Freedom of SPEECH at OU?

Dear President Obama,

Fox News liberal analyst Juan Williams surprised me the other day when he said about the recent Oklahoma University SAE Frat scandal that OU president Boren had made a mistake in summarily throwing the fraternity off the campus and ordering the SAE residence vacated immediately, forcing all the students to get all their stuff out and find somewhere else to live. Apparently, Boren took that action over a nine-minute video showing SAE members singing a song he considered offensive to African Americans. The song was offensive and even included the n-word.

It was predictable from the start that legal action was in the offing, especially since the parents of fraternity members are usually well-heeled and often can wield a very big stick without having to walk softly. Williams was right, not because the video was not offensive but because the guys who sang the song had the right of freedom of speech just as the rappers, probably 99% black, have the right to call very publicly for the murder of white cops and the rape of any female available. And this is just some of their milder stuff.

Apparently, Boren made the sad mistake of acting impulsively without thinking things through and without enough actionable information to warrant doing anything. This is the same mistake Obama and Holder made with regard to the Ferguson matter last summer and the Trayvon Martin thing in Sanford, Florida, a while back. It's the same mistake Obama made in 2009 when without any information he said the police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, acted stupidly. He was dead wrong.

I saw on CNN on 13 March a press conference held by an attorney (represented Timothy McVeigh in 1995) who has been engaged by the local SAE organization at OU. He, of course, mentioned the obvious, that no sort of hearing was held to get the facts straight. For instance, the bus on which the video was made was only one of five in the entourage furnishing transportation connected to the event in question. Should Boren have made the effort to see just who and/or how many people were involved in the offensive behavior?

It was reported that two students had been expelled. The attorney indicated that both students withdrew before Boren got into the matter. It was reported that other actions might be taken by the university, meaning Boren, of course, who served as both governor of Oklahoma in the 70s and as a U.S. senator 1979-94. He should have known better than to act summarily and by now probably has discovered that certain hoops have to be negotiated before action as drastic as his can be undertaken.

Remember the Lacrosse Affair at Duke University in 2006. Three players were accused by an African American woman of rape at a party in which she was hired as a stripper...admittedly, nothing pretty about that. For some strange reason, the team's inordinately successful coach, Mike Pressler, was forced to resign even though he had just been given a new 3-year contract and graduated 100% of his players over 16 years.

The rest of the season was suspended, a large faculty-group was up in arms and the university assumed that the players were guilty. The president of Duke acted just as Boren did, though maybe he wouldn't have if the affair had concerned the basketball team. The players were innocent. The woman had plenty of DNA proof but not from the guys charged or, apparently, any other Duke lacrosse player. It would be fun just to go through the lawsuit material in that fiasco, something Boren might be facing.

Freedom of speech is just that—freedom to speak, or sing. Political correctness freaks scream for something chargeable and called “hate speech,” which is just what anyone says it is...in this case, Boren. If a black group or a rapper had sung something about whiteys in connection with the f-word, they might have been admonished to be nice, certainly not suspended or thrown off the campus. That's the way political correctness works, and Boren would probably agree...at this point.

The 9-second ditty was offensive but so were both Obama (Jimmy Kimmel show) and Holder in their agreement that the Ferguson protests (protesters) were justified. Protesters burned down part of Ferguson twice and two white police officers have been shot. For them and Obama and Holder that's freedom of speech—burn and shoot—and all their disclaimers contrariwise amount to naught.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark