Culture

Social Justice Math: Better Eight Innocent Men Be Punished Than One or Two Guilty Men Go Free

Just when you thought campus rape hysteria could not grow more absurd, along comes Colorado Democrat Jared Polis:

“If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable like­li­hood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 peo­ple,” Polis said. “We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about them being transferred to another university, for crying out loud.”

Sure, it’s no big deal to get thrown out of school and labeled a possible rapist. There are absolutely no meaningful ramifications for your education, your career, or your personal life. Incredibly, people actually applauded this nonsense. If universities actually adopted that position, however, I’d immediately resign from National Review, file an avalanche of litigation, and then pitch Rich story ideas from my new yacht, named Sue U.

No one denies that rape happens on campus. But college students are safer from rape than non-students, and criminal law of course mandates severe punishment for rape (often including the death penalty, until the Supreme Court found constitutional protections for rapists). Rape hysteria, however, creates an entirely new class of victims — innocent young men caught up in the Salem Witch Trials of modern academe. I’ve spoken to multiple parents of young men who’ve been — among other things — snatched out of class by campus police, subjected to amateurish extortion plots, convicted in kangaroo campus courts without a semblance of due process, and even thrown in jail for days at a time, prohibited from sharing clearly exculpatory evidence. But according to Representative Solis and his cheering section, if those kids aren’t dead or (currently) in prison, they have no cause to complain.

I would say that this isn’t social justice, it’s oppression. However, social justice is oppression, and the Left is only too happy to do the oppressing.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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