Cancel Culture at John Marshall and Cornell Law Schools

Incidents at Cornell University's famous Law School, and more recently at the University of Illinois-Chicago John Marshall School of Law raise concerns over whether prospective attorneys should choose these programs. Legal Insurrection reports that the usual crybullies, including John Marshall's Black Law School Association (BLSA), called for a law school professor to be fired for including the following problem statement in an examination. Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson also weighed in on this.

"Employer’s lawyer traveled to meet the manager, who stated that she quit her job at Employer after she attended a meeting in which other managers expressed their anger at Plaintiff, calling her a ‘n*****’ and ‘b****’ (profane expressions for African Americans and women) and vowed to get rid of her." The rest of the question appears to relate to interrogatories whose purpose is to identify witnesses to the discriminatory behavior in question.

The law school canceled the professor's class and said he violated its nondiscrimination policy. The school's response to the crybullies should have been instead, "This is, in case you haven't noticed, a law school. The professor has given you an example of a blatant hostile and discriminatory work environment. How would you obtain redress for the African-American woman in question? A good lawyer should be able to argue both sides of a case, so how might you defend the employer? The employer might, despite the other managers' racist and misogynist behavior, have a defense if it '…can prove that: 1) it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.' If you do not want to deal with questions of this nature, the 'woke' gender studies department is in that building over there."

The EEOC's website adds "The victim does not have to be the person harassed, but can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct" which suggests that the manager who quit because of this conduct, as well as the African-American plaintiff, might also have a case against the employer in the absence of the defenses cited above. I am not an attorney but, if you were the hypothetical African-American plaintiff who was subjected to this workplace abuse, would you want an attorney whose first move is to look up the appropriate EEOC regulations, or one who goes triggered snowflake crybully on the instructor?

It is also deeply concerning that the same crybullies who called for the professor to be fired for using the indicated words in an obviously condemnatory context remain silent, as in, you know, "silence is violence," when Al Sharpton uses the N word on Black people he dislikes, Caucasian and even Black (heard in this video) BLM demonstrators use it on Black police officers, and rap artists such as Rico Nasty sing about smacking [female dogs] while others dehumanize Black women as "hoes" and sing about killing police officers and burning Asian-owned stores. This behavior is unacceptable from anybody regardless of race.

Should New York Students Pick SUNY over Cornell Law?

Cornell's BLSA responded to a professor's accurate condemnations of Black Lives Matter. "He has gone as far as to declare that the movement seeks to 'tear down our society to achieve their Marxist goals.'" This reminds me of the old adage, “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table." Here are the facts from BLM Global Network's own website: "This is the revolution. Change is coming." PolitiFact adds the balanced statement that, while most of the BLM movement is not Marxist, two of the central founders and leaders have described themselves as Marxist-trained. This article in Teen Vogue says meanwhile, "It may be too soon to call this a revolution, but it has the makings to be one," and images of burning police cars are not very helpful to BLSA's side of the story either.

Cornell's BLSA also wrote that Breonna Taylor was "murdered." Taylor's death, and also the non-fatal shooting of a police officer during the same incident, both resulted, as I understand, from police executing a no-knock search warrant of the wrong house. What happened to both Taylor and the cop must never be allowed to happen to anybody again, but nobody was murdered. Any first-year law student, not to mention faculty member -- and at least eighteen Cornell Law School faculty made the same statement about Taylor -- knows or ought to know that a false public accusation of a crime is libel per se.

While Cornell Law School Dean Eduardo Peñalver was quick enough to use a Cornell website to criticize a colleague for the latter's condemnation of Black Lives Matter, I cannot identify any action he took to counsel both BLSA and the faculty members in question against falsely accusing a police officer of murder. Even though the statements did not name the officer, he can be easily identified from the context. SUNY at roughly $25,000 a year plus fees and expenses might therefore be a better choice than Cornell at $71,500 a year. The roughly $140K difference not spent at Cornell during three years will be worth, to an attorney who graduates at age 25 (assuming an annual stock market rate of return of eight percent) $3 million if he or she retires at age 65. SUNY adds "Our students graduate to work at the same law firms and earn the same starting salaries as those who attend pricey private law schools."

The letter by the Law School Faculty added that there was "…a smear campaign against Black Lives Matter." Lawyers-in-training need to understand that they will not be able to make the truth go away in a court of law, or the court of public opinion, by calling it a smear. BLM has encouraged looting, supported the "dismantling" of Israel, and other appalling behaviors totally irrelevant to the group's purported mission. I have meanwhile yet to identify any constructive action BLM has taken to, for example, put the subjects of false arrests for walking while Black or driving while Black in contact with attorneys who handle these cases on a contingency basis.

Dean Peñalver meanwhile criticized his colleague for "…casting broad and categorical aspersions on the goals of those protesting for justice for Black Americans, do not reflect the values of Cornell Law School as I have articulated them" even though the goals of the protesters (and rioters, vandals, and looters) in question go well beyond justice and equality for African-Americans. If BLM wants only to protest racial discrimination and excessive use of force by police, I'll line up with it on the spot. The instant anybody incites looting, vandalism, rioting, or arson, or advocates the "dismantling" of Israel, however, the left-of-center Beatles sum up the case against BLM perfectly: "We all want to change the world/ But when you talk about destruction/ Don't you know that you can count me out."

Civis Americanus is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way. He or she is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to "cancel culture" for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.

Image: Cornell Law School and John Marshall School of Law

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