My feminist colleagues are simply grossly incompetent. Despite clear evidence of his innocence, they are continuing to peddle propaganda suggesting that a black Harvard Law student named Brandon Winston is guilty of sexual assault. I’m referring to their shameful decision to both show and recommend the film The Hunting Ground to their students. In the process, they are presenting the film as an accurate portrayal of rape on college campuses in general and of several discredited cases in particular.
Whether they realize it or not, these feminists have allowed their commitment to advancing feminism to trump their commitment to fighting racism. In fact, their recent actions in repeating false accusations against black college students promote racism in a way not unlike the infamous case of the Scottsboro Boys in the 1930s.
By the time I first wrote about his case in 2015, Brandon Winston had been placed before three fact-finding bodies charged with considering accusations that he committed sexual assault. All three bodies including the Harvard Law faculty, a Massachusetts grand jury, and a 12-member criminal trial jury dismissed those charges.
Despite all this, his accuser Kamilah Willingham became a celebrity simply by leveling false allegations against Winston. She was given an opportunity to go in front of a Massachusetts grand jury and provide extensive testimony against Winston. But afterward, he was only indicted on two counts of “indecent assault and battery,” which is not a sexual assault, against Willingham’s friend. At trial, Winston was acquitted on both of those charges.
It is noteworthy that at Winston’s trial, he was only found guilty of an incidental misdemeanor, which was not a sexual assault. That conviction came only after the jury was deadlocked for three days. Yet, in 2019, he continues to be prosecuted in classrooms at UNC-Wilmington (where I teach) and all across America. Sadly, feminists masquerading as experts in sociology, criminology, and so-called social justice often lead the prosecutions.
Sadder still, CNN decided to advertise The Hunting Ground with a press package, which mentions the fact that a jury convicted Winston for a misdemeanor non-sexual assault. But the press package failed to mention anything about the evidence, which showed that Willingham lied to a jury in saying that Winston had committed felony sexual assault. CNN refused to mention his vindication against a lying accuser.
The consequences of this media-led and feminist-backed public lynching of an innocent black man have been severe. Winston had to spend four years defending against Willingham’s false accusations. Meanwhile, his accuser enriched herself with the help of CNN and scores of incompetent professors, including several who teach in my department (sociology and criminology) at UNC-Wilmington.
Actually, calling my colleagues incompetent is entirely too kind. Like the makers of The Hunting Ground, many of these professors know they are defaming an innocent man. But for many of these feminists, ideology supersedes the pursuit of truth. So they continue with their public prosecution. The facts are irrelevant. They are blinded by a common vision.
For objective observers of the case, it has long been beyond dispute that Ms. Willingham has engaged in malicious conduct with regard to her accusations against Brandon Winston. For example:
- Willingham produced a condom which she led authorities to believe was used by Brandon Winston to rape her friend. DNA tests later showed that the condom matched Ms. Willingham, not her friend, and an unknown male. Willingham had to have known she used the condom with another man. Yet she knowingly presented it as false evidence of rape against a man she knew to be innocent. This alone warrants bringing criminal charges against Willingham.
- Ms. Willingham also falsely accused Brandon Winston of drugging her. However, the only evidence of drugs involved in the night in question was that Willingham herself illegally possessed, used, and distributed cocaine to her friends.
Put simply, this woman is a liar and a malicious one at that. She does not deserve to be put in front of a camera. She deserves to be put behind bars. Additionally, CNN deserves to be sued for knowingly broadcasting a false and defamatory account of the Brandon Winston debacle.
But what about my feminist colleagues who continue to peddle such propaganda by showing and recommending The Hunting Ground to their students? Like the white racists in the Scottsboro case, they persist in prosecuting obviously innocent black men like Winston – but this time in the court of public opinion rather than a court of law. Like the prosecutors in the Scottsboro case, they won’t drop their accusations of rape even after the evidence has shown that no rape actually occurred. What is their motivation for doing so?
In the Scottsboro Boys case, the jury convicted eight innocent black men because they wanted to send a larger social message in order to keep black men in their place. It was an attempted lynching born out of ignorance and an exaggerated fear of black male sexuality.
For yesterday’s white racists, the problem was a lack of education. For many feminist criminologists, the problem is too much education combined with a moral compass that points only back at them.