. . . You arrive at Iowahawk’s formulation: Colleges are hotbeds of rape and racism that everyone should attend.
Of the two sets of accusations, the one that doesn’t really concern me is the “racism!” screech. If Dear Leader and his fawning acolytes in the lamestream media have accomplished one single useful thing in the past six years, it’s having so cheapened the “racism!” ejaculation that pretty much everyone now recognizes it as meaningless. When everything is racist, then nothing is. If you want to see genuine “racism” in action, you can watch what’s going on in the Ukraine between ethnic Russians and ethnic Ukrainians.
The development that concerns me more is the system of kangaroo courts that are even now being set up on campuses across the country, all under ukase from the Holder DOJ. For those who haven’t been following it, the federal government is now mandating, more or less openly, that colleges address accusations of rape on campus not through careful preservation of crime scenes and other physical evidence until the police (you know, those folks who not infrequently have entire teams of people with specialized training in investigating sexual crimes) get there, but rather through a system of “discipline” that seems designed to do little more than make college administrators (and federal bureaucrats) feel good about themselves.
In truth, these panels and how they operate are easily recognized by anyone who has read his Solzhenitsyn. They’re neither more nor less than the Cheka’s revolutionary tribunals or the OSO administrative sentencing system (most people sent to GuLAG were sentenced by OSO, and not by others of the organs). From the linked article over at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (F.I.R.E; if you’re looking for a worthy object for your charitable giving, you could do a very great deal worse than these folks):
“Foremost among the demands since 2011 is that colleges use the ‘preponderance of the evidence’” standard of proof for adjudicating sexual misconduct accusations — a 50.01 percent likelihood standard that is our nation’s lowest. (In real courts, rape must be proved ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ a 98-99 percent likelihood standard.)
This low standard is then used in a disciplinary procedure where students nearly always lack lawyers, no legally trained judge oversees the process, testimony is not under oath, hearsay is freely considered, relevant evidence or even proper notice of the charges may not be given to both parties, students may be forced to incriminate themselves, and whatever ‘jury’ is empaneled may not be of one’s peers.
The task force report from Tuesday actually encourages colleges to make this situation worse. Perhaps recognizing that college hearings are delivering shoddy justice, the task force speaks highly of moving to a ‘single investigator’ model that would entirely dispense with niceties like ‘hearings’ or ‘the ability to face one’s accuser’ by appointing one administrator to act as detective, judge, and jury for campus crimes.”
And that’s just the lousy deal for the guy wrongly accused. Not mentioned but nearly as objectionable is that the college’s ham-fisted treatment of the case may well irretrievably compromise what otherwise might be a successful criminal prosecution of a genuine rapist. Remember that state universities are state agencies, their actions can be attributed to the state, and to the extent their functionaries are delegated police powers, you raise all manner of constitutional concerns about how they conduct themselves. Those constitutional violations — and they will occur, and be legion (hell, colleges nowadays can’t even get the First Amendment right, what with stunts like disciplining students for passing out . . . copies of the Constitution) — are going to create legally cognizable problems for the actual law enforcement agencies when they actually do catch someone who actually has committed a rape that they otherwise could actually prove up beyond a reasonable doubt. In short, they’ll manage to kick the rapist out of school, but he’ll still be on the street, looking for his next victim.
But none of that matters, though, does it? Because our administrators can pat themselves on the back and loudly proclaim how tough they are on sexual misbehavior. And that’s what matters, that educrats feel good about themselves. That next victim, when he finds her? She’s just collateral damage, and besides, she may not even be a student.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, I have three boys. The oldest is seven years from college (assuming he goes). Given the half-life of stupid ideas, it’s more or less a certainty that these lynch-mob Chekist systems are going to be still going strong when my boys go to college. I’d like them to be able to enjoy the experience without having to adopt the survival habits of the zeks. But this system may as well have been purposely designed for abuse, if not outright extortion. Remember we’re dealing with the Laws of Very Large Numbers. How many tens of millions of college students are there at any given time? Now that a majority of them are female, how many millions of female college students does that work out to be? By that time it will have been impressed on the female student body over the course of years that if you want to get rid of a male you don’t particularly care for (whether for personal or political reasons, or just because you can, because you’re looking for a scalp) all you have to do is engineer a bogus accusation of sexual assault and you will not only have blown up his college attendance, but you will have ruined his life (job interviewer: Why did you change colleges? job candidate: Errmmmm, ahem, I, uh, just decided to. interviewer: I see.).
Any system that is set up to be easily abused will be abused. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about tax loopholes, government benefits, military supply contracts, absentee voting, political police-state enforcement, or sexual conduct enforcement on college campuses. When you spread that sort of opportunity before a sufficiently large population, abuse will occur and it will tend to become systemic as the abusers are seen to profit from it (Hayek’s chapter on “Why the Worst Get on Top” in The Road to Serfdom is a good illustration of the phenomenon in a different context).
I feel as though it’s 1937, and I’m watching my boys get ready fill out their applications to join the Komsomol (the leadership of which was shot, several times over, during the purges, and huge numbers of whose members fetched up in the camps).