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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Another College Campus, More Pitchfork Justice

A university president loses his job for giving young women advice on how to avoid sexual assault.

In the wake of the collapse of the Rolling Stone“gang rape” story last week, it’s time to consider what happened last month to Robert Jennings, the outgoing president of suburban Philadelphia’s Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting historically black university. I note that Jennings is “outgoing” because he was just fired by his board over a four-minute YouTube excerpt of a 26-minute speech he gave to his school’s All Women’s Convocation in September.

While his attempt at fatherly advice on sex may have been inartful, it hardly justified his critics’ charge that he was blaming women for sexual assault. Nonetheless he has seen his career ruined, thanks to the highly charged atmosphere surrounding the issue of sexual assault.

Even Vice President Joe Biden cites inflated statistics that one out of five campus women has been sexually assaulted. The pitchforks that come out in such an atmosphere can chill free speech, obscure relevant aspects of the specific cases and the larger issues, and lead to politically correct reporting disasters such as those on the Duke lacrosse and Tawana Brawley cases, and now the Rolling Stonedebacle on the alleged gang rape at UVA.


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