Professors Require Support in Project Veritas Scandal

Tory S., College junior

To the Editors:

Amidst the chaos and anger about the Angela Boynton “right-wing-sting” from Project Veritas’ video on shredding the Constitution, I wanted to bring attention to the importance of caring in this college community. When incidents like this happen, as we saw with Christina Hoff Sommers’ OCRL lecture last semester, conservatives and extremists target our left-leaning campus with hate mail. Phone calls and hate mail have been flooding the inboxes of many offices on campus, and, even more importantly, those of professors Carol Lasser and Wendy Kozol, who are shown in the video.

Anger is the immediate reaction when hearing about this egregious breach of ethics and privacy, as well as the treacherous deception, but it is imperative that we channel that anger into compassion for those targeted. There are many, many levels to the egregious nature of this incident. In addition to the deceitful and horrific journalistic ethics of undercover reporter “Angela Boynton” and Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, there is an apparent misogyny to it all as well that should not go unnoticed.

The faculty members targeted were women, and the imposter journalist known as Angela Boynton was playing on tropes of female weakness and sensitivity. Much of the hateful discourse aimed at them is coming from men. We need to examine the ways in which misogyny manifests itself in right-wing attacks, and we need to be accountable to care for one another and ourselves when bullshit like this occurs. And, of course, it should not go unnoticed that the imposter falsely reported and delegitimized the very real and painful mental health issues so many people face at the hands of systematic oppression (of which the Constitution and the government are integral parts, by the way). This is, of course, not unrelated to the harmful gendering of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The rhetoric of “over-sensitivity” and “over-political correctness” so often used to undermine resistance to marginalization has been interlaced with the identities and mental health issues many hold to create this vicious attack.

So, Oberlin, I am asking you to take some time out of your day to affirm these professors that were targeted, and tell them their actions were justified. They need to know that their work here is far more important than incidents like this, and that they were doing the right thing in attempting to support a student whom they thought was in crisis and to engage with them the best they could. The work of professors Lasser and Kozol is important and appreciated by students, and there is no better time than now to let them know that.

Thank you,

Tory S.

College junior