Contrary to popular opinion, the case of Keith Sampson at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is not over. An article by the Associated Press seemed to imply that the case was resolved. But, having done some thorough research on the case – more thorough than the AP, I believe – I respectfully dissent. And, today, I am calling for an investigation of university Chancellor Charles Bantz as well as university spokesman Rick Schneider.
Keith Sampson is really a rare kind of student. First of all, he was willing to take a job as a janitor to help pay for his college education. But, even more impressive, he spends his break time reading scholarly books on subjects such as American history. But, when he decided to read a book on race relations – one describing how students at Notre Dame defeated the KKK in the 1920s – all hell broke loose.
A black female co-worker at IUPUI decided to charge Sampson with racial harassment. This matter should not have been hard to resolve since the book, which Sampson checked out from the IUPUI library, was objectively anti-Klan and anti-racist. The only difficult part of the case should have been deciding the fate of Sampson’s accuser. Had she intentionally leveled the false claim of racial harassment, she should have been fired. Had it been accidental, she should have been sent to sensitivity training to get over her obvious prejudice against white people.
But, of course, this happened in a university setting, which means that common sense never had a fighting chance. Sampson was told last November that his conduct constituted racial harassment. The affirmative action officer (Lillian Charleston who is now retired) stated “You used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading this book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your black co-workers.” Such ignorance is by itself a good argument against affirmative action.
In case you didn’t understand it, here’s what she said: Sampson may have been a victim of intellectual rape but he was wearing too short of a skirt.
But, fortunately, the ACLU – like the blind squirrel that occasionally finds a nut – found out about Lillian Charleston who is obviously a nut, and more than a little squirrelly. With pressure from the ACLU, Charleston exuded sheer eloquence in later telling Sampson “There is no university policy that prohibits reading (scholarly books) on break time.” Too bad she’s retired. This woman is obviously brilliant.
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