January 6, 2022

"There is a major controversy brewing over free speech and censorship at Emory Law Journal this month after the student editors refused to publish an essay by San Diego’s Warren Distinguished Professor of Law Larry Alexander."

Writes Jonathan Turley, explaining in some detail what Alexander wrote that the law review editors, after inviting him to participate in a special issue, felt they should not publish. You can read Alexander's essay here.

From the editor's statement:

We take issue with your conversation on systemic racism, finding your words hurtful and unnecessarily divisive. Additionally, there are various instances of insensitive language use throughout the essay (e.g., widespread use of the objectifying term “blacks” and “the blacks” (pages 2, 3, 6, 8, etc.); the discussions on criminality and heredity (pages 11 and 14), the uncited statement that thankfully racism is not an issue today (page 18)). And, crucially, the discussion on racism is not strongly connected to your commentary on Professor Perry’s work, which is the focus of the Issue and the purpose behind the publication opportunity offered.

The pagination in the version I linked to isn't the same, but I think the "page 18" material is this:

In general, blacks as a group are doing better than ever before materially. And for those who are not doing well, the cause is not the effects of slavery or Jim Crow. Nor is the cause racist bigotry, which, though some undoubtedly exists, is not a significant obstacle in blacks’ lives. Nor is it the vague culprit of “systemic racism.”

Racism is not the cause of black poverty to the extent it exists. (If it were, African and West Indian blacks would not be doing as well as they are, or emigrating to the U.S. in great numbers.) Although racism could be a problem for blacks today, the reality is, thankfully, is that it isn’t.

The real impediment to the advancement of poor blacks – and everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it – is the cultural factors that have produced family disintegration, which in turn portends poor educational achievement, crime and poverty.

ADDED:

KEY WORDS: "Everyone knows... whether they admit it." 

I considered saying what kind of legal scholarship simply makes assertions without citation and doubles down with the meta-assertion "everyone knows" — and tops it off with a taunt ("whether they admit it") that seems to mean if you won't accept my assertion it's because you're too afraid or polite to think it or say it? 

But then I thought, it's the essay form. It's not chock full of citations. Alexander could easily come up with things to cite, but he's making his own personal statement. He puts his name on it, and that's that. Fight with him if you don't like it.

If people don't want to fight with him, they seem to underscore his point — that everyone knows but they just won't admit it! The editors are coming down on the side of less speech: Don't say the thing we don't want to have to talk about. It's hurtful

Unfortunately, that makes it seem as though you're conceding that you're in Alexander's "everyone" category.

66 comments:

Gahrie said...

If you take issue with someone's argument, especially in a law journal, you're supposed to respond to it with an article of your own.

Of course it's much easier to simply tell someone to shut up because they're racist.

Dave Begley said...

Professor Alexander is lucky. Under a proposed rule by the Nebraska Bar, a Bar grievance could be filed against him.

Thanks much for this, Ann.

I've been submitting comments to the NE S. Ct. to stop this proposed new rule. This would be my fourth comment

Jamie said...

"Conversation." I really hate "social sciences"-speak. An essay isn't a "conversation." (Nor is a harangue that no one is allowed to answer.) "Lived experience" isn't data. People aren't "bodies." Words aren't "violence." A tossed-off, incoherent opinion isn't a "paradigm."

Multisyllabes are not self-evidently intelligent commentary.

I haven't read the essay or the critique yet, but I was so irritated by the misuse of "conversation about racism" that I was moved to put down my coffee and rant a minute.

Fernandinande said...

the discussions on criminality and heredity

Not mentioned in the linked PDF...

(pages 11 and 14) ... (page 18))

...which had only 11 eleven pages. ???

Lurker21 said...

Seems like it's a stylistic question, not a major controversy. Capitalize "Blacks" and vary it with "African Americans" or "BIPOC," or maybe just not talk about race so doggone much.

"The blacks" is not cool, but "the blacks" doesn't appear that often. I got through 48 of the 79 "blacks" in the article before it stopped being fun (no, I didn't actually read that far into the article -- we have tools now, so we will never have to read anything ever again). There was one "the blacks" and one "the whites who ... the blacks who ..."

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

A Democrat says "We need to have a conversation about xxx." What he really means is listen to me and STFU.

"We take issue with your conversation on systemic racism, finding your words hurtful and unnecessarily divisive." - Poor snowflake. They can't come up with a counterargument so the resort the this old trope.

MikeR said...

I especially liked this comment by Turley: 'Likewise, Emory editors objected to Alexander saying that racism is not a problem today. As noted, I disagree with this view. However, I am not sure how the editors expect him to add citation to his own viewpoint. Would they demand a citation from an academic who wrote “Racism is a problem today”?'

rehajm said...

...the law review editors, after inviting him to participate in a special issue, felt they should not publish.

Did they invite him because they knew he would write something they could object to?

gilbar said...

the discussions on criminality and heredity

No one is Allowed to mention what percentage of murders are committed by young black men
EVER!

No one is Allowed to mention average IQ of different cohorts
EVER!

The ONLY thing allowed to be mentioned, is Systemic Racism
EVER!

mezzrow said...

These people are in control and it clear they intend to keep this up for a lifetime.

The ratchet clicks, clicks, clicks, in one direction.

Who will cut the rope?

Michael said...

I would never hire a lawyer who believes words are hurtful. What jackasses. I suppose the writers, editors, are vying for a spot at the Coca Cola Company in its vast diversity department.

Maynard said...

What is the surprise here?

Our educational institutions have long determined that dissenting viewpoints from leftist ideology are "hurtful" and we cannot subject people to that emotional violence.

Owen said...

This is the world in small: ELJ is committing suicide in real time and we all get to watch. They’ve poured high-test all over themselves and flicked the Bic, and now our only action is to stand upwind and watch them burn.

Metaphorically speaking of course.

Do I think the law review editors will find it harder to land interviews and offers? No. And that’s the scariest part: how this vicious idiocy leaks out of academia into the “profession.”

Original Mike said...

"the uncited statement that thankfully racism is not an issue today (page 18))"

What??? What Alexander said was: "Racism is not the cause of black poverty to the extent it exists. (If it were, African and West Indian blacks would not be doing as well as they are, or emigrating to the U.S. in great numbers.)".

He's advancing an argument of his own (and it's a pretty good one, IMO) Why does that need to be "cited"?

RMc said...

Shorter editor's statement:

WORDS BAD U CANCELLED

Daniel12 said...

I think the entire last part of the article, which is thinly sourced compared to the rest, is amateurish logic games (e.g. everything in the past is good because it brought about us, and any expression of regret for a past decision is invalid because to have made a different decision would have resulted in different people being born) and not deserving of publication in current form. Unless you think sophomoric (literal and figurative) is publishable.

If I write a crappy article and it's gets rejected, have my rights to free speech been violated if it's NOT about race?

Gahrie said...

If I write a crappy article and it's gets rejected, have my rights to free speech been violated if it's NOT about race?

They didn't reject it because it was crappy, they rejected it because they disagreed with it.

Aggie said...

Owen said @ 8:09 am: "This is the world in small: ELJ is committing suicide in real time and we all get to watch. They’ve poured high-test all over themselves and flicked the Bic, and now our only action is to stand upwind and watch them burn."

The editors of the ELJ didn't pour gasoline over themselves, they poured it over the ELJ. And each one of them will graduate and go on to their chosen career path. The next round of law students will inherit the smoldering ruin of the ELJ, no further reputation left aside from a few ignitable sticks. We can guess what they'll do with them.

That's a pure example of the phenomenon of institutional deconstruction: It's entitled Progressive Democrats, all the way down.

Ann Althouse said...

"...which had only 11 eleven pages. ???"

I noted that in the update to my post.

I assumed the text was the same but that print and margin sizes caused the pagination to differ.

But it's possible that the text Turley linked to is not the same text the editors reacted to.

hombre said...

Evidently, the ELJ powers, don’t understand the “advocacy” part of lawyering. What a surprise for them when they learn that not all lawyers can be law professors or judges. Even those who choose politics will find it necessary to face and counter opposing viewpoints - until the Democrats achieve one party rule, that is.

Christopher B said...

The reason there is only one usage of 'the blacks' and 'the whites' is the phrases are a reference to the immediately preceding hypothetical. He was distinguishing his reference to that example.

Yeah, we don't have read nuttin' any more. Just search for the words that indicate the author is guilty of bad-think.

Achilles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandinande said...

– and everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it – is the cultural factors

I don't know that, because I think it's false.

If you correct for IQ, the life results of blacks is very similar to the life results of whites, ~90% the same in measurable values, like income or years of education.

[page mis-match] I noted that in the update to my post.

I couldn't find any mention of "criminality and heredity" in the paper.

Achilles said...

Owen said...

This is the world in small: ELJ is committing suicide in real time and we all get to watch. They’ve poured high-test all over themselves and flicked the Bic, and now our only action is to stand upwind and watch them burn.

No.

This is the historical norm. The aristocracy has always acted like this. People have always attached themselves to those they perceive to be in power. Tribal allegiance and ideological possession are often linked.

The ELJ is owned by big money. It does what the aristocracy tells them to do.

It took a black swan event for the formation of the United States to occur.

It took a historical miracle for free speech for the serfs to become a thing. The day we became citizens of the United States the aristocracy began trying to get their serfs back.

And a majority of college students want to repeal the first amendment right now.

You people take your freedom for granted. You are going to have to fight these people for your right to speak. They are demonstrating that they are willing to fight to take it from you.

Wince said...

"Everyone knows... whether they admit it."

Perhaps his subtext is that those now riding the academic wave of decrying racism (despite so much civil rights progress in the legal arena) were the very ones who set in motion, primarily through the urban social/economic policies they advocated, the "cultural factors that have produced family disintegration, which in turn portends poor educational achievement, crime and poverty."

hombre said...

As to Alexander’s assertion that “everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it”, he is too generous. It is highly probable, if not certain, that he is correct about the “real impediment to the advancement of blacks.” It is far less probable that “everyone knows” it. Alexander fails to take responsibility for his own intelligence by recognizing the extent of stupidity in this country, particularly in academia.

“Everyone should know this ...” more accurately accounts for the presence of nitwits among his readers.

Achilles said...

Fernandinande said...

– and everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it – is the cultural factors

I don't know that, because I think it's false.

If you correct for IQ, the life results of blacks is very similar to the life results of whites, ~90% the same in measurable values, like income or years of education.


I can't think of any arguments that the Aristocracy would rather have their opponents fall back on than this one.

Judging people's worth by how well they compare to University Professors is not particularly accurate nor is it particularly smart.

The lowest quintile in any profession becomes the teachers for the next generation of that profession. If they could they would be doing it.

And yet these people came up with a way to measure intelligence that miraculously said professors are the smartest people in the world.

Lem said...

There is a video channel dedicated to reading passages from Dr Thomas Seoul's books. One in particular seems relevant here.

Link to video - The Rise of Scotland and Japan Contrast to Black America | Thomas Sowell

Back in the 80's I remember a free speech debate on CSPAN, a college president saying that the answer to bad speech was more speech, not less speech. That was the first time I heard that, and I never forgot it.

Later I saw that college president in a Woody Allen movie.

Dave Begley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"The real impediment to the advancement of poor blacks – and everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it – is the cultural factors"

No. Charles Murray would like to have a word. Alexander misses one half of Facing Reality. Compare non-immigrant blacks who do well on all the "cultural factors" with disadvantaged Asians, and what do you find? Alexander pulls some punches.

"I considered saying what kind of legal scholarship simply makes assertions without citation and doubles down with the meta-assertion "everyone knows" — and tops it off with a taunt"

Yes, a weak move. Strong assertions need strong support, especially in this case.

"Unfortunately, that makes it seem as though you're conceding that you're in Alexander's "everyone" category."

Of course, from the lefty point of view, there's nothing unfortunate about it, and progs would acknowledge no such concession. This is simply another victory: a case of doubleplusungood wrongthink blocked, power over public discourse affirmed, justifiably hurt feelings soothed.

Misinforminimalism said...

"Unnecessarily divisive"? What's the amount of divisiveness that is necessary? Appropriate? Acceptable?

What this means, of course, is that certain people will disagree with the piece. But if no one disagrees with what you publish, what is the point of publishing?

(The answer is, of course, to perpetuate your entitlement to money and power.)

Fernandinande said...

"If you correct for IQ, the life results of blacks is very similar to the life results of whites, ~90% the same in measurable values, like income or years of education."

I can't think of any arguments that the Aristocracy would rather have their opponents fall back on than this one.


I'm not interested in what people want, I'm interested in what's true:

"On three indicators of success - income of full-time workers, educational attainment,and entry into prestigious occupations - the black-white discrepancy is effectively zero (or reverses) after controlling for IQ. But controlling for IQ only narrows the gap between blacks and whites on measures of poverty, unemployment, labor force participation, divorce,and illegitimacy. A sizable gap remains that must be explained by other factors."

Judging people's worth by how well they compare to University Professors is not particularly accurate nor is it particularly smart.

Nobody is judging people's worth or comparing them to university professors (what strange, pointless ideas you came up with!), and what I wrote was true: black/white differences in income and educational level disappear if you control for IQ.

rcocean said...

The adults need to take charge. Assuming there are any. And would people stop falling for the "some young employees" "a few students" are responsible? "Young employees" have no power to do anything. If the NYT or a book publisher does something its because the people with the real power want it to happen.

Same here. If the University President wants "Free Speech" you get it.

tim maguire said...

This excerpt is the kind of writing I roll my eyes at. Unsupported assertion after unsupported assertion. Even if you don't want to enforce rigorous citation, at least give examples for the big stuff and a bit of a logical structure to carry you past the remaining unsupported claims.

Presumably a good editor could make it readable; perhaps Emery wasn't prepared to spend that much time on one essay.

Ann Althouse said...

Please don't use my comments section to name private citizens and say negative things about them. That's off topic, and I wouldn't choose to blog about such a person unless something was newsworthy.

I know it looks ironic in a thread about censorship, but I know what I'm doing and I believe in it. And this is my place.,

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

"Everyone knows," essay or otherwise, is not true. "Every reasonable person knows" would have been more appropriate and arguably a true statement. A good example of how this applies in another context is, "Every reasonable person knows there was no insurrection one year ago today." "Everyone knows" there was no insurrection is not true as incredible as this seems.

Achilles said...

Fernandinande said...


I'm not interested in what people want, I'm interested in what's true:

Brilliant work. Truly visionary!

Now what kind of policy are you proposing based on this argument?

You can keep telling Black people they are just too stupid. Throw a bunch of them in jail. Force them to live in certain places away from peaceful people. Send their kids to special schools.

Somehow I don't think that is going to work particularly well. Almost as if that has been tried before.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

Please don't use my comments section to name private citizens and say negative things about them. That's off topic, and I wouldn't choose to blog about such a person unless something was newsworthy.

I know it looks ironic in a thread about censorship, but I know what I'm doing and I believe in it. And this is my place.,


Fine.

I will delete my post.

But I am going to reiterate my point in as non-personal way as possible.

We all know people in our personal lives who want to take away the first amendment. The venn diagram for these people and advocates of gun control and advocates for BLM burning down police stations and purveyors of the Brian Sicknick blood libel and purveyors of the Russian Collusion hoax and supporters of corporate censorship is virtually identical.

They are willing to base their paradigm on lies. When their lies are uncovered they call for censorship. Well all else fails they resort to political violence and abuse of government force.

They must be defeated.

Owen said...

Achilles: your prose is muscular today. Certainly provocative. I am increasingly inclined to see the issue not as systemic racism but the even more fundamental problem of systemic suppression of critical thought and speech. When the editor-in-chief of a once-prestigious law journal, as her reason for rejecting an essay that she herself invited, cites her “discomfort” and her board’s perception of “hurtfulness,” we are no longer in the realm of reason, logic or data. We are in a padded room and it’s time for a diaper change.

Drago said...

There is no "contoversy".

Leftists have assumed power and complete control over most institutions in the US and are now doing what ALL leftists have done anywhere they gain power: surpressing the speech of dissenters.

This has only happened every single time, without exception.

So, naturally, this latest example of just that was clearly "unexpected".

Not to worry though.

This time it will be different though...because the "right people" will be doing it.

Drago said...

rcocean: "The adults need to take charge."

Unfortunately, usually The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House!....

Achilles said...

Owen said...

Achilles: your prose is muscular today. Certainly provocative. I am increasingly inclined to see the issue not as systemic racism but the even more fundamental problem of systemic suppression of critical thought and speech. When the editor-in-chief of a once-prestigious law journal, as her reason for rejecting an essay that she herself invited, cites her “discomfort” and her board’s perception of “hurtfulness,” we are no longer in the realm of reason, logic or data. We are in a padded room and it’s time for a diaper change.

You are right.

The aristocracy uses division to keep the masses fighting amongst themselves and easily controlled. They divide by race, gender, preference, socioeconomics, whatever they can get a hold of. When that isn't enough they create new ways to divide creating new pronouns and word salads.

They have turned a generation of University Student into reactionaries that shut down any discussion of this. These students are pushing for re-segregation of our society right now.

They are trying to turn back the American Experiment in freedom and equal protection and go back to their caste systems of old.

Tina Trent said...

Emory University's School of Law -- which consistently scores lower on the bar passage rates than the cheap public school downtown -- excitedly put a serial rapist/Innocence Project pet on their board of trustees after he was popped for the wrong rape, in the same apartment building where he was also caught in a stranger's apartment about to rape her, as he had done many others. They hired terrorist, known torturer, and professional apologist (at least) for cop killers, Kathleen Cleaver, whose poorly hand-typed "vitae" is a laughable disgrace to the profession. But of course she wasn't hired to actually do any work: she was hired to advocate for the murder of police. She did no research, no writing, no teaching, just collected a six figure salary while endorsing North Korean fascism from her pad on the beach.

Emory students pay hundreds of thousands of dollars so that certain preening professors can yank off about social justice. That's the real crime.

retail lawyer said...

Actual working lawyers with real clients must listen to a shocking amount of "hurtful language" to effectively perform their job. Students have to toughen up and if exposure to it law school is unacceptable, they should consider a different career.

campy said...

"... until the Democrats achieve one party rule, that is."

So just until November? No problem, then.

Michael K said...

One of the major reasons I am glad to be retired from teaching students, even medical students. Medical education is going "Woke" like law schools. The results will be incompetent graduates.

Leland said...

Here is a video of Denzel Washington making the same point.

Christopher B said...

To those folks complaining about unsubstantiated assertions and poor phrasing, recognize that if he had written

The real impediment to the advancement of poor blacks – and everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it – is systemic racism, which in turn portends poor educational achievement, crime and poverty.

all of the folks currently trying to cancel his essay would be cheering him on.

rehajm said...

Kathleen Cleaver, whose poorly hand-typed "vitae" is a laughable disgrace to the profession. But of course she wasn't hired to actually do any work: she was hired to advocate for the murder of police. She did no research, no writing, no teaching, just collected a six figure salary while endorsing North Korean fascism from her pad on the beach.

Emory students pay hundreds of thousands of dollars so that certain preening professors can yank off about social justice.


…answering the question why free tuition advocates don’t demand colleges and universities offer free tuition…

…also file away for the next time some loser demands proof of who is funding the leftie advocate industry.

Not Sure said...

It's always seemed strange to me that law reviews are edited by students.

Why are these extracurricular romps treated as the pinnacle of legal scholarship?

Drago said...

Not Sure: "Why are these extracurricular romps treated as the pinnacle of legal scholarship?"

They are no longer treated that way by any thinking person.

Law Reviews were once populated by only the highest performing students who would be asked to contribute and edit, all on top of their normal studies.

Naturally, the left got hold of this and did with it what they always do: destroy standards and make it a joke.

Interestingly, one of the early beneficiaries of this destruction of standards and performance was The Lightbringer Obama, who was given the role as President of the Harvard Law Review where he produced zero scholarly articles or published works.

But only zero.

Not to worry though. After that fact came out during the 2008 campaign, a campaign where for the first time both major party candidates despised and hated republican base voters, the media (Politico) magically found a previously unsigned and unattributed article that was "suddenly discovered" to have been written by obama...(wink wink)!!

Golly gee, what good "luck", eh?

And so timely too.....

Fûz said...

rejham: "Did they invite him because they knew he would write something they could object to?"

Reverse trolling. Kinda like Buffy asking Spike into the house (vampires must be invited) so she can stake him.

Readering said...

Maybe Alexander, who has written many, many articles since graduating YLS in 1968, was being shrewd. No one reads published law review articles. Now, rejected law review articles....

Readering said...

Note that ELR did not reject the submission out of hand. They marked it up and demanded edits. I was not on a law review, but my understanding is that this is how things generally work. (Otherwise how could one be a law review editor, as opposed to
proofreader/bluebooker/cite-checker/typesetter?) This is a source of friction between law professors and student editors even when the topic isn't, "Why I think everyone knows that systematic racism, something the person we are honoring with a special issue believes in, is really just bs."

mikee said...

In the late 1980s loonie PETA types targeted animal experiments at Emory for violent protest. They were arrested trying to break into labs, and prosecuted, stopping their hijinks. In the same year, Justice Scalia spoke informally to an Emory law class and about 50 others (including yours truly, spouse of an Emory med student) without incident, protest or much publicity. His reception by students was polite.

Imagine either of those events happening like that nowadays on Emory's campus.

Narayanan said...

I note with interest :
ELJ = student journal
article submitted by /Professor/

student editor does not want to call ?Professor? article submitter on bad writing : asks gently for rewrite/resubmission

>>>> "Professor" article submitter umbraged and alll hellll breaks loooose

Commentters on this thread / Other professors with prestige side with /Professor/ article submitter and excoriate poor student who tried to use gentle words

traditionalguy said...

Emory has morphed itself into a self appointed elite business that pretends to provide an Education. In other words, Emory is still a top University sucking up the smartest students and warping them to believe the Woke Nonsense. Harvard has nothing on them.

Alan said...

Even if it's true that "correcting for IQ" has one group of people doing as well as others, that doesn't mean that the culture of that group doesn't hurt the group's overall performance. IQ depends in part (nobody knows how large that part is) on environment, and environment includes culture. Thomas Sowell's book "Intellectuals and Race" has the best discussion of this that I know of.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Unfortunately, that makes it seem as though you're conceding that you're in Alexander's "everyone" category.

What's "unfortunate" about that?

Isn't it good for censors to have their censorship blow up in their faces?

JaimeRoberto said...

Perhaps he should have used Hillary Clinton's formulation, "We now know...". People seem to eat that up.

Ann Althouse said...

"Please don't use my comments section to name private citizens and say negative things about them...."

"Fine. I will delete my post...."

I wasn't talking about you, but about someone who wrote a full name out. I don't mind referring to things private citizens might be doing, if they serve as a relevant example of something on topic, but I don't want to see names.

The posts I objected to, I deleted.

But thanks for being pro-active, though I don't know what you deleted.

Owen said...

Alan @ 2:20: "...Thomas Sowell's book 'Intellectuals and Race' has the best discussion of this that I know of."

Word. Let me guess that the ELJ folks have never cracked that book or anything like it.

Tina Trent said...

Readering. Forget the method: consider the content. They wanted him to submit to a radicalized form of identity politics that exist nowhere else so much as in law review submission. Plus, they asked him to take the time to write this one.

Legal academia is a joke, at best. And that is being kind. It's actually a steaming pile of bullshit, and while I don't blame Althouse for participating, she did squat to keep her profession from being destroyed by fascist thugs.

So she's one of those who can't admit that she stopped it. There are many ugly words for such cowards. Earned. Where were you when the pitch started?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

@Narayanan

They're not objecting to "Bad writing"

They're objecting to "wrong thing writing"

Because we have functioning brains, we excoriate the poor student (as in he's a very poor quality student) for his moronic behavior.

Dud that clear it up for you?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Readering said...
Note that ELR did not reject the submission out of hand. They marked it up and demanded edits. I was not on a law review, but my understanding is that this is how things generally work.

Yes, and when the requests are legitimate, they should get the edits back.

When the edits are ideological censoring by morons, OTOH, the proper response is to, in polite language, tell them to GFY.

We do appreciate your willingness to out yourself as the kind of person who likes to censor opponents, rather than try to prove them wrong.

Not a surprise, since people who know that their beliefs are crap do tend to be pro-censorship

Epsilon Given said...

Michael said: "I would never hire a lawyer who believes words are hurtful. What jackasses."

I would only hire a lawyer who believes words are hurtful -- because sometimes you need to inflict pain, and words are the lawyer's tools for doing this. The problem with Emory's dismissal of this "hurtful" essay is that sometimes, the truth hurts. And we can't fix things until we understand the truth.

It's also true that lies can hurt, but in a world filled with uncertainty, one of the best ways to uncover a lie, and get to the truth, is to put out something you believe to be true, and see it rebutted in a follow-up essay. In the process, a lot of people can get hurt. But getting to the truth isn't necessarily a painless process, yet it's something to be done.

While we don't seem to agree about how we'd hire our lawyers, we nonetheless reach the same conclusion:

What jackasses!