“While at school to learn, some students are forced to endure harassment, violence, bullying and intimidation. ... This is completely unacceptable,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in 2010. She was talking about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, but shouldn’t the ability to learn free of harassment, violence, bullying and intimidation be available to all students, regardless of sexual orientation?
Not so, according to the same Gillibrand, who is now tacitly supporting and even engaging in the very same bullying she just a few years ago fought to eradicate.
In 2014, Gillibrand took on the issue of sexual assaults on college campuses by introducing the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. While promoting the bill, Gillibrand invited Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz, who had claimed that a friend raped her during what began as a consensual sexual encounter, to accompany her at a press conference.
Sulkowicz began carrying a mattress around Columbia as part of a senior art project, claiming it symbolizes the burden she carries as a rape victim. The mattress is also part of a protest for what Sulkowicz says was Columbia’s failure to punish her “rapist.” The university found him “not responsible” in a campus trial and police didn’t charge him.
Under the law, Paul Nungesser, the man Sulkowicz says raped her, is innocent.
That hasn’t kept Gillibrand away from behavior that by her own standards would be considered bullying. She invited Sulkowicz to be her guest at the State of the Union address in January. She went much further by flat-out calling Nungesser a “rapist” in a column in the Huffington Post.
Gillibrand is encouraging a harassment campaign. She is helping bully someone.
Sulkowicz has said she would stop carrying the mattress if Columbia expelled the man she accuses or if he voluntarily leaves. She is actively trying to bully the school into reversing its decision (which she appealed and lost) and expelling a student based solely on her accusation.
That accusation is now being questioned, as Nungesser’s side of the story shows the case to be more of a “he said/she said” situation than the clear-cut rape that the media and Gillibrand made it out to be.
Gillibrand has now supported Sulkowicz by inviting her to participate in a press conference, including her story in press releases, inviting her to Obama's big speech, and calling Nungesser a rapist (without mentioning his name).
Seth Mandel addressed Gillibrand’s bullying in Commentary Magazine, writing that it is unlikely the senator will face consequences for her actions, and, worse yet, may even benefit from them.
“By any remotely reasonable standard, Gillibrand’s actions should horrify those who care about basic rights,” Mandel wrote. “Unfortunately, the most likely outcome is that this kind of mob mentality will only help her career, since the left has fully embraced turning its declared enemies into ‘former people,’ whether they are philanthropic libertarian business leaders or male college students.”
Bullying had become a rallying cry of the left just a few short years ago. Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., even started the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, which had 60 members in the last Congress, 57 of whom were Democrats. Yet now the left is perfectly alright with bullying — so long as the target is a white male college student accused of rape.
Nungesser has been harassed on campus and had his name circulated on a list of “rapists” at Columbia. He has also received social media threats and had his photo posted online.
Doesn’t that constitute the “harassment, violence, bullying and intimidation” Gillibrand excoriated a few years ago?