Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Collision at the Intersectionality

 

Time to put some flares down. Just a little something to infuriate you today. Saddleback College in south Orange County, CA (the same school my Autistic son attended for their Adult Transition Program) refuses to back down on its claim that Marcus Knight, an Autistic student with cerebral palsy who asked a female student for a fist bump and another for a selfie, violated the young women’s Title IX rights because they were essentially “inappropriate” (read: sexually intimidating) acts. The more you read this article, the angrier you may become (emphasis mine below).

The first incident occurred in the first week of September when Marcus was in the Student Services office and asked a female student working there if he could “fist bump” her. She agreed but soon filed a Title IX complaint.

The next week Aurora (Marcus Knight’s mother) and Marcus were asked to meet with the school’s Disabled Students Programs and Services coordinator, who allegedly called the fist bump “inappropriate behavior.” Aurora told The Fix that Marcus did not “bump” anything other than the female’s knuckles. (The Fix has reached the coordinator but that person has not been available for a phone interview as of Thursday night.)

His mother told the coordinator that Marcus had been at the office seeking campus employment. The official allegedly said that would be “totally pointless” because Marcus was “obviously incapable” and should be taking adult disability classes instead of college classes.

Though the coordinator said the incident would not go on her son’s record if the behavior stopped, according to Aurora, the mother became aggravated by the description of a consensual fist bump as “inappropriate.”

She asked the coordinator “Did he touch her? Did he hug her? Did he follow her? Did he try to get her phone number? Did he expose himself?” When the coordinator allegedly said no to each, Aurora said she responded: “Then stop calling it inappropriate. He’s just trying to make a friend.”

Perhaps some smart attorney willing to take the case on a pro bono basis and sue Saddleback and the young women involved for defamation and slander. Clearly the young man’s reputation is being smeared and one of the young women involved apparently kept making disparaging and possibly defaming remarks about Mr. Knight to her friends.

Because of his autism, Marcus did not understand that he could not apologize to the student in person. When he approached her in the cafeteria, “everybody was pointing at him” because the female student “had been telling everybody he was weird or dangerous,” Aurora said.

Though he left the cafeteria before reaching the student, she filed another complaint against Marcus, his mother said. When Aurora complained that the student was spreading around rumors about Marcus, Aurora said an official told her in so many words that “gossiping was not against the law.”

I suppose this is what happens when a Left-leaning college administration supports the “male oppressor” narrative of militant feminism and it collides with the innocent requests of a mentally-challenged male student. It’s clear that the imagined Title IX violations from these allegedly “oppressed and violated” young women trump the rights and reputation of this Autistic young man.

Or as Mr. Orwell said, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” Clearly that’s the case here.

There are 40 comments.

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  1. Miffed White Male Member

    Brian Watt: When Aurora complained that the student was spreading around rumors about Marcus, Aurora said an official told her in so many words that “gossiping was not against the law.”

    But asking someone for a fist bump is?

     

    • #1
    • July 28, 2018, at 9:13 AM PST
    • 20 likes
  2. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    Good to see you, Brian! This makes me wanna tear out my hair in exasperation; except that I can only just reach it unaided. What. Total. Fecklessness. Grrrr. 

    • #2
    • July 28, 2018, at 9:16 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  3. KentForrester Coolidge

    Doug, crazy stuff! You’ve got my blood moving this morning. Thanks. 

    I’m not much for suing people, but this is a case where I’d like to see the “offended” girl, the school and the bureaucrat with a long title get their pants sued off. Apparently, only lawsuits will stop this kind of nonsense.

    Now if he had given her a hearty chest bump. . . . .

    • #3
    • July 28, 2018, at 9:41 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. Jules PA Member

    Because the student employee couldn’t simply tell the young man, “I’m sorry, Marcus, I don’t do fist bumps.” ??? Instead file a Title IX report?

    The student employee working a “service desk” is the one out of her league. She should not be in a position that requires interaction. 

    What has become of this world…

    • #4
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:23 AM PST
    • 20 likes
  5. Hoyacon Member

    What kind of [expletive] files a complaint over a fist bump? Let alone one from an autistic student. I find the complaining student’s behavior more reprehensible than that of Saddleback.

    • #5
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:26 AM PST
    • 24 likes
  6. Stina Inactive

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What kind of [expletive] files a complaint over a fist bump? Let alone one from an autistic student. I find the complaining student’s behavior more reprehensible than that of Saddleback.

    I second this whole heartedly even to the expletive.

    The girl should be dropped for harassing disabled students.

    • #6
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:31 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  7. Suspira Member

    Brian Watt: Aurora said an official told her in so many words that “gossiping was not against the law.”

    Neither is a fist bump! This makes me incandescently angry.

    • #7
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:48 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  8. Suspira Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What kind of [expletive] files a complaint over a fist bump? Let alone one from an autistic student. I find the complaining student’s behavior more reprehensible than that of Saddleback.

    Exactly. Of the two students involved in this exchange, the complainer should be the one to be censured. 

    • #8
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:50 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  9. Kozak Member

    We need to see an official ranking of the various grievance groups in modern America.

    Can’t tell the players without a score card.

    • #9
    • July 28, 2018, at 12:31 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Kozak (View Comment):

    We need to see an official ranking of the various grievance groups in modern America.

    Can’t tell the players without a score card.

    To wit:

    • #10
    • July 28, 2018, at 12:44 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. ctlaw Coolidge

    @brianwatt,

    Does your son still have an online account there?

    Their sexual harassment policy https://www.saddleback.edu/titleix/what-sexual-harassment is not available to outside users.

    That is a huge red flag that there are illegal provisions or capricious enforcement.

    • #11
    • July 28, 2018, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  12. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    @brianwatt,

    Does your son still have an online account there?

    Their sexual harassment policy https://www.saddleback.edu/titleix/what-sexual-harassment is not available to outside users.

    That is a huge red flag that there are illegal provisions or capricious enforcement.

    Unfortunately, no.

    • #12
    • July 28, 2018, at 1:04 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Doug Watt Member

    Unfortunately we have raised a generation of self-absorbed and entitled children that are without any empathy. Their lack of empathy is perhaps the most dangerous trait, a trait shared by sociopaths. It would perhaps be more accurate to say two generations, one group made of up students, the second group are their professors, and administrators. 

    • #13
    • July 28, 2018, at 1:37 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  14. Annefy Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Unfortunately we have raised a generation of self-absorbed and entitled children that are without any empathy. Their lack of empathy is perhaps the most dangerous trait, a trait shared by sociopaths. It would perhaps be more accurate to say two generations, one group made of up students, the second group are their professors, and administrators.

    In addition, their first reaction when they are unhappy or uncomfortable is to go to an “official” for remedy. 

    • #14
    • July 28, 2018, at 2:03 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  15. ctlaw Coolidge

    Based on their complaint form:

    Sexual Harassment: Unwanted verbal sexual advances… The perception of the victim, not the intent of the harasser, determines whether particular words or actions are harassing.

    they have an eye of the beholder test unlimited by any reasonableness requirement.

    Even the nutty 9th Circuit imposed some form of reasonableness requirement:

    …we hold that a female plaintiff states a prima facie case of hostile environment sexual harassment when she alleges conduct which a reasonable woman11 would consider sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment.12

    • #15
    • July 28, 2018, at 2:33 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. barbara lydick Coolidge

    Annefy (View Comment):
    In addition, their first reaction when they are unhappy or uncomfortable is to go to an “official” for remedy. 

    You’re so right. And making it worse, this is what students are taught to do. Even in the workplace, this is the required procedure. No room for people interacting to solve what most likely is an innocent situation. Going over someone’s head to solve problems is horrible and leads to nothing but stirring the pot. But, those administrators have to earn their keep somehow…

    • #16
    • July 28, 2018, at 3:48 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Basil Fawlty Member

    Demand reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    • #17
    • July 28, 2018, at 3:54 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  18. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Demand reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Yeah, make it useful for *something*…

     

    • #18
    • July 28, 2018, at 4:16 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Front Seat Cat Member

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Because the student employee couldn’t simply tell the young man, “I’m sorry, Marcus, I don’t do fist bumps.” ??? Instead file a Title IX report?

    The student employee working a “service desk” is the one out of her league. She should not be in a position that requires interaction.

    What has become of this world…

    Maybe it should just be exposed for what it is – by writing and talking about it – there is this bizarre, militant attitude and paranoia that is poisoning what is supposed to be the best years for kids and it needs to stop.

    • #19
    • July 29, 2018, at 6:14 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    We are being bureaucratized. Everything is handled in the way that previous litigation established was the safest. Moreover, being a victim grants absolute power. It is utterly warped morality and legal terrain. Quick, declare yourself a victim before anyone can call you a villain!

    Being a victim, a real victim like this poor guy, absolutely sucks. It is not empowering , it is powerlessness.

    It is time for a lawsuit and humiliation campaign.

    • #20
    • July 29, 2018, at 8:16 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  21. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    We are being bureaucratized. Everything is handled in the way that previous litigation established was the safest. Moreover, being a victim grants absolute power. It is utterly warped morality and legal terrain. Quick, declare yourself a victim before anyone can call you a villain!

    Being a victim, a real victim like this poor guy, absolutely sucks. It is not empowering , it is powerlessness.

    It is time for a lawsuit and humiliation campaign.

    AMEN! This girl (I reserve “woman” for those who behave as adults.) and her ‘risk-averse’ employer deserve a public shaming…And a hit in the wallet is warranted, too. (Brian, how useful/effective is this program? Is it ‘as advertised’, a transitioning aid? Just wondered.)

    • #21
    • July 29, 2018, at 8:34 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. TeamAmerica Member

    My impression from this article is that Marcus Knight is black. Afaik, fist bumps originated among African-Americans, so couldn’t the the young ‘woman’ be accused of racial bias and cultural insensitivity for characterizing a harmless practice among black Americans as innapropriate.

    • #22
    • July 29, 2018, at 8:43 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    We are being bureaucratized. Everything is handled in the way that previous litigation established was the safest. Moreover, being a victim grants absolute power. It is utterly warped morality and legal terrain. Quick, declare yourself a victim before anyone can call you a villain!

    Being a victim, a real victim like this poor guy, absolutely sucks. It is not empowering , it is powerlessness.

    It is time for a lawsuit and humiliation campaign.

    AMEN! This girl (I reserve “woman” for those who behave as adults.) and her ‘risk-averse’ employer deserve a public shaming…And a hit in the wallet is warranted, too. (Brian, how useful/effective is this program? Is it ‘as advertised’, a transitioning aid? Just wondered.)

    The Adult Transition Program is not what Mr. Knight appears to be or had been enrolled in because from all appearances he is a high-functioning and very conversant, even articulate young adult who was attending regular classes at Saddleback. Many of the students in the ATP are much more challenged for speech, anxiety, comprehension, and key social skills and are not really mainstreamed into the regular college curricula, even as they use many of the college’s facilities – like the pool, the weight room, and other areas. A good deal of the time spent in the ATP is off campus, getting the students out into the community to work on their social skills and safety awareness and to see what possible future job skills they may have with local merchants or restaurants.

    • #23
    • July 29, 2018, at 10:03 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    We are being bureaucratized. Everything is handled in the way that previous litigation established was the safest. Moreover, being a victim grants absolute power. It is utterly warped morality and legal terrain. Quick, declare yourself a victim before anyone can call you a villain!

    Being a victim, a real victim like this poor guy, absolutely sucks. It is not empowering , it is powerlessness.

    It is time for a lawsuit and humiliation campaign.

    AMEN! This girl (I reserve “woman” for those who behave as adults.) and her ‘risk-averse’ employer deserve a public shaming…And a hit in the wallet is warranted, too. (Brian, how useful/effective is this program? Is it ‘as advertised’, a transitioning aid? Just wondered.)

    The Adult Transition Program is not what Mr. Knight appears to be or had been enrolled in because from all appearances he is a high-functioning and very conversant, even articulate young adult who was attending regular classes at Saddleback. Many of the students in the ATP are much more challenged for speech, anxiety, comprehension, and key social skills and are not really mainstreamed into the regular college curricula, even as they use many of the college’s facilities – like the pool, the weight room, and other areas. A good deal of the time spent in the ATP is off campus, getting the students out into the community to work on their social skills and safety awareness and to see what possible future job skills they may have with local merchants or restaurants.

    Thanks! Young Mr. Knight’s situation is just incomprehensible…But likely to be more frequent, I suppose… 

    • #24
    • July 29, 2018, at 10:07 AM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Eric Madison Member

    The best thing about this post is to see you back in the mix at Ricochet, Brian. Hope all is well with you and your son.

     

    • #25
    • July 29, 2018, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. James Lileks Contributor

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Unfortunately we have raised a generation of self-absorbed and entitled children that are without any empathy.

    They have replaced empathic reactions to other human beings with identification with dogma and groups, which is nobler than empathy, and has the added virtue of requiring nothing but maintenance of correct positions. 

    Empathetic reactions to people outside your group are bad for Party discipline. 

    • #26
    • July 29, 2018, at 10:09 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  27. Roderic Coolidge

    Some of these women apparently are not able to tolerate men so much as looking at them or speaking to them. Those dresses from The Handmaiden’s Tale might be appropriate for them.

    • #27
    • July 30, 2018, at 9:43 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Mim526 Member

    Now that the mist of angry tears has cleared up a bit after reading this post, this is the bottom line for me:

    “Marcus Knight, an Autistic student with cerebral palsy”

    Underlying many comments in this thread is a bedrock belief that the one person above all others mentioned who deserves any and every advantage given by law to boost his chances is Marcus Knight.

    Growing up with a much lower functioning sibling (autistic with retardation) than Marcus, I know the often uphill struggle for quality of life. Besides physical or mental limitations, there is a society that is sometimes unaware at best or, as in this case, actively works against them.

    I think of the Marcus Knights among us as God’s Gifts to man. Besides being precious in His sight, there is so much we can learn from them…like being open to the gift of friendship, and having the grace to apologize to someone directly for giving unintended offense.

    Filing official complaints about a fist bump being harassment, tarnishing the reputation of a handicapped young man trying to make friends is truly wicked.

    Wonderful to read your post on Ricochet, @brianwatt. You and your son have been in my prayers.

    • #28
    • July 30, 2018, at 10:57 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Miffed White Male Member

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    Now that the mist of angry tears has cleared up a bit after reading this post, this is the bottom line for me:

    “Marcus Knight, an Autistic student with cerebral palsy”

    Underlying many comments in this thread is a bedrock belief that the one person above all others mentioned who deserves any and every advantage given by law to boost his chances is Marcus Knight.

    Growing up with a much lower functioning sibling (autistic with retardation) than Marcus, I know the often uphill struggle for quality of life. Besides physical or mental limitations, there is a society that is sometimes unaware at best or, as in this case, actively works against them.

    I think of the Marcus Knights among us as God’s Gifts to man. Besides being precious in His sight, there is so much we can learn from them…like being open to the gift of friendship, and having the grace to apologize to someone directly for giving unintended offense.

    Filing official complaints about a fist bump being harassment, tarnishing the reputation of a handicapped young man trying to make friends is truly wicked.

    Wonderful to read your post on Ricochet, @brianwatt. You and your son have been in my prayers.

    I respectfully disagree. The filing of the complaint would be just as bad if the fist-bumper was a frat boy named Brett. The evil/stupidity is in the action of the person who filed the a “harassment” complaint over something as stupid as a voluntary fist bump. Marcus ASKED – he wasn’t just marching through the halls doing this to everyone he saw. 

    If the fist bumpee felt so strongly about it, she should have said “no”. It’s the lack of agency/self responsibility on her part that is so maddening here. Everybody wants to be a victim. 

    • #29
    • July 31, 2018, at 2:14 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  30. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    Now that the mist of angry tears has cleared up a bit after reading this post, this is the bottom line for me:

    “Marcus Knight, an Autistic student with cerebral palsy”

    Underlying many comments in this thread is a bedrock belief that the one person above all others mentioned who deserves any and every advantage given by law to boost his chances is Marcus Knight.

    Growing up with a much lower functioning sibling (autistic with retardation) than Marcus, I know the often uphill struggle for quality of life. Besides physical or mental limitations, there is a society that is sometimes unaware at best or, as in this case, actively works against them.

    I think of the Marcus Knights among us as God’s Gifts to man. Besides being precious in His sight, there is so much we can learn from them…like being open to the gift of friendship, and having the grace to apologize to someone directly for giving unintended offense.

    Filing official complaints about a fist bump being harassment, tarnishing the reputation of a handicapped young man trying to make friends is truly wicked.

    Wonderful to read your post on Ricochet, @brianwatt. You and your son have been in my prayers.

    I respectfully disagree. The filing of the complaint would be just as bad if the fist-bumper was a frat boy named Brett. The evil/stupidity is in the action of the person who filed the a “harassment” complaint over something as stupid as a voluntary fist bump. Marcus ASKED – he wasn’t just marching through the halls doing this to everyone he saw.

    If the fist bumpee felt so strongly about it, she should have said “no”. It’s the lack of agency/self responsibility on her part that is so maddening here. Everybody wants to be a victim.

    To some degree, yes. However, many mentally challenged folks who are not sophisticated in the nuances of human behavior and interaction don’t have the intellectual tools to expertly manage their interactions with others who are considered normal and well-mannered, like the aforementioned frat boy. Many Autistic or mentally-challenged folks typically have increased levels of anxiety and get easily frustrated when the world around them behaves in unexpected ways; and many either retreat into themselves and stim (engage in repetitive behaviors) or if really frustrated, lash out. Many are fully aware that they are ‘different’ but want so much to fit in and at least be recognized, accepted, and loved. Thus the effort for a mentally-challenged person to reach out and seek friendship and acceptance from someone in the ‘normal’ community is really quite a courageous act not a trivial one. This, I think, gives this story a slightly different coloration or perhaps emphasis than if a well-meaning frat boy was also so unfairly charged.

    I think we can all agree that there are folks who have bought into the victimhood ideology and need to get on with their lives and start behaving like adults because they have the necessary mental and physical gifts to make something of their lives and stop blaming others for their failures or for their perceived, often fabricated oppressions. These are the type of folks who have been indoctrinated by their Left-leaning, post-modernist teachers, professors and administrators that the world owes them more respect, more money, more power and constantly harp on how they’ve been cheated or oppressed. These so-called “victims” as Joanna Williams, a British author and lecturer on higher education states, are really narcissists and continuously want the spotlight focused on themselves and their perceived oppressions.

    Folks, like Mr. Knight, and many more like him but even more mentally or physically challenged, on the other hand, don’t want a spotlight, a platform or a megaphone, don’t want to stand out, and don’t want to claim victimhood status. They just want to fit in with the bustling world of ‘normal’ fellow human beings around them and make some friends. So, it becomes even more alarming and disturbing when they are singled out and punished for attempting to do so because they are at a loss about why they are being punished.

    Cheers.

    • #30
    • July 31, 2018, at 7:42 AM PST
    • 7 likes
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