Report Believe the victim mentality undermines justice

A new report published by a criminal justice watchdog argues that the “believe the victim” mentality is compromising “the integrity of our entire legal system.”

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), a group that seeks to find “effective and fair solutions to sexual assault and domestic violence,” argues in a recent white paper that the “believe the victim” ideology turns the neutral role of an investigator “into that of an advocate” while also “systematically insert[ing] bias into the criminal justice system.”

[RELATED: Prof: Title IX harms both students and teachers]

The “believe the victim” ideology is generally popular among millennial feminists and progressives who believe that presumed victims of sexual violence need more power and protection against the so-called “rape culture” on college campuses.

In response to the pressure, institutions of higher education have adapted a system of internal trials that frequently adjudicates cases by relying on panels of professors and administrators who have little if any experience in criminal justice.

The handling of sexual assault on college campuses has been widely criticized by conservative groups and organizations, which argue that the system fails to protect the due process rights of the accused and presumes guilt before innocence.

“[The ideology] focuses on corroboration of allegations and collecting evidence to oppose anticipated defenses,” SAVE writes. “As such, the ‘believe the victim’ movement not only threatens the reliability of sexual assault adjudications, it compromises the integrity of our entire legal system.”

[RELATED: Columbia students storm classroom to harass Title IX admin]

While the watchdog acknowledges that “sexual assault is an under-reported offense,” and that the “believe the victim” movement “seeks to improve reporting,” it also raises a number of concerns about the movement’s claims.

“From the beginning, the ‘believe the victim’ movement has been hampered by a questionable scientific foundation,” SAVE argues. “Proponents make sweeping pronouncements about neuroscience and its application to victim behavior with little or no supporting research.”

“With Orwellian precision, ‘believe the

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Profs blast tokenistic depictions of minorities in textbooks

A team of professors recently criticized K-12 textbooks for failing to explore “societal power dynamics” in their depictions of women and minorities.

To the surprise of City University of New York professor Sherry Deckman and her colleagues, after reviewing nearly 1,500 images in K-12 textbooks, they discovered that not only are women and racial minorities represented parallel to their representation in the population, but are even slightly over-represented.

Despite this progress, since racial minorities were barely depicted in textbooks just two decades ago, the team argues that this is actually worrisome, saying the representations of minorities and women have now become “superficial” and “tokenistic.”

This is because minorities are depicted in ways that fail to challenge “societal power dynamics,” which inadvertently leads to the reification of the assumption that society is “inherently Eurocentric, male-centric, Christian-centric, [and] heterosexual-centric,” she writes.

[RELATED: BC students demand change to ‘Eurocentric’ core curriculum]

Deckman, a faculty member in CUNY’s Social Studies Education Program, is especially worried about the way that minorities are sometimes depicted in a “celebratory” fashion, suggesting that this is the wrong way to focus on diversity.

For example, in one picture in a health textbook, there is a “Japanese-looking woman wearing a blue yukata (a cotton kimono) teaching children of different races how to do origami,” and in another, a picture of a “traditional Mexican mariachi band.”

This “heroes and holidays approach” to illustrating cultural diversity, the paper warns, is “often palatable” because it is easy for students to understand.

“Yet, with its uncritical tone of ‘we are all different, but the same,’ it does not explore societal power dynamics,” it contends, saying the approach “thus is limited in terms of addressing injustice” and does not promote “social justice.”

“Furthermore, such depictions essentialize culture and suggest ‘some aspects of culture [are] indispensable attributes that must be shared by all people within a particular group,’ dishonoring the complexity of lived experience,” explains Deckman.

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Alumni accuse Notre Dame prez of hypocrisy on pro-life values

An alumni group says it would be “hypocritical” for the University of Notre Dame’s president to attend the March for Life after the school declined to cut birth control from its health coverage.

President Trump announced on October 6 that the government would permit employers to forgo the Affordable Healthcare Act’s contraception mandate on religious grounds, prompting Notre Dame to announce that it would take advantage of the offer.

In a perplexing move, the Catholic university announced on November 7 that it had reversed its decision and would continue to offer third-party funded contraception and abortifacients, in line with a controversial Obama-era compromise that ND had previously sought to overturn by suing the federal government on religious freedom grounds.

“As I have said from the start, the University’s interest has never been in preventing access to those who make conscientious decisions to use contraceptives,” university President Father John Jenkins, CSC explained during his annual address to the faculty. “Our interest, rather, has been to avoid being compelled by the federal government to be the agent in their provision.”

[RELATED: Notre Dame health plans will keep contraception coverage]

A spokesman revealed that when the university announced that coverage would cease, it was under the impression that its insurance providers would no longer offer the independent coverage following Trump’s announcement. When the companies told the university they would continue the practice, Notre Dame chose not to interfere.

The university argued that the compromise had been objectionable because it required university officials to sign a government waiver acknowledging the provision of third-party coverage.

Alumni and students disagreed, arguing that the compromise and its allowance for third-party coverage of contraceptives and abortifacients violated Catholic doctrine.

“Is Notre Dame no longer committed to the Catholic values that it testified to holding?” wrote the Editorial Board of The Irish Rover, an independent student newspaper.

[RELATED: RA claims Catholic school tried to make him promote LGBTQ mixer]

The Sycamore Trust, a Catholic values alumni association, recently sent a letter to the administration accusing ND of engaging in disingenuous litigation, with more than 60 alumni attorneys signing

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CA politics sends college rocketry teams hopes up in flames

Citrus College’s rocketry club was selected to compete in NASA’s annual Student Launch Competition, but is being prevented from attending because of California politics.

The community college’s team was one of 45 selected to compete alongside several elite schools, such as Cornell University, Penn State University, and Purdue University, according to NASA’s press release.

[RELATED: NCAA pulls championship games from NC over transgender law]

“NASA received more proposals for this year’s competition than they have for any previous year, making this one of the most competitive in the history of the competition,” the Citrus College Rocket Owls wrote on Facebook, expressing their excitement to be joining the contest.

However, a California legislation known as AB 1887 prevents the use of public funds for travel to states deemed discriminatory against the LGBT community, including Alabama, where this year’s Student Launch Competition is set to take place. According to, Alabama was added to the list after the state passed a law allowing faith-based adoption agencies to deny adoptions to gay couples.

As a result, the Citrus College Rocket Owls are prevented from participating in the competition, a move the school’s administration fully supports, according to ABC 7.

“The college stands with the State Chancellor, the Legislature, and the Governor in support of AB 1887 as a response against discrimination,” the school commented in a statement, noting that the team will instead “be participating in a rocket competition sponsored by Friends of Amatuer Rocketry/Mars Society to be held in Mojave, California.”

[RELATED: Coach K calls HB2 ‘embarrassing’ as LGBT students avoid NC]

Professor Paul Swatzel, however, is disappointed in the school’s decision, especially considering the fact that the team even started raising private funds to attend.

“The sad thing is, there are 5 other CA colleges going on private funds. Our students have private funds, yet there are not being allowed to go and compete,” Swatzel said on Facebook. “A once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski

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Communist leader gives MLK Day speech at Florida State

Former Communist Party USA member and prominent political activist Angela Davis appeared at Florida State University Tuesday to deliver a speech trashing the Trump administration.

Davis, speaking to a packed crowd that erupted into applause when she entered the auditorium, kicked off the start of the school’s weeklong celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., using the opportunity to express the disdain she believes King would have had for President Trump.

[RELATED: MLK Day speaker promotes BDS to counter ‘pressure’ from right]

“I bet Dr. King would be turning in his grave to know that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Who would’ve thought that 30 years after his death, we would be dishonoring him by having a white supremacist in the people’s house,” she said during the lecture.

At another point in her lecture, Davis took a shot at Trump for golfing on MLK Day, saying that “instead of answering the calls of service, he played golf.”

According to the university, the purpose of the week’s celebrations is “to bring the FSU Tallahassee communities together to reflect on the past and challenge one another to be engaged in creating social justice and advocating for the civil rights of all.”

Footage of attendees outside the event waiting to enter shows hundreds, if not thousands, of students waiting to listen to Davis, some of whom spoke with Campus Reform to express appreciation for her and her communist past.

[RELATED: Angela Davis attacks prisons, Israel in speech at GW]

One student, however, claimed that he was in support of Davis as “a civil rights activist, not as a communist,” but didn’t object to her history with the Communist Party USA, saying “everybody has the right to their own opinion.”

“The way that Marx wrote it is different than the way it’s been implemented, so I like the way Marx wrote it, not the way it’s been implemented,” another student submitted as a justification for communism’s questionable record, adding that “I hate it” when questioned on her views of capitalism.

Notably, in response to the lecture, a group of Republican students protested Davis’ talk outside the hall in an effort to show their peers “why communism is an unacceptable ideology that will not be tolerated.”


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