There is an interesting lawsuit in Ohio against Oberlin College by a small family-owned bakery over a racially charged case of shoplifting. Gibson’s Bakery alleges that school officials encouraged a boycott over false accusations of racism after three Oberlin students were arrested at the business. What is curious is that the students pleaded guilty to the charges and the Oberlin police found no evidence of racism, but the bakery is still be accused of racial profiling and running a “racist establishment.”
To the relief of many (including many Republicans), Roy Moore was defeated tonight in a very close election. Almost 2 percent of voters elected to vote for write-in candidates. That margin may have been the determinative factor for Doug Jones to prevail. I have been a critic of Moore for many years and obviously did not hide my view that he represented both a legal and moral hazard. In my view, his defeat was far better for the GOP than his victory. His presence in the Senate would have presented a constantly corrosive and divisive element for the GOP in seeking to defend the Senate majority in 2018.
Even as a long-standing critic of Roy Moore, it has been painful to watch the embarrassing defenses of his lawyers, the truly bizarre statements of his spokesman, and defenses of his supporters. Last night however was like entering a truly twisted alternative universe as Moore’s friend countered multiple claims of Moore’s pursuit of young girls and his wife defended against his alleged anti-Semitism. The proof? Moore once turned down underaged prostitutes and one of his lawyers is a Jew. The optics and rhetoric coming from the campaign seem to struggle to fulfill stereotypes like riding to the polls on a horse named “Sassy” as reporters pursue you to answer questions over sexual misconduct.
There is a brewing controversy at Fordham University where students were thrown out of a coffee shop called Rodrigue’s Coffee House simply because they were wearing pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” hats. The manager of the shop insisted that the hats violated its “safe space” policy as if being conservative is now a de facto threat to other students. We recently discussed an increase in such conflicts in coffee shops targeting conservatives and Trump supporters. In this case, the encounter was captured on tape (below) and raises serious questions about the function of some “safe spaces” and whether it is code for an area protected from conservative views or voices.
The GW Hatchet, our award-winning student newspaper, has another interesting article this week on the establishment of a new group on campus, the Internationalist Students’ Front, an anti-fascist, anti-nationalist organization. They are advocates of internationalism, a position similar to the prior world socialist movement. The addition of such groups are a good thing for our university in bringing diverse and passionate views to our campus debates. However, it is worrisome that the first organized effort of the group is reportedly to ban a book on campus.
It was one of the most disturbing crimes in recent memory in Chicago. A white mentally disabled man was tortured live on Facebook by a group of African American attackers shouting racist epithets. We discussed the case as a possible hate crime. Charges were brought against David Rahman, 20, and Eli Smith, 20, and Elizabeth Haela, 17. The men are accused of dragging the 23-year-old victim around the house, punching him, kicking him, burning him with a lighter and sexually assaulting him. They were charged with rape, kidnapping and multiple counts of assault and battery. Haela was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for kicking the victim. She has now been sentenced to only probation for four years.
Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on a little known case involving Trump attorney John Dowd and the broader issue of conflicts among key players in the Russian investigation.
Here is the column: