Harvard Students Brand Betsy DeVos a 'White Supremacist' — in the Middle of Her Speech!
On Thursday evening, a sitting U.S. secretary of Education faced silent protests at Harvard University, where attendees held up signs branding her a "white supremacist."
More than a dozen protesters stood up in the crowd holding signs reading "Protect Survivors," "Our Students Are Not 4 Sale," "Educational Justice Is Racial Justice," and of course "White Supremacist."
"This is what white supremacy looks like!" students chanted as DeVos left the room following her speech.
By all accounts, DeVos handled the situation well. When the protesters stood up in the audience, obstructing the camera and audience members' view with their signs, the education secretary continued with her speech, unabated. She even took questions from the audience in a respectful manner.
Students seemed most irate about the Department of Education's recent rescinding of the Obama administration's 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter advising colleges on how to abide by Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972. Among other things, this letter effectively promulgated a new interpretation of the law without a period of public comment, and twisted Title IX, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex, into a federal mandate to create a campus sex bureaucracy.
The Obama directive led to a system of sexual assault tribunals separate from the U.S. criminal justice system (believed to be hopelessly biased against alleged victims of sexual assault). These tribunals denied due process to the accused, pushing a presumption of guilt that has led at least one campus tribunal to find guilty the very same man who was found to be innocent in a court of law.
In her remarks at Harvard, DeVos restated her complete dedication to fighting sexual assault and her dedication to justice for all parties. "One sexual assault is too many, but by the same token, one that is denied due process is too many," the secretary declared. "So we need to be sure that policy is fair to all students."
When the Department of Education rescinded the Obama policy, it also announced that a new policy will be drafted and opened for public comment.
Left-wing activists have vehemently protested any such revision, arguing that "every survivor" deserves to be listened to. Such rhetoric automatically assumes that anyone who accuses someone else of sexual assault is therefore a "survivor," when in fact nothing yet has been proven. It is extremely important for real assaulters to be punished, but their guilt needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and even criminals deserve due process.
Nevertheless, protesters attacked DeVos for altering the policy. "I am very upset and angry about it," Samantha White, a 19-year-old neurobiology major, told the Associated Press. "Sexual assault is such a huge problem on college campus already and if you are rolling this back, it makes survivors of sexual assault more vulnerable and it's more difficult for them to seek justice when there aren't these regulations."