Staffer at Purdue U. accused of rape threats, attacks on pro-life students, receives slap on wrist

Staffer at Purdue U. accused of rape threats, attacks on pro-life students, receives slap on wrist

Out of West Lafayette, Ind., comes another reminder of what the political left under Barack Obama believes to be the civility in tone that separates them from the bottom feeders on the right.

Police there are investigating a dance accompanist on the payroll of Purdue University who allegedly threatened to rape the wife, daughter, and great-grandmother of a man named Tom.

The threat, made on social media, was captured on WiFi.com:

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The alleged perp, Jamie Newman, is also accused of verbally abusing a group that calls itself Purdue Students for Life after members put up posters drawing attention to the high number of abortions in the black community. In a message Newman posted to the group’s Facebook page, he calls them “vile, racist idiots.”

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So what is the university’s reaction? On Thursday, officials released the following statement:

As we’ve already indicated, a threat of rape is outside the bounds of any definition of protected speech. And if it appeared that Mr. Newman had any such intention, he would have been terminated immediately. But the police investigation tells us that there was, and is, no real threat to the campus community. That finding does not foreclose the possibility of other employment-related actions based on Purdue’s internal complaint processes.

The disruption we’ve endured as a community is entirely due to Mr. Newman’s online posts. Anything other than a full apology and explanation from him about the intent of his statement will be insufficient to cure the harm he’s done. [Emphasis added]

It’s fortunate for Mr. Newman that he works at a public university both obligated under the First Amendment and committed by principle to protect free speech — even speech as abhorrent as his. Had he uttered such an outrageous and vulgar statement while working for a private college or other private employer, he would almost certainly have been fired on the spot. Mr. Newman’s obnoxious rhetoric is an embarrassment for Purdue, but our special obligations as a public institution impose a much higher threshold before condemnation can be extended to punishment.

 

Full apology and explanation? Ouch, take that, dance accompanist!

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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