11 responses

  1. Hue-Man
    May 6, 2014

    I believed she put herself in an untenable position at the time and see nothing to change my position. How could she speak up for diversity when she was speaking up for suppressing the rights of fellow citizens (including students who may have had their rights limited)?

    I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and blame the ridiculous lawsuit on an over-eager attorney. That she allowed it to proceed displays a singular lack of good judgment.

  2. Soren456
    May 7, 2014

    Gallaudet was protecting itself—a thing that it has a genuine corporate obligation to do.

    Were the school ever sued on an issue of discrimination, her testimony as chief enforcer and advocate would be dangerously impeachable.

    If she could be shown to be unaware of, or indifferent to the gears and mindsets of discrimination—as signing that petition suggests she is—that fact would add huge and wholly unwelcome difficulty to the school’s defense of itself.

    Worse, it would add credibility (perhaps deserved) to a plaintiff’s case.

    Having discovered this about McGaskill, Gallaudet had both the right and the obligation to protect itself. And it did.

  3. Lord_Byron
    May 7, 2014

    Just curious, but when was political affiliation added as a protected class? If it’s not a protected class you can’t sue for discrimination based on that.

  4. Eric Payne
    May 7, 2014

    Lord_Byron asks:

    Just curious, but when was political affiliation added as a protected class? If it’s not a protected class you can’t sue for discrimination based on that.

    Political affiliation is not a protected class, per se, but I believe what McCaskill may have been trying to do, ultimately, was to shoe-horn political affiliation into a First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) issue. While affiliation is not protected, speech is… and her political affiliation helps determine what she says and believes, ergo, affiliation is protected. Boas berg was right to toss her case. Allowing it to continue, even if she lost at trial, could have opened the barn doors and upended employment law — courts could have been inundated with claimants who had no “loss;” litigants who had no reassignment of duties, change in title nor change in compensation — but who just felt like, maybe, they’d been punished.

    I am troubled, though, by a “diversity officer” who is not cognizant of the circumstances of the minority groups over which she has charge; I’m very uncomfortable with students who now feel intimidated by her presence at their group’s meetings, though her attendance at those meetings is not inappropriate for her “Diversity Officer” position.

    Perhaps, for this school year (and, maybe, next year, since this year is pretty much over), when attending a meeting of any of the school’s gay groups, McCaskill should have another administrator/faculty member, of the groups’ choosing, attend with her?

  5. Victor
    May 7, 2014

    Ignoring for the moment that she is black… If McCaskill had signed onto anything that could be construed as racist or anti-Semitic this entire conversation would not be happening: she would have been canned and not reinstated. It is only when these matters of “exercising their right to free speech” denigrate or call into question the rights of LGBT people that accommodating bigotry is open for discussion. I, for one, am sick of it. Being gay is not an optional political position – it is an immutable part of the human condition. The very idea that anyone – especially another gay person – thinks it is OK to tolerate someone else’s intolerance of them is an outrage. For a black woman, especially, to ignore the role Christianity itself played in this nation’s history of subjugation reveals a disturbing myopia that makes her unfit to serve in any position where the protection of “diversity” weighs in the balance.

  6. Eric Payne
    May 7, 2014

    Victor,

    You are 100% correct! and I am ashamed of myself for falling into a different way of thinking.

    If McCaskill had been white, and signed a petition to repeal the Civil Rights Act, or to renew a form of “literacy test” for citizens to qualify to vote, she’d have been unemployed the moment that became known. That she is, herself, a member of two minority groups doesn’t lessen her responsibility; she should, instead, be seen as what she truly is: an officer of the public trust who betrayed that trust for personal reasons, and be treated accordingly.

  7. Bose in St. Peter MN
    May 7, 2014

    Hampered by not knowing more of the details, it still seems to me that Gallaudet was genuinely patient with its suspension. What is apparent is that an officer was refusing to follow basic policies and procedures which the holder of the office was required to know and carry out. Instead, meetings and private dialog were avoided while press conferences were called.

    No employee, much less an executive, gets to presume that they are immune from suspension (with pay, sometimes). Questions that come up, even if later found to be without merit, need to be answered.

    I’m glad this was resolved with Dr. McCaskill retaining a senior position. As a diversity professional, she will also stand among her peers like Mark Regnerus among his — a tale of how things can go wrong, and continue to be mismanaged over time.

  8. Regan DuCasse
    May 7, 2014

    Great comments all. Victor is correct about Galludet having the need to review their legal options regarding an office on their staff.
    Especially in the position she had that required trust from all the students they serve.
    More importantly, the fact that she’s been reinstated and no further repercussions occurred has NOT been reported by anti gay media.
    They keep talking about her case as if she was fired and remains so.
    This is an egregious omission of FACTS and introspection when it comes to people whose employment serves a VARIETY of individuals, and there is no room for bias of any of them.

    And to Eric’s point, I’m sick to death of exemptions being made when it comes to bias against gay people.
    When, if these same sentiments were expressed about Jews, or blacks (exceptional as vulnerable minorities with a legacy of discrimination already), then being fired wouldn’t be seen as wrong.
    Bigotry against gay people shouldn’t be demanded as a right.
    Let alone treated as ‘simply a matter of free speech’.
    We know that there are certain kinds of speech dangerous to the same minorities over and over again.
    The consequences of which betray things that are unacceptable anywhere else.

  9. The Lauderdale
    May 7, 2014

    “She followed the meeting with a letter to the school in which she phrased the situation thusly:
    ‘In late October, I exercised my right to sign a petition which resulted in a wide range of feelings, concerns, and reactions across campus.’
    The letter did not speak at all about or to the gay Gallaudet students, causing students to express more dismay.
    I don’t know much of her efforts since that time of reconciliation. None have been reported.”

    I looked at that letter (http://planet.deafqueer.com/mccaskill-addresses-gallaudet-campus-community/), and she said there were to be three meetings for discussion in March, including one with LGBTQ students. I wonder how they went down. Can’t really find any kind of followup.

  10. Jay
    May 7, 2014

    Have the BTB boys rushed to sign the petition on her behalf? She just signed a petition. As far as I know, she didn’t donate $1000 to deny Marylanders the right to marry.

  11. NancyP
    May 8, 2014

    The fact that she is suing a co-worker – and the co-worker’s partner (!) – for seeing her name on a public petition is pretty ridiculous. She has created her own “hostile work environment”.

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