From today’s Washington Post:
‘Gentlemanly’ nonsense from frat at center of U-Va. sexual assault controversyHey, Jonathan, I’m not sure if you read the Washington Post or not, but it turns out there is no “frat at center of U-Va. sexual assault controversy.” In fact, there is no “center of U-Va. sexual assault controversy” at all, just lies, ignorance, and wishful thinking.
By Jonathan Capehart December 19 at 9:27 AM
On Dec. 5, Rolling Stone published an extraordinary “note to our readers” about a November story on an alleged “brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie during a party at a University of Virginia fraternity house.” On Dec. 9, the wife of the national president of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the U-Va. controversy and the issue of sexual assault on college campuses, called past and present members nationwide to alert them to a call with her husband.
As the holiday season approaches, we have decided it’s the perfect time to focus our efforts on being gentlemen who are courteous and cultured and showing respect to others. We will have Lorrie Bossart joining us on our call and we are certain you will enjoy her brief talk on gentlemanly conduct, good manners and etiquette…..What jumped out at him in that tone-deaf message was “gentlemanly conduct.” …
Rape is beyond “ungentlemanly.” Even if a defense lawyer can strip the alleged offense of its criminality, sexual assault is morally wrong. It takes more than a “brief talk on gentlemanly conduct, good manners and etiquette” to instill the values that are supposed to be their underpinning. Fraternities need to lead by example. It is not enough for them to have online modules on “personal integrity” as Phi Kappa Psi has. They need to live out those good manners and hold those accountable whose behavior violate a code of conduct or break laws.
Yes, the controversy over the lax reporting undergirding Rolling Stone’s U-Va. feature casts doubt on “Jackie’s” story. But it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to ignore, mistrust or automatically doubt every person who comes forward with an allegation. …
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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.