism” by individuals bent on silencing people with ideas they disagree with.

Such incidents aren’t entirely foreign to the U of O campus, either. Economics professor Bill Harbaugh, for instance, notable for his efforts toward helping increase the numbers of economically disadvantaged students from all racial backgrounds in higher education, has felt it necessary to publically defend himself from accusations of racism because of his criticisms of the University’s Diversity Plan. According to Harbaugh:

These accusations are professionally damaging, personally insulting, and false. Unfortunately they are symptomatic of the dishonesty that has prevailed during UO’s diversity plan debates.

Clearly there are certain parties on campus who have reaped vast dividends, in money and power, from the “diversity” scam and they’ve spared no effort to silence and defame their critics. Given the chilling effect “diversity” seems to have on free speech on campus and what we’re beginning to learn about the benefits (or lack thereof) of a “diverse” campus environment (at least as it’s currently concieved) one must ask: What benefit, again, is the campus at large supposed to be deriving from the University’s mania for “diversity”?


To clarify, this is the mentality of the race hucksters here at the U of O. It has little do do with “diversity” and less to do with actual racism. If racism is indeed “a combination of prejudice and power” (a troublesome formulation, to say the least), then what are we to make of the “diversity” gang’s reckless wielding of the “racism” stick (and its concomitant power) against its critics and the so-called “culture of whiteness” on campus?

  1. Token White Boy says:

    I’d imagine that would be a long and unpleasant process, especially considering the amount of booze you would have to purchase to get everyone drunk enough to consent to your sexual advances and the potential for misunderstandings and/or STDs involved in an orgy of that scope.

  2. Jackson says:

    Fuck every one of you.

  3. Timothy says:

    And I don’t actually care who you are, I’m just pointing out that you’re an idiot. But, you know, carry on.

  4. hmm says:

    I have too much time on my hands and eat my own poop

  5. hmm says:

    A bad day already – and now this! My anonymity is ruined! Constant disappointment: I will die neutered and purposeless and be instantly forgotten. Such is my lot now. Curse the OC blog for pushing me to such a fate!

    Actually, I don’t care if you know who I am. I was just pointing out that you’re a hypocrite, that’s all. I just hope you never write with a pseudonym – you’d probably develop a nervous disorder, or at least have nightmares.

  6. Timothy says:

    When I post here, I want to be able to do so with complete freedom to remain anonymous if I wish.

    It looks like yours will be a life of constant disappointment, then.

    Because, again, as much as you stubbornly refuse it, thinking that the government should let people alone is not the same as thinking private parties should not exercise control over their own property. Quite the opposite really.

  7. hmm says:

    Betz: it was quite the tangent. And I’m sure your heart is in the right place 🙂

    Timothy: I understand there is editing (in the sense of censoring) that has to take place when you have an open comments section like this on the website. And you all do a nice job of keeping it clean.

    But my original point was not about censoring certain content. It was about, in some cases, judging posts based on the “name” of the poster. First, you called out someone for posting under Sen. Perely’s name – then deleted those posts. I’m assuming you did that because of the name of the poster and not the content, since criticism of the ASUO has never been something the OC found offensive.

    Second, when someone in this thread posted as “Nate Gully” (not an uncommon occurrence on this blog) the editor made it clear that he/she had tracked the poster using the IP log to attempt to identify the poster. When it was clear that the poster was actually not Nate (is anyone surprised?) that was added as an editorial.

    Both of these cases point to the conclusion that the OC does not believe in allowing someone to post under whatever name they like, in complete anonymity. The only purpose, I believe, of keeping IP logs is to allow OC staffers to attempt to identify the poster – and potentially relay that (ostensibly private) information to the world. The concern with the veracity and “appropriateness” of names attached to posts contrasts with the political philosophy espoused by the OC. When I post here, I want to be able to do so with complete freedom to remain anonymous if I wish.

    I suppose it’s within your rights as the owner of this site to disallow that practice and insist on a more tame, less free, and identity-confirmed conversation – but if that is your stance, come out and say it.

    And then remove your name from the OC masthead.

  8. Timothy says:

    hmm – The OC website is a seperate entity than the OC magazine for a number of reasons, but essentially Olly nailed it.

    Also, here’s the real rub, assume for a minute that one of the many, many, attempts to remove the OC’s campus-based budget succeeded – the website would still be here, the staff could still produce content for it &c. Their heart would go on. If that happened and they paid for the website with student funds, we’d be up what might be called shit creek. My paying real american cash money dollars for the website is an insurance policy.

    And, yes, you do (in the most minimal of senses*) need my permission to post here. Philosophically I’m pro banning neo-nazis, holocaust deniers and white supremacists and also for mocking douchefucks, but otherwise am happy to let people alone to post what they want. Hey, I’m here talking to you, aren’t I?

    I’m fine with anonymous posters, note that I haven’t bothered to even look up your host mask, but as a general rule I’m not such a fan of people impersonating people of campus relevance in our comments section. As long as it isn’t defamatory I don’t really care that much, but there are always back-burner legal considerations RE libel. Even though such cases don’t hold up when they involve commenters, resolving them is still a pain in the balls.

    As for libertarianism, do you not really understand that the right to be secure in one’s person and property is one of the most important libertarian principles? Granted, property rights can be nebulously defined in the digital realm, but I feel no more uncomfortable exercising (or allowing the staff to exercise) arbitrary comments policies than I would throwing a naked attendee out of my houseparty.

    * I would say that the existence of the comments section implies such consent. That consent can be removed, obviously, but that is not the general policy. We also filter spam on account of our big-government ways, should I weep for the spammers over that?

  9. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    My God, haven’t any of you people heard of brevity?

    Intellectual discourse on the Internet is fine, if rare. But is there amy chance you could do it one paragraph at a time?

  10. Betz says:

    hmmm: I think the problem is that we have differing opinions of what amounts to significant evidence and definitions of “little” evidence. Rather than argue semantics, I’ll just agree to disagree and leave it at that, since this tangent, while related, really isn’t what the thread was about.

  11. Token White Boy says:


    I can’t say I completely disagree with everything you believe, Clytemnestra. You have a right to believe what you want, and you bring up some good points. I’m not sure the playing field is one hundred percent level just yet, but it’s much closer than it ever has been before. It will be hard for anyone to claim that the white man is holding them down when the man at the top is a black man (or at least half-black).

    I can say I don’t approve of your desire to see your “own race advanced” because you “just don’t give a damn about” other races. That kind of attitude is exactly what is wrong with racial discussions in this country. I am not an advocate of giving one race preferential treatment over another. I am against affirmative action or anything like it. But I am also not an advocate of white supremacy. I personally believe that people should succeed or fail based on their abilities, not on the color of their skin. The person who should be hired for a particular job is the one who is best qualified and will be the best fit for a company, not the second-best option who just happens to fit that minority slot required by the government in a given company. Some employers will follow racist or sexist policies in hiring, but they punish themselves in doing so by reducing the size of the hiring pool available to them and often ending up with less-qualified applicants. The better option? Don’t worry about race. Treat everyone equally, regardless of race.

    I feel the same way about scholarships. Merit-based ones should go to the most meritorious applicant. Need-based ones should go to the one most in need. Race should not be considered.

    Racism will probably never go away. I think it would be less of a problem, however, if people would stop looking at it as an “us versus them” problem. It is not whites versus blacks. We’re all in this together, like it or not. You might as well get used to it and try to work together, rather than promoting an “every race for itself” attitude.

    By the way, Clytemnestra, when exactly was the last time you and your white friends tried to openly assemble and were rounded up by the FBI or BATF? Chances are, if the BATF cracked down on you, it was because you were publicly drinking and waving assault rifles in the air. Can’t say I blame them for being a bit “hostile” if that was the case.

  12. Vincent says:

    but do not expose individuals

    Which individual was “exposed”?

  13. hmm says:

    Betz: Well, I think you conceded my point that there is significant physical evidence, even if it goes away after a while. But then again, what doesn’t go away after a while.

    Oly: Libertarian does not mean anarchism, it means strong individual rights and consequently weaker rights for the group. Individual rights like anonymity, and group rights like the right to know who is saying what. Libertarianism is exactly the philosophy I should be appealing to.

    Understanding, however, that this is a blog at a university rather than something more important, I would like to bring us back down. I object to the editorial comment explaining that “Nate Gulley” was, in fact, not nate. (surprise!) That seemed like over expansive nanny-blog moderating to me. I can understand the general appeal to people not to sock puppet, but do not expose individuals. The IP log has got to go.

    Also, you really should put a line item request of website maintenance in your PFC request. It’s not like they turn stuff like that down, and they all probably spend time here anyways.

  14. Vincent says:

    I’d also hasten to add that the number of posts on the Commentator blog that are deleted or otherwise moderated is diminishingly small. There was a white power freak who got deleted last week, and that’s really the only case that immediately comes to mind.

    “Hmm” is really blowing this all out of proportion.

  15. Betz says:

    As far as I can remember, the OC just receives overhead cost incurred from publishing the magazine. Nobody collects personal stipends for work done, or so I’m told to believe, and the remaining balance left over from the year is donated back to the ASUO coffers (or so I’m told to believe).

    hmmm: Real life is NOT like TV (Crap!). Regardless of what you may believe based on last night’s episode of CSI or Law & Order, MOST of the physical evidence revolving around rape is usually lost in a relatively short period of time after the criminal act – this can be a few hours, or up to 4 days. And when I am talking about evidence, I am really talking about DNA evidence in particular here, since DNA evidence is especially incriminating, due to to its inability to copy / forge. This is unlike many of the other evidential artifacts you list, such as defensive wounds, signs of struggle, ripped clothing – all of which a defendant’s lawyer could argue were self-inflicted or coincidental. This evidence is tertiary to big bad DNA, which is still only HALF of the argument in a rape trial. Even if two people have sex, and DNA evidence is found, a prosecutor would still have to prove that consent was not given, which is an especially hard thing to do. That tertiary evidence can influence a jury’s opinion over the matter of consent, but thats all it can do – influence an opinion; it is not a telltale, black-and-white fact. Thats why – of the 38 – 40% of rape cases that ACTUALLY have enough DNA and tertiary evidence to ACTUALLY make it trial – 15 out of 16 accused do not spend time in jail. I apologize to the moderators of this blog to have to repeat my statistics again, but its apparently not getting through clear enough.

    I don’t think I even need to call you “stooopid” … based on the tone of other comments in this thread, I trust that others have already made this judgment for themselves.

  16. Vincent says:

    How neat for you.

  17. Clytemnestra says:

    I am a White woman. I love my race. I only dated my own race. I only wanted children from my own race. I only associate with my own race. I only have close friends with my own race. I want my own race advanced. I want my racial descendants to succeed. Anyone who wants to can feel free to call me a racial supremacist. I’ll proudly cop to it, because I don’t consider it an insult.

    I don’t hate other races. I just don’t give a damn about them. They are of no interest to me. I am not interested in their concerns or their problems. Moreover, they are more familiar with them than I am, so it behooves them to take care of their business, not me. Unlike my race, they have their advocates and white accomplices openly working for their interests around the clock 24-7. If they cannot succeed with the playing field leveled so squarely in their favor, then they are incompetent morons and no amount of help will change their situation.

    They do not have hostile authorities looking for every excuse to shut them down. They can openly assemble and organize without worrying that the FBI, BATF, and other surveillance and law enforcement agencies are trying to set their members up on all kinds of bogus charges while the SPLC ACLU and other “civil rights” organizations try to incarcerate them on any kind of nonsensical “hate laws” they can conjure up. They even have politicians of my race pandering to them by talking to La Raza and the NAACP and bribing them with every giveaway imaginable as they whore my race for their vote.

    And if honestly expressing my opinion and pointing out the true facts of the matter makes me a racist … I’ll cop to it and proudly, because I don’t consider it something to be ashamed about! I just wish White People would stop being so idiotic. It seems all it takes is being called a racist to make them curl up into a fetal position and shut the hell up or squawk indignantly.

    The next time someone accuses them of being a racist, I would like to see ALL White People to look them squarely in the eye and say, “So what if I AM a racist?!” Do NOT dignify their accusations with a denial or a defense. Cop to it. Then go back to the issue they are trying to shut you down on.

  18. Olly says:

    “Wait, doesn

  19. Olly says:

    “Such people are too stupid for their own good, so the OC will take it into their kind and superior hands and fix it, just like a tax and spend liberal.”

    Yes, just like that. Now hand over your wallet.

    “but seriously, OC folks, turn of the IP logs and let people have their fun.”

    I’m not totally unsympathetic to the argument that comment threads should be completely unmoderated, but the idea that this has anything to do with a “small-government, libertarian, individual-freedom philosophy” is ridiculous. “Libertarian” does not, in fact, mean “anarchist”. (Well, for some people it does, but it also quite frequently means “fucking crazy”, so you have to take that into account.)

    In the past the basic policy has been to try not to overmoderate, but to delete anything that was obviously a stump speech from Stormfront. (No, I don’t care if the person in question was trolling both us and Stormfront.) If I’m the first person to see such a comment, I will usually delete it myself before it derails the thread. Perhaps this is incipient tax-and-spend liberalism on my part, but for now I’m not too worried.

  20. Chris says:

    Again, no one is in here comparing one act to another….it is the comparison of what people go through when falsely accused of one act or another. I imagine it would be the same for a variety of other crimes, however heinous or benign one may see them.

    I think another good example of this point is the way that political campaigns cold-call constituents in battleground areas and parade bullshit statements about a candidate as if they were truthful. There is no truth, but the candidate suffers anyway because people BELIEVE the crap that people put into their head. Same criticism extends outward to the “MSM” when pundits, et al. are irresponsible and actively (or accidentally) misinforming their viewers.

    The power of belief in the face of reality. I imagine that the more heinous the accusation, the more vile the belief toward the person (regardless of veracity)

  21. hmm says:

    Timothy: Oh JESUS, I didn’t realize you had to pay your own money… what is it, $4 a month? Shit, do I have to ask permission before I post? Your own private website, wow. Wait, doesn’t the OC get thousands of dollars from the student government? Why *are* you paying for the hosting? Also– do you hold different views about individual liberty, a right to anonymity, and oversight in a website you control versus one controlled by someone else? Is anyone getting hurt by sock puppets? No. Sen Perely just feels slimed. He was, but then again, he holds public office, so he better get used to it. Banning white supremacists is ok by me (“but how can you prove that they’re racists?…it’s so hard there’s no evidence”) but political commentary is completely different.

    Betz: Are you insane? “little physical evidence”? Do you watch TV? Signs of a struggle, defensive wounds on the palms and lower arms, ripped clothes, skin under fingernails, semen somewhere, genital wounds… this is a “little” amount of evidence? Sure, not every rape results in all of that, but enough do to make your argument sound stooopid.

    Also, feed the trolls. the OC blog was slowing down.

    Chris: nice story, but being accused of catcalling is different from rape – one is physical, the other not.

    Truth: sing it, brother

  22. Betz says:

    Why, just this morning I tuned into the Channel 8 news and heard a short blurb on case involving a doctor who allegedly sexually abused a patient of his. The blurb said that the doctor was acquitted of all charges, which differs from a “Not-Guilty” verdict in the sense that the case was dropped – usually signifying that no wrongdoing was committed (I say “usually” with a heavy grain of salt, here). Regardless of what actually happened, the man’s mugshot was broadcast on the news, and I am certain that his practice will see declining numbers in the future. Even though he *legally* did nothing wrong, more people will remember him as the doctor who sexually abuses his patients, and less of those people will remember that he was acquitted.

    I notice that this thread has gotten off topic of its original intent, but I think an important aspect surrounding the nature of false accusations is that society’s opinion of the accused does not seem to mirror that of the legal system’s “innocent until proven guilty” belief. People – not all, but a lot – are so eager to demonize the accused that many do not take the time to remember this very American ideal.

    Running in the the same vein as “innocent until proven guilty” is the less observed “neutral until evaluated.” This is more or less just a personal belief that I try to adhere to, but I think it would do some people good to observe it. One simple experiment to demonstrate this is to ask students across campus what their perception of the OC is; it has been called “bigoted”, “hateful”, “slanderous”, “racist”, “homophobic”, “patriarchal”, and any other number of names by its critics (many of these cited by “hmmm”), and I am certain student surveys might hit some of these answers. Follow this question up by asking them if they read, or have ever read, the OC. This drives me crazy – when people adopt an evaluative judgment that is either not their own or from an already biased source. This is also why I loathe people who get their “news” from The Daily Show.

  23. Truth says:

    as someone who uses many different names and also sock puppets I have to agree with hmm, but of course I would, and also this is Nate gulley

  24. Chris says:

    Betz’s point is a good one (in either post) and I know of several people who were accused of rape and had to go through quite an experience regardless of the fact that they were innocent. A widely reported instance of this was the Duke Lacrosse team whose members were dragged through the mud for a year or so, their team disbanded, the sport shut down (etc) and in the end….they were found innocent. Regardless of whether or not the court’s findings were correct in this case (there seems to be a wide spectrum of opinion here)…the experience as it was reported is a good example of what Betz is talking about.

    Even in my own experience, I was accused (along with a group of my friends) of sexual harassment while serving in the Army. The five of us were linguists, so we went to the library on post to do language training every Wednesday because we were waiting for our class to start and needed time to maintain our respective languages. There was a civilian woman there at the same time we were who was teaching some students Spanish. We saw each other every Wednesday in the library, but we never spoke to one another. Then, one day we returned from the library to find our company leadership waiting for us. Without asking us one question, they laid into us and started to “smoke” us (think insane physical punishment via non-stop exercise). They asked us if we wanted to confess to what we had done (and none of us had a clue what they were talking about). Our silence and lack of an answer only egged them on further as they figured we were “like the 3 Musketeers, all for one…and if one falls we stick together…” blah blah blah. So, we went through 2 hours of being “smoked” and yelled at, being told that we were scum and that we were going to be brought up on charges of harassment and possibly kicked out of the Army. People walking by even came over to see why we were being punished so harshly, and they too got in on the process of taking us down a notch.

    They finally let us go after hours of this, and no one believed us when we said that we had no idea what was going on. In the end, the woman was questioned further and she revealed then that she really didn’t know EXACTLY who it was that had cat-called her and made suggestive comments/gestures. She just saw a small group of guys in fatigues who did this to her, she was near the library, and she ASSUMED that it was us.

    So, needless to say we were not punished any further. Still, it took a week or two for this issue to clear up and we were pretty much screwed by this woman because she blindly accused us of harassing her. It could have been worse had she not been pushed further and had she not admitted that she really didn’t know that it was us who had done the act.

    Of course, there was no apology…from her or from our company leadership.


  25. Scott says:

    Ooh, nice use of a Ty Schwoefermann article to express your point. Always makes for good argumentation.

    Then again, for various reasons (most of them unfounded) I have a personal vendetta against Ty being stupid.

  26. Betz says:

    I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but…

    hmmm: I don’t quite see your point, if one was even made … although rape IS a universal crime in nearly every society since the time of Ur, it leaves little physical evidence if, say, someone were trying to prove a defendant guilty in a rape trial in a court of law. Most actual rape goes unreported and never sees the light of day of a trial, for many reasons – an obvious one, I think, is a lack of compounding legal evidence that can be submitted in a court of law. And of the accusations of rape that actually do make it to trial, very few ever see time in prison. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), 60% of all statistical rape goes unreported. Of the cases that make it to trial, only 6% will ever spend time in a cell.

    And for the record, I am not comparing the actual act of rape to racism – I am likening accusations of rape to accusations of racism, which, if you actually read my post like a rational person and not a seething ideologue, you would understand.

    An accusation can damage the alleged defendant personally and professionally, while many accusers, who knowingly bear false witness to “get back” at the accused for personal reasons, suffer little, if any, penalties. As is the case with racism, the crime itself is so hate-filled that it stirs up emotions in both parties involved, that often times the accused is “silenced” by the mere accusation.

  27. Timothy says:

    Really? I have to go over the difference between a public and a private space again? Really? Look “hmm” I pay real american cash money dollars to keep this website on-line. Out of my own pocket – hosting, domain registration, etc – it is therefore, in a technical sense, my website. But, as its purpose is to further the OC mission, it is the OC’s website and I trust the judgement of the current staff when it comes to monitoring behavior of the commenters.

    And I think a comments policy of “we ban white supremicists and mock people who act like douchetards” is pretty permissive.

  28. hmm says:

    Actually, it seems like the analogy between rape and racism is really bad, especially the bit of analysis that “both leave little physical evidence.” Rape is a universal crime, recognized in every culture for thousands of years, and represents the worst violation of even the most conservative definition of “personal space.”

    In contrast, racism as we see it today is a product of the 18th century, and is such a complex social phenomenon that it resists easy (any?) definition. But I think most people agree that it can take place on both macro and individual scales, can be perpetuated unconsciously, and may even go unnoticed by the victim. The two are barely similar – they’re not even both crimes.

    In other news, I wish the people running this blog would give up any pretense of supporting a small-government, libertarian, individual-freedom philosophy since they make it painfully obvious that they scour the IP logs for hints to identify authors who clearly wish to remain anonymous, and also are intervening to rid this blog of the societal menace presented by “sock puppetry.” Because apparently some people just aren’t smart enough to recognize the OC blog as a giant pit of lies, sarcasm, and procrastinating ASUO rumor mongers and were actually mistaking it for a IM conversation between the people whose IDs were verified. Such people are too stupid for their own good, so the OC will take it into their kind and superior hands and fix it, just like a tax and spend liberal. Sure perely is upset, but ANYONE WHO TAKES ANYTHING WRITTEN HERE SERIOUSLY IS STUPIDER THAN (I was going to write “people who sit on the student senate” but then I realized a lot of these people are exactly that stupid. What morons.)

    but seriously, OC folks, turn of the IP logs and let people have their fun. When the OC is big brother, we’re all in trouble.

  29. Chris says:

    Uh oh…

  30. Nate Gulley says:

    You are all racists!!!

    Unsurprisingly, this is not actually Gulley. It’s just some idiot engaging in some pretty transparent sock-puppetry. Sadly, they weren’t clever enough to post from a computer off-campus -ed.

  31. Betz says:

    I think Matt grazed the skin of the issue here, and that is that people can be “silenced” for accusations of racism, without any repercussion against those bearing false witness. This case exemplifies the damage that can be done with false accusations of racism.

    I like the analogy between accusations of rape and racism: both alleged cases often leave little physical evidence which can be proven in court. This just leaves the resolution of a case up to the personal discretion of judge and jury.

  32. Timothy says:

    When did you kids start handing out moral authority? In my day all OC authority was strictly immoral! Or at very worst amoral. Sissies.

  33. Bill Harbaugh says:

    Yeah, this happened to me, except it was the faculty and the diversity administrators spreading crap about me.

    It stopped as soon as I pointed out that I was 2008 OC Professor of the Year, a title that comes with a certain amount of moral authority.

  34. Matt Petryni says:

    While the concerns about the damage false charges of racism do to their victims is no doubt important, it’s also important that false witnesses of racism hurt themselves more than they do their victims. By continuing to try to scream “racism!” at every point of disagreement, those concerned about actually eliminating racism can have their energies diverted into meaningless protest, or worse, will become frustrated and give up altogether.

    False charges of rape are similar in character. While in the short-run such charges are highly – and most significantly – damaging to those against whom they are leveled, in the long-run, such false charges might perpetuate an overall ignorance of or lack of concern for the actual victims.

    Furthermore, I don’t really think anyone should be “silenced” for being a racist. It’s important too that their speech is protected, so that we can continually understand why racism is wrong. Although the people choosing to be racist will have to be able to stomach being called a “racist,” even if they should not suffer further significant consequences. This gets into the whole “words as action” debate, but you know…

    This doesn’t mean we should hesitate to call out racism and bigotry when we see it, it simply means that we should do so with caution and nuance, and never should a charge of such gravity be used as an ad hominem in a more trivial disagreement. Perhaps the most irritating example was the Nate Gulley case. How Nate Gulley managed to pull the race card on a debate concerning the amount by which the ASUO budget should grow still baffles me….

  35. Neurotic Nomad says:

    Clarification: “Unfair charges of racism, classism, agism, and sexism, along with fraudulent reports of attacks are becoming a thing of the past”

    Should state: Getting away with…

    There will always be people trying to rig the system.

  36. Neurotic Nomad says:

    These laws were put in place to protect one group from having unfair power over another, but in the following decades they began being perverted by a new generation that didn’t go through the struggles of their ancestors.

    I think as we move further into the 21st Century, we will see more and more of these “wolf criers” being exposed. Unfair charges of racism, classism, agism, and sexism, along with fraudulent reports of attacks are becoming a thing of the past as it’s easier to prove a negative when your life is an open book and every word you say lives forever on the internet.

    Every accusation now stands up to incredible scrutiny, and the mere existence of a hate group doesn’t automatically mean you are a member.

    Racism exists. As a man of color I live with it, especially when I visit my family in the South. But to accuse everyone with a different skin color who disagrees with you of being a racist IS racism.

    Affirmative Action was necessary, and in some places and in some industries it is arguably still necessary, but no policy that tilts the playing field should be ingrained in stone. To do so ignores the reality that things evolve, and for the subject to be closed to rational fact-and-research-based discourse because of your complexion flies in the face of the logic that ALL people are capable of achieving expertise in any subject.

    I think the real answer is somewhere in the center. The law needs to still be in place, but it needs to be modified to reflect the real needs of the people it is supposed to help: People with disadvantages inherent to their place in our society, period.

    There will always be a disadvantaged group, but to think it will always be based on race is myopic.

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