March 19, 2004

Consciousness Raising Gone Bad

Power Line neatly wraps up the story of the staged hate crime at The Claremont Colleges. A visiting professor who had given a speech on racial intolerance on March 9 apparently didn't see enough of it following her talk, so the next day she created some . Witnesses said they saw her pull her car into a parking area with it already covered with spray-painted ethnic slurs, and proceed to slash her own tires. Not surprisingly, a fellow academic ignores her incendiary lie to postulate that she may have actually done some good...

Lee Ross, a social psychologist on the faculty at Stanford University, said that if Dunn is proven to have committed the vandalism, the professor may still have raised people’s awareness about racism. 'One ironic thing is that doing this may actually have accomplished some of her goals, if her goal was to make people feel that racism was present and that there was danger of white backlash, Ross said."

Sheesh. The only reported "backlash" is that students "staged sit-ins and anti-hate rallies" on campus, a group repudiation of the ugly incident. This sad excuse for a professor requires a certain level of racial hatred, real or manufactured, for her career to prosper, or indeed to have any relevance. That she had to fabricate her own hatred I suppose is a good sign. Dunn has been referred to as a "visiting professor". Visiting from where, I wonder? Any bets on whether or not she loses her job over this stunt?

All it shows me is that the students had a better idea of how to deal with their fellow humans in this matter than the sad, cynical self-promoter Professor Dunn did. By the way, Dunn is a white woman, and as such will have to satisfy her appetite for victimhood some other way. Not to worry. According to the AP story, this whole ordeal has been very tough on her...

Her attorney, Gary Lincenberg, issued a statement claiming it was inappropriate for police to accuse her. "The police statement is irresponsible and has irreparably damaged her reputation and emotional health," he said.

The damage to her "reputation" could be real, and would be well deserved. And one assumes there was something already amiss with her "emotional health".

UPDATE 3/20: Class Maledictorian has a well-linked post on the subject, as does the inestimable Critical Mass.

UPDATE 8/23/04: Hate crime hoaxer convicted.

Posted by dan at March 19, 2004 10:12 PM