Friday, November 13, 2009

Privilege

Here's a fascinating story that I can't believe was published by the New York Times.
A Columbia University professor has been charged with assault and harassment after an another Columbia employee accused him of punching her in the eye at a Morningside Heights bar Friday night.

The professor, Lionel McIntyre, 59, was arrested on Monday, three days after the confrontation. According to a police report, Professor McIntyre and Camille Davis, a theater production manager in the university’s School of the Arts, were having a discussion that “escalated in a verbal dispute,” and Mr. McIntyre punched Ms. Davis in the eye.

The encounter happened in Toast, a popular, noisy bar and restaurant on Broadway north of campus, where the chatter often runs to current events and politics. Professor McIntyre liked to engage fellow patrons on the subject of race, according to one regular customer, Daniel Morgan, who considers himself a close acquaintance of both Professor McIntyre and Ms. Davis.
What doesn't the NYT tell you? Evidently the professor is African American, Camille Davis is a Caucasian woman, and the dispute was about white privilege.

Now, let's be honest. While anybody may lose his temper, who feels privileged if he's confident enough strike a woman in the face over a verbal disagreement? He didn't seem to fear any repercussions for his actions. Perhaps the President will invite them to the White House for some wine.

Update: Other bloggers have beaten me to writing about this story. They're asking if it will be prosecuted as a hate crime. Naturally it won't.

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