Patterico's Pontifications

3/27/2016

Snopes Lamely Tries to Exonerate Emory Crybullies, Gets Facts Wrong [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:28 am

[guest post by JVW]

As a follow-up to last night’s post on the recent kerfuffle at Emory, I see that the website Snopes, which describes itself as “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation,” has weighed in. In what seems to be a curious take on the subject, the snopes blogger Kim LaCapria focuses on the claim that Emory students “were offered ’emergency counseling’ after pro-Trump graffiti appeared overnight in campus ‘safe spaces,'” and judges it to be “mostly false,” decreeing the following:

WHAT’S TRUE: Students at Emory University gathered in protest after pro-Trump graffiti appeared overnight; administrators investigated the graffiti as it appeared outside designated areas for chalk markings.

WHAT’S FALSE: “Emergency counseling” was offered to or demanded by students; Emory students complained that their “safe spaces” had been violated; students were afraid of or traumatized by the chalk markings.

It strikes me as a bit odd that Ms. LaCapria is so fixated on the idea of emergency counseling being offered. Yes, as she points out, some conservative critics claimed that the school had offered the students “emergency counseling,” and in fact, the word “counseling” was not used in any official communication from Emory’s administration, let alone “emergency counseling.” But the administration did promise “. . . regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues, a formal process to institutionalize identification, review and [the] addressing of social justice opportunities and issues and a commitment to an annual retreat to renew our efforts,” and announced that the student government would be holding extra office hours “to provide Emory students an opportunity to discuss such support and inclusivity on Emory’s campus.” While this might not rise to the level of official counseling sessions with trained psychiatric professionals, it seems to me to be at least some sort of counseling or other.

But let’s put that aside for a moment, giving Ms. LaCapria the benefit of the doubt in her judgement. What can’t be explained away, though, is her puzzling assertion that students were not in fact “afraid of or traumatized by the chalk markings.” If that were the case, then how would Ms. LaCapria explain the following quotes from the article in the Emory Wheel campus newspaper:

An antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad. [. . .]

“I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well. I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school. . .” [. . .]

“What are we feeling?” Peraza asked those assembled. Responses of “frustration” and “fear” came from around the room. . . “

[bolded emphasis in all cases is added by me]

Though I have never been a huge believer in the idea that Snopes is part of a left-wing media cabal seeking to push a progressive agenda, I find it difficult to read this particular entry and not get the sense that Kim LaCapria sought to spin this controversy in a way to mitigate the damage that Emory crybullies and their venal and cowardly administration have done to their university. Honing in on the idea that the word “counseling” was never used, and the weird obsessiveness with debunking the idea that “emergency” counseling was offered is one thing, but Ms. LaCapria is flat-out wrong in her assertion that no students expressed fear or a sense of trauma at the chalkings.

I rate her coverage of the Emory Crybully Saga to be “Mostly False.”

UPDATE: MD in Philly, who at the moment is not in Philly, reminds us that this site has had opportunity in the past to call into question the Snopes ruling on disputed events. Thanks for the timely reminder.

– JVW

On Easter (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

Happy Easter. For the Christian, it is the day to celebrate that He is risen. It is this very resurrection that makes our faith what it is, and allows us intimate communion with Christ our Savior. Grace and mercy came in the form of a Man who willingly died for us, only to raise from the grave to save and justify those whom He loved. This is the path of hope we walk.

Tragically, we learn this morning that fellow Christians celebrating Easter now face a a horror of tremendous proportion:

A bomb blast in a park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday has killed 44 people and wounded 91, a health official said.

Many of the injured are in a critical condition, Salman Rafiq, a health adviser to the chief minister of Punjab province said.

The explosion took place near the children’s rides in Gulshan-e-Iqbal park, local police chief Haider Ashraf said. He said the explosion appeared to have been a suicide bombing, but investigations were ongoing.

The area was crowded with Christians celebrating the Easter holidays, and many families were leaving the park when the blast occurred, Ashraf said.

Other sources claim that officials have told them at least 56 have been reported dead – the vast majority of those being women and children. While it is believed to be the work of a suicide bomber, officials say that has not yet been confirmed. No individual or group has claimed responsibility at this point in time.

To the people of all faiths impacted by this attack: my humble prayers for the wounded and the families who have lost their children, their mothers, and their fathers. I hope that God’s love reaches far down into the shocked and despairing hearts of those involved. May comfort be theirs, and may a glimmer of hope to hold onto be theirs as well.

It is good for me to be reminded, on this day especially, that, while this living hope in Christ extends far and wide to any who ask, not everyone who believes is blessed with the relative ease that we have to live out their faith. May God keep near to Him those who live under a constant threat of danger or persecution yet remain steadfast in their commitment to live a life pleasing to Him. They are a far better and stronger people than am I.

–Dana

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a faction of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed they were responsible for the attack as well as specifically targeting Christians:

A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which it said was aimed at Christians celebrating the Easter holiday. Pakistan, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, has a small Christian minority. Officials said they had not confirmed if Christians were the target.

Christians, who make up less than 2% of Pakistan’s 182 million people, have frequently been targeted by Pakistani extremist groups.


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