When we last left furiously virtue-signaling Georgetown University Law Center it had fired veteran adjunct professor Sandra Sellers last week for discussing frankly but inadvertently over Zoom a situation that everyone connected with the Law Center knows to be real. GULC had also suspended her co-instructor David Batson for barely nodding his head during Sellers’ statement of frustration that black students too often end up at the bottom of her grading curve. Dean Treanor, in his statement declaring the intended private discussion as “reprehensible,” darkly insinuated that Batson had failed a “bystander responsibility.”
Now Batson has also resigned, in a letter sent to the Washington Post, saying,
“In the moment, my heartfelt response was to point the discussion toward what I believe is our personal responsibility — to be aware of and respond to potential unconscious bias in all our undertakings I understand, however, that I missed the chance to respond in a more direct manner to address the inappropriate content of those remarks.”
The content of Sellers statement was not inappropriate, since it was based on fact. There was no “bias” suggested in Sellers’ comments at all. How would Batson have addressed her reflections in a “more direct manner”? “You know, Sandra, while we all know that admitting black students with credentials that would not get them into Georgetown if they were white means that they are at a disadvantage from the moment they start classes, we can’t say that, admit that, or even think that.”
Was that what he missed a chance to say?
Batson is a groveling coward, another of many we are seeing enable the suffocation of open discourse in the U.S. as censorious bullies take charge. What he really missed a chance to say was something akin to,
The treatment of my colleague Sandra Sanders by this institution, particularly the unfair and unsupported insinuation that she was racially biased because she made a factual observation, was, to use one of Dean Treanor’s unjust adjectives, abhorrent. I thought this was school that appreciated, indeed honored, academic freedom and open discourse regarding all topics, no matter how difficult. Obviously, I was wrong. Georgetown Law Center is set on a dangerous course along with much of academia. I do not intend to travel that route with it, and urge other professors and lawyers of integrity and respect for our profession to make the same resolution.