Monday, May 09, 2011

Another Racism Hoax

What happens when a student falsely accuses a university of racism?

Well, if the liar happens to be a minority, then the answer is: not much.

Last month, Jonathan Perkins, a black, third year law student at the University of Virginia Law School penned a letter to the Virginia Law Weekly in which he alleged that university security guards had harrassed him while he walked home one night solely because he is black. Perkins went so far as to include comments he recalled security guards making during his encounter with them. He concluded his jermiad with what constitutes an indictment, not merely of the university, but of American society in general:

I am writing this column because it is important for my classmates to hear a real-life anecdote illustrating the myth of equal protection under the law. Incidents like this one are not surprising to me. Sadly, I have even grown to expect them.

Since this sort of thing is the Breakfast of Champions for the politcally correct/multicult crowd, they promptly fed on it like manna from heaven. The Virginia Law Rewiew composed an entire article featuring faculty and students chiming in the endorse Perkins' claims and attest to the racist nature of America and the university. Perkins' testimony was regarded as just one more piece of evidence in the ongoing leftist prosecution of white society.

Prof. Forde-Mazrui echoed these sentiments, saying that this type of conduct is present everywhere – as Perkins notes, this is not the first time he has been subjected to such treatment. Forde-Mazrui added an interesting corollary, pointing to the emails that the student body typically receives after an incident that warrants police attention: “These broad descriptions are troublesome because it makes it possible for officers to investigate anyone.” When a description is of a black male of indeterminate age, it casts such a wide net for police officers to operate with such little guidance, that even well-meaning officers are likely to engage in such interactions. “The fact that it is difficult to know whether the police were acting lawfully is itself part of the problem regarding the law surrounding law enforcement.”

University officials, eager to punish the racist security guards who'd dared to embarrass the school launched an investigation. Very quickly, however, that investigation exonerated the allegedly racist guards and revealed that Perkins' account of harassment was pure fiction. It never happened.

Confronted with the evidence, Perkins publicly recanted his story, explaining that while he'd lied, he'd done so with the best of intentions. His point, he said, was to draw attention to cases of real security police misconduct. By lying.(Remember, this is a third year law student.)

Naturally, the university immediately accepted this explanation and fell all over itself to excuse the liar.

“I am pleased that the student realized what he did was wrong and that he was willing to come forth to acknowledge his mistake,” said Leonard W. Sandridge, the University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We were distressed when we learned of his allegations. We took them very seriously and launched an immediate investigation on his behalf.”

The reason the University provides for not pressing charges is as follows:

“I recognize that police misconduct does occur,” [Michael A. Gibson, University chief of police] said. “Pressing charges in this case might inhibit another individual who experiences real police misconduct from coming forward with a complaint. I want to send the message just how seriously we take such charges and that we will always investigate them with care and diligence.”

Of course. Notice that Gibson apparently doesn't consider the possibility that failing to charge Perkins might actually encourage other potential liars to create their own hoaxes at his department's expense. And what of the security guards, themselves? What if the university hadn't been able to conclusively refute Perkins' story? How many guards would have been disciplined or fired just on the suspicion he was telling the truth? Apparently, the university is perfectly willing to stand by while its guards are defamed and their jobs deliberately endangered by deliverate lies from someone who is studying the law.

Does anyone seriously believe that the university be so lenient toward a white male student who falsely accused black guards or teachers of misconduct and was subsequently exposed as a liar? Not a chance. But Perkins is black, and thus, the rules just don't apply to him.

That is the message the university has sent in this case. Loudly, clearly and intentionally.

More information on the incident can be found at Above the Law.