The “Concerned Juniatian” was a student named Colin Daly. This was the very end of a much longer screed (You can read the whole, very long letter here) that the Juniatia College student sent to his campus community anonymously. Juniata is a small Pennsylvania liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, a Christian denomination. It is also apparently devoid of respect for such values as free speech, individuality, and dissent.
Daly, a senior, wrote the email without including his name but accidentally “left identifying information on the system he used to distribute his post to all of Juniata’s email accounts,” according to PennLive.
Before it identified Daly as the author, the college’s President James Troha wrote in a statement that the email contained “slurs, hateful language, and intimations of violence directed at members of our community on the basis of their identity.” There is no threat of any kind in the letter, and the “slurs” are words referred to as slurs, not used as slurs. Here’s the section of the letter I assume Troha is referring to:
I’d like to see Daly sue Troha for libel; I think he’d have a strong case.
The next day, after it was determined that Daly was the author, the college released a new statement. claiming that “law enforcement agencies are continuing their own investigations of the matter,” and suggesting that the letter’s author student may have broken state and federal laws.
That’s some education students at Juniata are getting.
“This kind of intolerance and bigotry at Juniata underscores the urgency and commitment with which we must work to achieve the promise of a just and equitable Juniata so that ALL members of our community are made to feel valued and included,” Troha concluded. As is now familiar in such statements, “just and equitable” doesn’t mean what we have been taught those words mean over the centuries, and “valued and included” applies only to those who conform to mandated agendas and cant.
Daly was summarily suspended, and the school really did complain to local police. The district attorney investigated by reading the letter, and said in a statement that there was no evidence of any prosecutable offenses.
The conduct of the college is indefensible, an unequivocal breach of the principles of liberal education, academic freedom and freedom of expression. The abuse of Daly is unconscionable. Once again, we see spineless administrators being led by the mob, in this case anticipating the sentiments of the totalitarian “woke” student body the school had created. One student tweeted that Daly’s letter proved “the need for a full time bias response team, a dean of diversity and inclusion, and queer/poc [person of color] counselors.” Another student created a petition calling for Daly’s expulsion.
The letter Daly wrote is thoughtful and well argued. It doesn’t matter whether you, or anyone, agrees with all of it, or any of it. Unlike the reaction to the letter, Daly’s arguments reflect well on the institution. The fact that he sent the letter anonymously is unfortunate, but excusable, especially when one considers the reaction to it by the school and his fellow students.
The tragic part of the story is that Daly didn’t have the courage of his convictions, and like so many older and presumably wiser victims of George Floyd Freakout bullying, from NFL quarterback Drew Brees to CEOs, newspaper editors and too many professors to count. The student’s principles crumbled under pressure, just as the nascent totalitarians assume their targets’ principles will, and are far too often proven correct.
Daly said he was horrified “at the lack of humanity, care, and empathy that I now realize I expressed in my letter…The person who wrote the letter is not the person I want to be. I am dedicating myself to a greater understanding of my neighbors, society and culture. I am sorry and will do better.”
They beat him. They broke him.
Such institutions are dangerous, and should be destroyed. I’ve found myself quoting the last line from “1984” often of late, but it has never been more appropriate than in reference to Colin Daly.
“He loved Big Brother.”
Pointer and Facts: College Fix.
Let me take this opportunity to salute College Fix and also Campus Reform for the indispensable job both sites do documenting the sickness on America’s college campuses.