First I learned that students at Harvard, Georgetown, and Columbia were so "traumatized" by the Ferguson and NYC grand jury decisions that they must have their final exams postponed in order to "process" what happened. Look at the picture here and tell me if there's not something just a little silly about white students at an expensive, elite university trying to lecture the rest of us on "social justice".
Then comes this story out of UCLA:
Law school exams often present legal conundrums ripped from headlines of the day, but one UCLA law professor is apologizing for basing a test question on what is apparently a taboo subject -- the fallout from the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo.I don't see "racially insensitive and divisive", I see "real world" and "practical application". Sometimes you need to, as former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings used to say, "put on your big girl panties" and deal with things.
Professor Robert Goldstein said the exam question was designed to test students’ ability to analyze the line between free speech and inciting violence. It cited a report about how Michael Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, shouted, “Burn this bitch down!” after a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
The question then asked students to imagine that they are lawyers in the St. Louis County Attorney’s office and had been asked to advise the prosecutor “whether to seek an indictment against Head” for inciting violence. The exam reads:
“[As] a recent hire in the office, you are asked to write a memo discussing the relevant First Amendment issues in such a prosecution. Write the memo.”
But students complained, and writer Elie Mystal at the popular legal blog “Above the Law” opined that the test question was “racially insensitive and divisive.”
Some people want to wear the badge of victimhood. I find it sickening.
I don't see an "epidemic" of white cops killing unarmed black citizens any more than I see an epidemic of black cops killing unarmed white citizens. I don't see the racial motives that so many others just want to see. If you want to find problems in the situations above, I posit these two:
1) the racial problem we have in this country is not racism, it's the tremendous amount of crime committed by black citizens in this country relative to their numbers in the population, andBoth of those are serious problems and need to be addressed. Silly little "hands up don't shoot" demonstrations, especially in light of all the evidence from Ferguson, create a fake problem while simultaneously ignoring the real problem(s).
2) the problem we have in law enforcement is not racial, it's power itself. Law enforcement officers are too often seen, and treated as, above the law rather than the tool through which the state enforces the law.
One would think that university students in general, and law students in particular, would be smart enough to grasp that fact, but one would be wrong.
Update, 12/16/14: Beware of the "violent language" used by one professor in refusing to postpone final exams. I'm not as contemptuous of the student as the author of that article is:
But I don't mean to pick too much on this student, an Oberlin freshman. This is the environment she's inherited and set of social cues she's learned from people who should know far better—like professors and administrators at Ivy League law schools, for a start.She's still an idiot. And a delicate little flower. One wonders how she'll be able to handle the lawnmower of life.