The ‘Woke’ threat to the rule of law: Part two

By Graham Hill MA (Hons) Ll.B (Hons)

Continued from part one:

Joanna Williams goes on to expand on the issue of mental trauma:

“Danukshi Mudannayake, the student who has led the campaigning, argues that Sullivan’s decision to represent Weinstein is ‘not only upsetting, but deeply trauma-inducing’, and it shows he ‘does not value the safety of the students he lives with’. [H]e cannot simultaneously hold that role while still having a charade of saying that he can actually protect the integrity of his students.’

Kacey E Gill, president of the Association of Black Harvard Women, said she was relieved and happy to hear of Sullivan’s departure, but added ‘I wish that it hadn’t taken so long’ or that it ‘required so many students to put their mental health, wellbeing, and potentially even their futures on the line in order to get that change to occur’.

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Students have come to accept a ludicrously wide definition of trauma. There is not the slightest suggestion that Sullivan poses any danger either to the students he comes into contact with or anyone else. Sullivan does not stand accused of rape or sexual assault.

The threat students think he poses is not physical, but mental. Students have come to believe that ‘trauma’ occurs not as a result of something catastrophic happening to them, nor even from having hateful words directed at them, but from the mere presence of another person in their vicinity.

Even this understates their bizarrely elastic understanding of trauma. Harvard is not offering refuge to Weinstein, the rapacious folk monster of our times, but employing, in a professional capacity, his lawyer. Yet Sullivan’s presence is considered by the students to be sufficient to create a ‘toxic climate’.

All of this begs the question: “where are the adults?”

It does indeed.  The Rule of Law should not be set aside because of an ill-defined student misperception of what trauma is, which is set to come about from an appointment unrelated to the Dean’s role at Winthrop House. An instance of purity in danger by contamination of an agent.

If the university authorities at Harvard do not comprehend the Rule of Law then what hope is there for other institutions?  This is not the real world but again, a trespass into the realm of religion in the Cultural Marxist self-fulfilling oppressor/oppressed dialectic of the Woke: the dialectic is the Truth and the True Way.  The rule of law is based on human standards iterated and proven fit for use, over time.  The Woke are divorced from the past and the world of practical experience having a “Cloistered” tunnel vision of a future religious ideal.  The Rule of Law may not be perfect but it is far better than a capricious judgment based on feelings,predetermination and a misconceived fetish idea of trauma.

What is shown by the university’s response, and by the student’s errant protest, is a woeful arrogant ignorance of a vital facet and underlying legal principle of a free and civil society. And then, by the substitution of a visceral religious judgment by the non proximate and non-party students’  immediate religious tremors, derived from the numinous subjective mysterium tremendum of feeling. To put the matter on a different footing, how could Harvey Weinstein, if sued in tort by the students, have foreseen the students’ trauma?  The question does not bear a second glance. Williams adds to the legal principles at stake:

“ Acquiescing to students campaigning against Sullivan has consequences beyond the university.  It also calls into question our understanding of fundamental principles of justice, most especially the idea that those accused are innocent until proven guilty and so, in order for justice to be best served, require a rigorous defence.

Students crying trauma at Sullivan first assume Weinstein’s guilt, then mistake a defence of Weinstein for a defence of his alleged crimes. They assume defending an alleged rapist is a defence of rape. Again, where are the adults to tell them they are wrong?

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Rule of Law principles must prevail over the ignorance of the Neo Marxist/Cultural Marxist Woke: the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial and the principle that justice, to be done, needs to be seen to be done are fundamental, which was not the case. To give a historical example, of the trial of the Regicides, or if you prefer Geoffrey Robertson QC’s term, the Tyrannicides, of Charles the First.

Is lynching, hanging and drawing and quartering before the University of Harvard’s  Registry or Faculty of Law preferable?  On this last point Joanna Williams rightly concludes:

It is in the interests of everyone to have justice done, and that means a trial with a proper legal defence. Harvard’s decision comes just a day after Sullivan announced that he would be leaving Weinstein’s defence team. Yet the better the defence, the more secure a conviction. If due process cannot take place, then we risk criminals going unpunished and the innocent being incarcerated. Cries of trauma must not be allowed to undermine the legal system.

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The guardians of the rule of law in the current freedom of speech issues presently before us are silent. My own experience of approaching two senior members of the  NZLS Privacy and Human Rights Committee on a rule of law matter was met with no reply. The abrogation of concern is woeful.  Has the  Law Society turned to the new religion too with its Equity Charter and become absorbed and oblivious in the new faith too?