Double Standard In Punishment For Bias Incidents

Douglas H. Frazer

On March 20, 2013, President Krislov reported (in the Updates from Oberlin series) that two students suspected of having a connection to “the bias incidents” (that included, I presume, dressing like Klan members) have been removed from campus. The administration took this action preemptively, that is to say before the conclusion of ongoing legal and institutional processes.

I have a few questions. First, under the first amendment to the U.S Constitution, why is this conduct not protected speech? Second, to my knowledge, the administration does not remove Islamofascist fellow-travelers from campus. Nor does it remove from campus students supporting or appropriating the dress of members of Hamas, Hezbollah, or for that matter, any other terrorist organization. Is this because Jews on campus don’t complain or chant about “feeling threatened” about the implications of Islamofascist or genocidal speech, so therefore no one espousing those views gets removed or disciplined?

I am an alumnus, and I feel threatened. Do I have standing to complain?

—Douglas H. Frazer
OC ’80