Monday, October 6, 2014

The Columbia University Marching Band's new policy takes all sexual assault accusations as factual

The Columbia University Marching Band has released a new policy in overreaction to reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault that includes the following: "For all reports of sexual assault, the perpetrator will be expelled from the band, and no longer permitted in any band space. The Bored upholds a Zero tolerance for sexual assault for the safety of all members of the band community."

The Community Standards Agreement treats all allegations of assault as factual, and stipulates that the marching band's board of managers must take steps against any member reported as an alleged assailant.

Make sure you are sitting down for the following quotation: “We don't care if something is not confirmed, we aren't interested in having alleged perpetrators in our group,” CUMB Head Manager Edith Lerner, BC ’16, said in an official statement. “We recognize that there could be problems with the policy, but we wanted it implement it [sic] right away so that our new members this year knew right off the bat what our values are and how serious we are about our community.”

What more can be said?

A college student who knows there could be "problems" with assuming guilt based on an accusation, but who is willing to sacrifice innocents who might be wrongly accused.

College students who don't understand the difference between "zero tolerance for sexual assault" and being at least reasonably certain that sexual assault actually occurred.

An entire generation not being properly schooled about concepts of fundamental justice -- they don't seem to have the first clue about Western Civilization's long battle against tyranny, where the presumption of guilt is routinely accepted. Have they ever heard of Blackstone's formulation?

Seriously, what more needs to be said about this madness?

Innocence Project guru Prof. Mark A Godsey has explained that "the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases." Professor Alan Dershowitz once wrote: "As one civil-liberties lawyer, who is concerned about the sometimes vigilante attitude toward accused rapists, puts it: 'Some people regard rape as so heinous an offense that they would not even regard innocence as a defense.'"

The motivating impulse of the lynch mob was that the system could not adequately respond to rape by black men. As one lynching symptathizer put it, lynchings “are extraordinary measures demanded by extraordinary occasions.” Underlying the defense of lynchings was the assumption that rape accusers were “victims” just because they said so. The hangman and his sympathizers had no doubts about the guilt of the men and boys hanged –“their guilt was clear in every instance,” clucked one writer. Due process wasn’t just unnecessary to the fair administration of justice when rape was alleged, it was a hindrance to the fair administration of justice. The criminal justice system was “incapable” of meting out the punishment that was needed.

The Columbia University Marching Band isn't suggesting that anyone be strung up. But the motivating impulse of its new sexual assault policy stems from the same unjust premise as the one that guided the lynch mob at the hanging trees of the Old South. Sadly, these sentiments are all too common on American college campuses. An administrator at a premier college publicly questions why the school can't expel students on the basis of sex accusations, or that the school defends her for asking it. A United States senator circulates an extensive survey about sexual assault to hundreds of colleges and universities that classifies persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and calls persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders,” and it lists "policies and procedures that may discourage victims from disclosing and reporting assaults" to include: "Disclosure of offender’s rights in the adjudication process." A dean at a prominent university, when asked what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity and then had sex, said this: "Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex." A prominent college professor, when asked about the spate of lawsuits filed by men against their college for denying them due process, said this: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

And the news media, and the feminist community, stand by in stony silence while these sorts of things happen. It is beyond disgraceful.