by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Professor Melissa Click of the University of Missouri criminally assaulted an undergraduate student and, though local prosecutors were slow to move on the case — there was video of the incident, and the facts were not in question — she eventually was charged with third-degree assault. She will not be convicted of a crime, and, so far, her tenure-track position is safe.
Ironies abound. Click, a professor of Lady Gaga studies (no, really), enjoyed an appointment in Mizzou’s journalism department, which for mysterious reasons is highly regarded. The undergraduate she assaulted was a student journalist going about his proper business, covering a campus protest of which Professor Click was one instigator. …
… What do we imagine would have happened to a young black man who criminally assaulted a white female college professor — and then, as Professor Click did, attempted to instigate mob violence against her? On campus? On video?
There would have been handcuffs, at least. He almost certainly would not have been given the option of performing 20 hours of community service in exchange for deferred adjudication, which is the deal Professor Click is getting from Columbia’s shamefully cowardly prosecutor, Steve Richey. He would not be, as Professor Click is, on track to a lifetime sinecure from which he effectively cannot be fired.
Other scenarios are worth considering: Say the assault had been perpetrated by a burly football coach against a young black woman. We’d have had the president himself baying for blood.
But he’s selective in his baying. A few months back congressional Republicans found themselves dismayed that the Veterans Affairs hospitals had, through their negligence and stupidity, killed more of our servicemen than died during any year of the Iraq war, and then engaged in a massive criminal cover-up. Legislation was introduced to make it easier to fire people for — let’s focus here — killing veterans through their negligence and stupidity. But government employees are the single most important Democratic interest group, and the president and his congressional allies complained that the bill was too harsh on public servants who were killing veterans through their negligence and stupidity. And so the bill died in the Senate, with Donald Trump’s pals Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer breathing a sigh of relief.