University of Pennsylvania

A columnist for Philadelphia magazine weighed in on that University of Pennsylvania frat Christmas card with the Beyonce sex doll The College Fix noted last week, saying everyone’s getting a bit careless in throwing the “racist” claim around:

In addition to the potentially offensive words “Merry Christmas,” the appearance of not one but two Dallas Cowboys shirts, and some guy who seems to be biting into a large fish (for the love of God, somebody page PETA!), the Penn bros also chose to include in their photo a naked blow-up sex doll with brown skin.

Stupid? Yes. Tasteless? Yes. But racist? I dunno, folks. I’d be more offended by the Cowboys shirts. (Or by the fact that the frat is apparently lacking in African-American membership, at least based on the photo.) The photo neither states nor implies that the young men think that whites are superior to blacks, that black people are evil, that there’s anything wrong with being black, that black people are somehow suspicious. …

So they’re not racist, because that is what racism is — a dehumanizing belief in the superiority of one race over another.

It’s just the latest of many overwrought “racist” incidents, columnist Victor Fiorillo says, which includes:

  • an Urban Outfitters holiday party that asked attendees to wear “jutis, kurtans, turbans, saris, lehenga cholis and harem parents”
  • a birthday cake given to a University of Maryland sorority sister stamped with “suck a nigga dick” – possibly “an allusion to the outrageously offensive Three Six Mafia song ‘Suck a Nigga Dick‘”

Thoughtless accusations don’t promote dialogue, Fiorillo says:

You call someone a racist and everybody freaks out. The accused racists are shamed, silenced, and stigmatized. And any chance for a meaningful discourse implodes. And if anything is clear, it’s that a meaningful discourse is exactly what we need right about now.

Read the Philadelphia column.

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IMAGE: Phi Delta Theta’s Facebook page via Daily Pennsylvanian

It’s debatable whether a sex doll of any ethnicity should be in a Christmas photo, but Phi Delta Theta is in trouble for using a “dark-skinned” one in their Christmas card.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that the frat president has already apologized for the photo, posted to the frat’s Facebook page, and explaining to the “African Diaspora” campus group UMOJA that “the doll was a Beyoncé sex toy originally meant as a gag gift at the group’s Secret Santa event.”

Because Ferguson just happened, this is terribly offensive, the NAACP Penn chapter president said, and her reaction was mild compared to another group of activists:

“The inclusion of a racially and sexually charged object in such a flagrant fashion displays a serious and immediate need for repercussions that reflect the severity of this misogynistic, racist offense,” a joint statement issued by the 5B — the five umbrella coalitions for minority groups on campus — and the Penn Consortium for Undergraduate Women said. “We—UMOJA, APSC, UMC, Latin@ Coalition, Lambda Alliance, and PCUW—firmly believe that when an event like this marginalizes one of our communities, it marginalizes us all.”

“What particularly concerns us is how flippant this deeply misogynistic and racist choice seems to have been,” an addendum from the PCUW read.


Like many campus activists responding to claimed misogyny, these groups have a complete agenda for redress:

UMOJA specifically called for the chapter to be fined and its rush activities to be suspended until “a council of peers deem it acceptable to resume activity after and instituted education process.” Further, the group urged the Office of Student Affairs/Fraternity and Sorority Life to enforce “mandatory cultural competency courses for all members to resume activity…” and for the fraternity’s national organization to be notified.

So remember, Greeks… keep your sex dolls Caucasian.

Read the Daily article.

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IMAGE: Phi Delta Theta’s Facebook page via Daily Pennsylvanian

On Wednesday The College Fix reported on University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann’s participation in a “die-in” when protesters crashed a holiday party at her home.

What President Gutmann probably didn’t count on is that the campus police assigned to the party weren’t too pleased with her lying down on the floor with some of the protesters.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

Members of the Penn police force who were working at the party and witnessed Gutmann’s participation were “outraged,” said Eric Rohrback, president of the 116-member Penn police officers’ union.

“I am appalled that the president of this fine university would give in to the pressures of the uninformed mob mentality surrounding the Michael Brown case and participate in a ‘die-in’… ,” he wrote to The Inquirer. “It is a slap in the face to every person that wears this uniform and serves this university.”

Gutmann did not return a call for comment. Maureen S. Rush, Penn’s vice president for public safety and a former Philadelphia police officer, came to the president’s defense in an interview and a letter to her officers.

“I can assure you that her laying on the ground was not solidarity against police,” said Rush, who has led the department during Gutmann’s decade as president. “It was solidarity with students who are expressing their personal opinions. There’s not a doubt in my mind of Amy Gutmann’s loyalty and respect for law enforcement across the board and in particular the Penn police.”

Indeed, Rush said that the protesters “ambushed” Gutmann and claimed that she “was upset” at the turn of events.

The president of Penn State University faced a similar situation last week, The Inquirer notes, for doing a “hands up” stance with numerous black students in front of that school’s administration building.

Read the full article.

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University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann ended up joining student protesters in a “die-in” yesterday after they crashed a holiday party at her home.

The protesters carried signs which said “Black Lives Matter” and “No PILOTS, No Peace,” the latter a reference to demands that the college “donate” money to the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District.

Although President Gutmann participated in the “die-in,” she held firm on the money demands.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

“Students are trying to hold Penn accountable,” said Daniel Cooper Bermudez, 21, a senior political science major who lives in Philadelphia.

The party was scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m., and the protest began about 6:20, said Harry Cooperman, city news editor for the Daily Pennsylvanian, the campus newspaper.

Adrian Rios, 21, a senior international relations major from East Los Angeles, Calif., described the affair as “extravagant and disheartening,” with fake snow and “nonstop food.” He said about 50 protesters went to the party and were joined by about 50 attendees in the protest.

Gutmann told students, “Black lives matter – all lives matter. Black lives have not been served the way I and others would like them to be served,” according to the Daily Pennsylvanian.

When talk turned to PILOTs, Gutmann defended Penn’s position, noting its many contributions, including funding the Penn Alexander elementary school. Some students cut her off.

“A lot of us are very tired of hearing the same thing,” Bermudez said.

Gutmann eventually stopped trying to address the students and walked among them for a bit before leaving, Bermudez and Rios said.

The students left the (crashed) party peacefully at its conclusion.

Read the full article.

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This past Monday, over one hundred University of Pennsylvania students marched through Philadelphia to protest the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown:

Protesters walked in fierce solidarity, responding to the leaders’ chants: “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
“I just don’t want my son, the child of an Ivy League graduate, to walk down the street in fear for his life,” a student who preferred to remain anonymous said at the protest.

This was along the lines of what New York City mayor Bill De Blasio said in reaction to the non-indictment of the officer who used a “chokehold” on (black) victim Eric Garner:

Mr. de Blasio told an audience that he worried over the years if his son Dante would be safe at night before adding, “And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”

Students at other Ivy League schools have expressed similar sentiments:

“I’m scared to go outside,” [Brianna] Alston said. “This is a real fearful situation for the black community.” (Columbia University)

“Business as usual can’t continue, our frivolities can’t continue while people are dying without reason and impunity,” [Stephanie] Amoako said. (Columbia)

“My brother is turning 20 next month, which means that he is solidifying his presence in a demographic of young black men between the ages of 19-25 in the United States who are disproportionately targeted by police brutality,” Karleh Wilson ’16 explained. “I worry about [my brother’s] safety under the hands of the law. My brother should feel safe among the presence of policemen, but he does not, and this is the same for all men of color his age in America.” (Yale)

A student at Harvard held a placard that read “This is Genocide.”

Nadia May recited a poem about “how she will mother her future children intertwined with commentary on racism and police brutality.” (Cornell)

A frequent refrain heard from “progressives” and Democrats — usually in snide rebuttal to conservatives/Republicans regarding global warming climate change — is that they’re “the party of science,” and the “believers in facts.”

So, is it really a fact that Ms. Alston and the others should be “scared to go outside” for fear of being killed by a police officer?

Compared to many other things out there in society, the answer is “hardly.”

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly this past week devoted a “Talking Points” segment to this issue. Here is what he noted, with sources from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the CDC, the FBI and the Census Bureau:

  • Police killings of blacks down 70% in last 50 years
  • In 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police with a gun
  • In 2012, 326 whites were killed with a gun
  • In 2013, blacks committed 5,375 murders
  • In 2013, whites committed 4,396 murders
  • Whites are 63% of the population blacks are 13%

To be fair, some have taken issue with these statistics. The Tampa Bay Times’ PunditFact site (a subsidiary of PolitiFact) argues that some of the figures are “incomplete” because, for example (in the CDC’s case), “coroners and physicians are under no obligation to detail police involvement in the deaths that they encounter.”

black-white-DryHundredFear.flickrHowever, ironically, PunditFact notes that the “whites killed by police figure” is artificially inflated because it includes Hispanics. But … weren’t we informed by the mainstream media in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident that Zimmerman was, in fact, a “white Hispanic”?? So … which is it? Do we refer to “white Hispanics” as “white” … or do we keep Hispanics as a separate category?

Then there is The Daily Dot which claims to have “debunked” O’Reilly’s “argument about racism in American policing”:

Secondly, what O’Reilly’s statistics show—but what O’Reilly leaves unsaid—is that black people are killed at disproportionately higher rates than white people by police officers. African Americans are 14 percent of the population but 30 percent of the police-shooting deaths. This is double the rate that one might expect from O’Reilly’s fantasy world in which race is not a factor.

The numbers get even grimmer when narrowed down a bit. Police kill young black men at a rate 21 times higher than the equivalent rate for young white men.

Which, unfortunately, completely omits any reference to vastly disproportionate black murder rate noted above by O’Reilly. It is quite disingenuous to expect “proportionate representation” in law enforcement killings when the (race-based) crime rate isn’t even close to being such.

The mainstream media also doesn’t help matters by omitting virtually identical types of stories … but where the races are reversed. For instance, a Trayvon Martin-like tale involved a (black) man named Roderick Scott. Scott shot and killed seventeen year-old Christopher Cervini, who was white. Cervini and two others were stealing from cars when Scott confronted them. Scott pulled out a gun and told the boys to freeze until police arrived. However, Cervini apparently charged Scott, who then opened fire, killing the teen.

After a trial, Scott was found “not guilty” of manslaughter.

Some of the comments afterwards by Cervini’s family sound awfully familiar:

Cervini’s family members say justice wasn’t served. They say Christopher was murdered in cold blood, that he’d never been in trouble and Scott acted as judge, jury and executioner.

“The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered.”

With regards to the Michael Brown case, two years ago a black police officer shot and killed unarmed white teenager Gilbert Collar in Mobile, Alabama. But, “despite public pressure for an indictment, a Mobile County grand jury refused to bring charges against Officer [Trevis] Austin, concluding that the officer acted in self-defense.”

Collar was under the influence of an hallucinogen when taken into custody. He was 5’7″ and weighed a mere 135 pounds. Once at the police station, Collar “began banging on the outside windows, then walked in the general direction of Officer Austin, who had his gun drawn.”

Austin shot Collar in the chest, killing him.

You can argue about the reasons we didn’t hear about these stories; however, many would say it’s because it doesn’t fit the (usual) media narrative.

The “party of science and facts” does itself, and everyone else, a big disservice by continuing to stand by a discredited narrative. Once the facts — science — came forth from the Ferguson grand jury that Michael Brown did not, in fact, have his hands up, supporters promptly stated “it doesn’t matter.”

Recently, DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton repeated as much. When asked if she had “read all the evidence” in the Brown case, she replied “I did not, and that is not a concern.”

Further, will the mainstream media heavily cover what Erica Garner said (her father being the aforementioned New York City suspect placed in a chokehold who later died as a result, according to a coroner) this week about her father’s death — that it wasn’t a racial matter? That it was more about general police aggression and misuse of tactics?

Any rational and reasonably intelligent American is cognizant of the historic plight of African-Americans. It is certainly understandable that many in that community harbor a degree of mistrust of police; it wasn’t all that long ago when the law made it a crime for black Americans to even sit at the same lunch counter as whites.

But it does no American — black, white, brown — any good to promote falsehoods which serve to shred the entire American community asunder.

We have competent legal procedures in place to rectify a miscarriage of justice — led by the top law enforcement officer in the land, Eric Holder, a black man. The most recent of these unfortunate police killings  (that of  Eric Garner) appears to be a case where the feds can make a compelling case in the typical follow-up investigation.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

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INTERIOR IMAGE: Dry Hundred Fear/Flickr

After more videos came forth of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber pretty much putting his foot in his mouth, two universities took swift action in “rectifying” the situation.

The first, the University of Pennsylvania, took down a 2013 panel discussion featuring Gruber back on November 10. They put it back up, however, fairly quickly.

Last Monday, the University of Rhode Island removed their own Gruber video, “a 2012 discussion where Gruber explains how the law was passed to ‘exploit’ the American voters’ ‘lack of economic understanding.’”

Dave LaVallee, assistant communications director at the school, initially told National Review Online that the university was “currently investigating” why the video was deleted.

On Friday, URI posted the following explanation:

On Monday, November 17, the Associated Press – Broadcast News Center requested clearance to use a video of a lecture presented by MIT Professor of Economics Jonathan Gruber at the University of Rhode Island on October 30, 2012, as part of its Honors Colloquium series. The speakers in the series, or their representatives, require the University to sign contracts that specify distribution approvals and/or language relating to their presentations including the posting of videos to the University’s website. In reviewing the Gruber contract before responding to the AP request, it was clear that the University needed written permission to post the lecture to its website. The University, therefore, immediately removed the lecture from its website and contacted the agency holding the copyright of Professor Gruber’s lecture to secure permission to repost. The agency will not provide its consent to the University to repost the video.

Interesting how the contract/permissions issue didn’t seem to be much of a concern before last Monday.

h/t to Douglas Ernst.

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