Next Up: Book Burnings

Three trends on college campuses all came together in the case of Keith Sampson:

  • Rampant political correctness
  • A newfound "right" for protected groups to be free from being offended, a right that now seems to trump free speech
  • The fetishization of symbolism over substance, and the belief that other people's reactions to an act is more important than the nature of that act itself.

Here is an excerpt from his story:

IN November, I was found guilty of "racial harassment" for reading a public-li brary book on a university campus.

The book was Todd Tucker's "Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting
Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan I was reading it on break from my
campus job as a janitor. The same book is in the university library.

Tucker recounts events of 1924, when the loathsome Klan was a dominant
force in Indiana - until it went to South Bend to taunt the Irish
Catholic students at the University of Notre Dame.

When the
KKK tried to rally, the students confronted them. They stole Klan robes
and destroyed their crosses, driving the KKK out of town in a downpour.

I read the historic encounter and imagined myself with these
brave Irish Catholics, as they street-fought the Klan. (I'm part-Irish,
and was raised Catholic.)

But that didn't stop the Affirmative
Action Office of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis from
branding me as a detestable Klansman.

They didn't want to hear
the truth. The office ruled that my "repeatedly reading the book . . .
constitutes racial harassment in that you demonstrated disdain and
insensitivity to your co-workers."

A friend reacted to the finding with, "That's impossible!" He's right. You can't commit racial harassment by reading an anti-Klan history....

But the $106,000-a-year
affirmative-action officer who declared me guilty of "racial
harassment" never spoke to me or examined the book. My own union - the
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - sent an
obtuse shop steward to stifle my freedom to read. He told me, "You
could be fired," that reading the book was "like bringing pornography
to work."


  1. morganovich:

    this reminds me of the professor and the politician who were hounded for using the word "niggardly" which numerous ignorant listeners took to be a racist term. the anger/retribution machine of many of these PC groups astounds me. they are so ready to find fault and go on the offensive over perceived slights that they fail to see that they are not acting with the tolerance and liberalism they espouse but are instead tyrants in their own right. liberty for me but not for you is fascism, pure and simple.

  2. Bill:

    So apparently the taxpayers in Indiana are on the hook for over $100K per year (not counting the palatial fringe benefits) for this functionally illiterate drone of an affirmative-action officer. I'm not sure I expect an AFSCME shop steward to have an IQ above room temperature, but you'd think the state should get better for over $100K per year.

    I would be willing to bet that there will be no discipline for either this fool or his or her supervisors.

  3. vanderleun:

    "there will be no discipline for either this fool or his or her supervisors."

    Not at all. To do so would be racism.

  4. Mesa Econoguy:

    One of my friends was kicked out of Williams College for a joke in bad taste.

    Until parents (and alumni) wake up and start demanding accountability of college administrators and faculty (including termination), this trend will continue to expand.

    I’d like to see more lawsuits brought against educational institutions for discrimination. That would get their attention.

  5. JW:

    Warren--They apparently came to their senses, sort of.