March 3, 2007

A free permalink for today's NYT column.

I don't know why, but the NYT now has my column for today on the free side of the TimesSelect wall. Here's the permalink for it. The subject is the difficulty of teaching about race when law schools are too eager to respond to students who feel offended.


reality check said...


Simon said...

I was kind of struck reading it in dead tree format earlier, and am so again here, by how blunt the declaration at the end that "[t]his is her last guest column" sounds. It has a ring of purge-y finality to it. I'm probably projecting. ;)

Ultimate_Lawyer said...

The Dean (Kenneth Davis) should resign.

Peter Palladas said...

..the declaration at the end...

It certainly wasn't the act of a gentleman. "This is the last in a series of five..." might have been less jarring.

We have the same difficulties here. Not so sure about education, but certainly in employment where we are at the stage that if a person 'feels' they have been harassed [racially, sexually, et al.] then they have been, never mind the context, circumstances or any notion of objective evidence.

Once accused there is a presumption of guilt: the accuser does not have to demonstrate that an act, or a failure to act, has been discriminatory - merely state that he or she 'felt' discriminated against.

That being once established there is no refutation allowed, other than evidence that the accused had been dead at the time.

Much of this is enshrined in employers' Codes of Conduct - written with two eyes on the law, yet often missing the legal and the ethical point.

I once had to demote a female manager for 'sexual harassment' against another woman - not because she had actually done anything other than been one of two sparring lesbians jockeying for position, but because the second jock said she had felt harassed. Head of HR said I had no choice - instructed me to act or be in breach of the Code of Conduct.

Seemed, and was, crazy. I wasn't exactly pleased with either of the women for consuming not inconsiderable amounts of work time, energy and resources persuing their doomed dalliance, but that was not allowed to be relevant to my decisions. (The alleged act of harassment had taken place during one of about 27 lengthy telephone calls the two women had had during work hours.)

I just had to sit there as chair of the disciplinary panel willing the accused to say "You mean all she has to do is to claim she felt harassed in order for you to have to find that I harassed her? Well in that case I 'feel' that she harassed me too." (She knew, but was too moral to say it.)

The whole thing was so frigging unreal. I resigned shortly afterwards to become the renowned space-cowboy I am today.

Ann Althouse said...

"the renowned space-cowboy I am today"

Do tell.

Fen said...

Ann, what can I do to switch you from NYTs to WaPo? Your talents are really wasted there behind the subscription wall. Their stock is still tanking, and WaPo is making a more honest effort to be fair and balanced in its reporting.

The Grey Lady is not the woman she used to be. Trade up.

What if I threw in a Rovian Satellite? You could zap your detractors from orbit?

rsb said...

This so-called civilization is insane.

Fen said...

Ah don't fret. Within a decade we'll all be under Sharia Law, and will recall these days in fondness of What Used To Be. Enjoy them while they last. ;)

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Fen. Well, my stint with the NYT is over now, so I'm on my own again.

Peter Palladas said...

Ann Althouse said...
"the renowned space-cowboy I am today"

Do tell.

...It's a Steve Miller Band thing :-)

Anyways goes down better at parties than 'management consultant':-(