Criminal Appeals Court Concedes Pay To Convict Scheme

It’s a rare day when an Appellate Court admits a law enforcement agency has a financial incentive to secure convictions. Tennessee’s Court of Criminal appeals just did.

Because the money from the $250 BADT fees is placed directly in the intoxicant testing fund which is “designated for exclusive use by the TBI,” there is no question that the TBI, an agency of the State, has a direct pecuniary interest in securing convictions.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, or TBI, is the primary state agency analyzing blood samples and breath tests administered for DUI cases. Such analysis requires a person trained to examine each sample properly, and those people have to be paid for their time.

It isn’t a good look, though, when the money putting food on the analyst’s table comes from a fund that gets bigger with every DUI conviction. Yet a few lines in a state statute did just that, placing the money from every DUI conviction the Bureau garnered in a special fund dedicated to fattening TBI analysts’ pockets.

At the time of Decosimo’s arrest, Code section 55-10-419 (2012), which imposed

a $250 BADT fee for blood and breath tests and required the deposit of this fee into the TBI’s toxicology unit intoxicant testing fund.

This was different from other fines and fees in that the moneys paid by defendants went straight to the TBI, for exclusive use by the TBI. It paid for the creation of a forensic scientist position, paid the scientists, and bought all their shiny toys.

Best practices for distribution of funds collected by a court would ideally see the money first hit the state’s General Fund, then distributed to the Tennessee Bureau of investigations. What made the TBI different? They told the state they needed more money.

TBI Director Gwyn, in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11,  2014, explained that in 2008 the TBI was “faced with some pretty deep cuts” that would have required the TBI to “shut down some disciplines with our crime laboratory” or to “start charging local law enforcement for testing.”

So at the behest of the TBI, the state legislature raised the fee from $100 to $250 and made sure the money went straight to the Bureau for “efficient and expeditious” operation. The only problem was “efficient and expeditious” didn’t always equate to correct.

Testimony from one attorney found TBI Agent Kyle Bayer, one of the Bureau’s forensic scientists, failed to follow protocols and often produced faulty results when testing blood samples. Another attorney testified the TBI’s “Official Alcohol Report” was “the driving factor” in any DUI case. A 2012 change in the laws making blood tests mandatory if an impaired driver killed someone resulted in a four to five month delay in returned results.

In response, the State argued the only way the fine was unconstitutional was if defendants could show the TBI was falsifying test results to obtain the $250 fine for its coffers. Furthermore, since their forensic scientists were serving as experts and not judges, they weren’t required to be neutral.

To paraphrase the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, “That would be a big fat nope.” In a surprise twist, the Court held the additional $250 fine per conviction denied DUI defendants their right to due process.

The requirement of a neutral and objective TBI forensic scientist fits well with the State’s duty to pursue truth and justice in criminal cases…The need for an unbiased TBI forensic scientist is also consistent with holdings prohibiting the State’s suppression of evidence or its use of false testimony, which likewise implicate due process concerns…Because the State has the  duty to pursue truth and justice, it has the obligation to provide an accurate, unbiased BAC result, not a result that is deemed correct until disproved by the defendant. (emphasis mine)

Not every defendant charged with DUI can afford independent testing. If the TBI has a backlog in testing, there’s an incentive for defendants to plead guilty and settle their case before lab results return. Since each guilty plea netted TBI another $250, they were obligated to make sure their results were accurate and unbiased.

The law has changed since Rosemary Decosimo challenged the TBA’s financial interest in securing DUI convictions. Ms. Decosimo will get another hearing more in line with her rights to due process as a result of this appeal. That doesn’t change the unknown number of defendants who didn’t get a fair chance at trial because the TBI, and the state legislature, prioritized money and convictions over a defendant’s constitutional rights.

Negative Suggestion: A Killer Deal-Breaker

If you’re a parent, been around kids, or played with children for any length of time you’ll learn one cardinal rule: The easiest way to get a small child to do something is to tell them NOT to do it. This is called “negative suggestion,” and it is a psychological mind trick that could explain why people engage in some of the worst, most unspeakable behavior.

Consider the following “true crime story,” Netflix’s “American Vandal.” Spoilers after the trailer if you’ve yet to see it.

SPOILERS BELOW:
In the end of the series, though Dylan, the character at the center of this show is proven innocent over the high school vandalism incident, he eventually commits the act himself against his Spanish teacher because people saw him as a vandal. The more people perceived Dylan to be a graffiti artist, the more it pushed him into actually performing that act.

Children are the most prone to negative suggestion because they’ve not developed the social habits or impulse control of adults. Telling a two year old child “Don’t talk with your mouth full at the dinner table” will produce drastically different results than telling a twenty-two year old. Two decades of age teach a person there are certain social behaviors that are unacceptable, and the mind forms a sort of block preventing one from engaging in those bad acts.

That doesn’t mean adults are immune to negative suggestion. In fact, negative suggestion could move a person in the right context to kill. Watch the following video, then I’ll attempt to explain how the poor kitten was doomed from the start.

Now that you’ve watched the video, consider the following breakdown:

By :35 in the video, Brown establishes credibility with the subject. A very realistic looking setup displays a kitten in a box with wires connecting to a button. The subject is told if the red button on the table is pressed, it will deliver a massive electrical shock to the box and kill the kitten.

By :51 the subject is told her mission is to not kill the kitten. If she succeeds in this she wins 500 pounds If she doesn’t, then she kills the kitten.

Note the slap of Brown’s hand on the table containing the button which theoretically kills the kitten. It does two things. First, it puts an image in the subject’s mind of pressing the button without actually pressing the button. It also punctuates what Brown ACTUALLY wants the young woman to do: “kill the kitten.”

By 1:01 Brown’s officially gotten his subject to believe no legal repercussions will occur if she kills the kitten. She’s told there’s a “legal loophole” and four kittens have been killed on live British television.

He then says “This will be the fifth.” It’s a devious phrase inserted into the script, because now Brown is telling his subject without telling her that she’s going to kill the kitten.

By 1:30, while the subject is playing with the kitten through the box, Brown begins the negative suggestion. He tells her to try and not think about it for a minute. When she responds with a question, he says “It’s best to take your mind off the kitten.” By telling her to try and take her mind off the kitten, Derren is implanting the suggestion that she needs to fixate on the kitten.

By 2:06 Brown begins regressing his subject to a more childlike demeanor. He fixes himself a cup of tea after offering it to the subject, then hands her Tang. Tang is typically a children’s drink. She notices this, and notices he has tea. He brushes this off with another slap of the table and the command to draw something for him.

At about 2:25, marvel at the fact Derren Brown knows his subject is going to draw a kitten. Why? Because he told her previously to NOT think about the kitten! As an added mental punch, he puts the paper and crayons next to the button and invites his subject to bring the Tang with her.

Three minutes into the video Brown slaps the table next to him again and asks about a toy the subject was to bring for a “psychological test.” Here’s a killer. She brought a childhood teddy bear named “Scriffy.”

“Names like that just take you to back when you were that age,” he says.

By 3:28 he’s got her hooked. Brown asks his subject to close her eyes and imagine a time when she was younger, and maybe a little bit naughty, and associate the teddy bear with that image.

Ten seconds later he’s asking his subject how the memory of her father making teddy bears talk made her feel. We’ve now hooked imagination and emotion into the suggestion. It’s a one-two punch at this point. She’s feeling happy. The image of her father making her teddy bears talk is funny.

The next question: “When were you most mischievous?” attempts to put the subject in a state where they’re preconditioned to do something bad. Her description is putting on her mother’s makeup. By 3:55 into the video he’s asking her again how being mischievous made her feel. Brown is hooking the act of doing something bad with a feeling.

“It’s exciting…a growing up thing…” she says.

Happiness and excitement are all she can think about now when it comes to this new juvenile state of mind. This kitten is toast at this point.

4:06: “Feels good, doesn’t it?” Derren Brown asks. All while he’s clicking the button on a red ball point pen. His subject’s eyes aren’t open but she hears the audible click of the button on the pen. She’s now begun to associate the action of pushing a button with feeling exciting and happy.

Around 4:18 comes one of the most striking points in the video. Brown asks his subject to draw another cat. This one is larger and more child like in comparison to the first. He even asks her to sign her name to the drawing, as children often do.

Brown now applauds Lauren with “That’s a really lovely pussycat.” Note the change in description of the animal. First it was a “kitten,” now a “pussycat.” The latter is a more juvenile term for the animal, and further cements the lock on Lauren’s brain for a childlike, suggestive state.

She’s going to push that button now whether she knows it or not.

By 5:03 Lauren sees Brown click the red button on the ballpoint pen a number of times. This is reinforcing a belief in her head that if she pushes a red button nothing bad will happen.

One more slap of the table and Brown announces two minutes are left. He produces a large digital two minute clock (with red numerals), and at 5:26 into the video Derren Brown delivers the final linguistic kill shot*: “Whatever you do, don’t press the button.” Anchoring that with a clicking sound associates Lauren’s mind with the clicking sound of the red ball point pen, which further pushes Lauren towards killing the kitten.

Six minutes into the video, Lauren is in a state of crisis. She sees how much time is left on the clock, she plays with the kitten, and she’s in turmoil. She wants at a base level for the kitten to live, but she’s resisting a massive impulse to push that button.

At 7:12, notice the facial expression on Lauren’s face. She can’t believe what she’s about to do.

With one second left, the kitten is toast.

Look at those times when negative suggestion impacts you and the interactions with others in your everyday life. Sometimes the more someone tells you to not do something, it’s the easiest way to get you to do just that.

And hopefully, by now you’ve figured out how pliable our minds truly are and how they can be influenced for better or worse with the right skill set.

Coerced Confessions on Steroids.

It’s no secret law enforcement, with the right tactics, can get an unwitting subject to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

One of the most recent, and infamous examples, is Brendan Dassey, the teenager at the heart of Netflix’s true crime series “Making a Murderer” who confessed to a crime he didn’t commit after a brutal interrogation.

Criminal defense attorneys consistently tell people they should not speak to police absent presence of counsel. The mantra is simple. “Shut Up. Don’t Talk.” But the human instinct to prove innocence is so strong that people willingly go to police stations and talk up officers in the back of squad cars to insist they didn’t do something.

You don’t need long stretches in an interrogation room, lack of sleep, or a desire for food to get a coerced confession. Simply playing to someone’s sense of shame or guilt can produce a confession, even to murder.

Check out the video below to see how even a nice guy with a blameless history can be pushed to confess to a murder that never happened.

Could you, the nicest of people, resist the same level of suggestion in the same environment? Would you be able to resist the tendency to confess?

This is why you don’t speak to police without a lawyer present.

When Mob Mentality Goes Wrong

“Deindividuation” is a social psychology concept explaining mob mentality. When a group loses self awareness, it demonstrates a capacity to do harm, rather than good.

Examples of deindividuation in real life are the “#HasJustineLanededYet” movement, “#MeToo,” the Title IX “campus rape frenzy,” and the Milgram Experiment.

If you think deindividuation is a made up term that has no effect in real life, check out the following video:

After viewing, ask yourself. Do you possess the capacity to stand out from the mob if you are granted the condition of anonymity? Would you pick the positive choices if given the opportunity?

It’s easy to say “I’d never do that to a person.” It’s a lot harder to put that into practice.

Politics, Protests, and Sports

The introduction of political protests in sports for many Americans began when San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was seen sitting during the National Anthem on August 26, 2016. When pressed on this decision, Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand for the anthem of a flag for a nation that oppresses people of color.” His decision to sit and kneel during the Anthem, as well as Kaepernick’s decision to wear socks depicting police officers as pigs, were two means of the quarterback’s stance against police brutality against African-Americans.

Despite his absence, more players joined Kaepernick’s symbolic protest during the 2017-18 NFL season, with the hash tag #TakeAKnee trending during certain games. The backlash was swift and harsh on the league, but no one can deny the effective nature of this political protest.

Now the NBA’s players and coaches are getting in on the action by speaking out against the current administration’s position on immigration. Basketball hasn’t felt the economic pressure football’s seen, but time will tell if this new protest carries negative repercussions.

What can’t be denied is that in both cases, athletes were using their positions of prominence to speak on issues they considered important. Even more crucial is that any athlete who chooses to speak on an issue or engage in a protest has the absolute right to do so thanks to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

A reality many Americans seem to overlook is athletes using their prominence to speak on passionate causes is arguably as old as the nation itself. A cursory Google search shows Roman Gladiators using their status to make a case for causes they found passionate.

I would delve into more history, but unfortunately I’m not a sports historian or expert.

Luckily, Southern Fried Radio has someone who brings that value to the network. And I’m delighted to announce a collaboration with Michael Shibley, host of “Man in the Arena,” where we’ll discuss sports, protests, how athletes use their positions of influence to discuss issues they find important, why their speech is protected by the First Amendment, and the social consequences of their protests.

The major domo of Southern Fried Radio will serve as moderator for this discussion to keep Michael and I on track.

I can’t stress how excited I am for this broadcast. It’s one time where the Sit Down puts aside the conservatarian perspective and actively works to make listeners smarter.

Stay tuned for details on when you can hear this highly topical discussion. 

Assault By Anxiety Attack

Assault requires someone “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” either cause bodily harm to someone or “reasonably fear imminent bodily injury.” Brian Mullinax arguably didn’t intend to or know telling Deputy Justin Johnson filming the arrest of his girlfriend would cause a panic attack, with Johnson firing seven shots at a trailer park. Remarkably, Mullinax is on trial for assault by anxiety attack.

Brian Keith Mullinax, 41, and his girlfriend, Tina Carrie Jo Cody, 37, spent 42 days in jail on felony charges, accused of causing what was described in court statements as a “panic attack” and which a detective called “some type of cardiac event.” They remain under prosecution on misdemeanor charges, court records show.

The charges started as felonies, because Deputy Johnson went to a hospital after the assault.

“Because of the assault on Johnson and the fact that he was taken to the hospital with injuries and may have suffered some type of cardiac event as the result of this assault by both the male and female and all the statements and evidence, I charged” Mullinax and Cody with aggravated assault, [Sevier County Sheriff’s Office Detetctive Johnny] Bohanan wrote.

And they might have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for that damn body cam video. You can watch it here. It’s disturbing, but not “Daniel Shaver Shooting” disturbing.

Johnson arrived at a Sevier County trailer park after paramedics attending to a woman who’d fallen complained Mullinax and Cody stole her purse. At the start of the video, Johnson is chasing after Cody, eventually catches her, and with the help of an EMT, handcuffs Cody.

Very shortly after Cody is secure, a male voice is heard on the video. It’s hard to make out who the voice is or what is being said, but it’s arguably Mullinax. He claims he was holding a cell phone and told Johnson he was recording his girlfriend’s arrest.

Johnson responds by drawing his service firearm and firing off four rounds in Mullinax’s direction, then an additional three. No warning is given, and no concern for Cody or the paramedic who covers Cody’s prone body once Johnson begins firing near his head.

After discharging his firearm, Johnson begins to flee the trailer park and heads toward the road. He radios for backup, saying “Help me! Shots fired!” Johnson tells dispatchers someone fired at him as he returns to the scene where paramedics tend to Cody.

Johnson continues screaming commands at Mullinax to drop any objects in his hands and get on the ground. He keeps his firearm drawn and ready to shoot the entire time. It’s not long after the shouting begins that Johnson starts hyperventilating, a telltale symptom of panic attacks.

Fortunately, one of the EMTs on scene catches this and figures out what’s happening to Johnson. This guy walks up to Johnson, calmly tells him everything’s fine, and takes the gun from Johnson’s hands. If anyone in this situation is a hero, it’s the medical pro who realized a cop suffering from a panic attack with a gun was a danger to a lot of people.

As more people arrive on scene, Johnson tells them to look for the gun because “[Mullinax] must’ve done something with it.” There’s no video of Johnson’s hospital ride, but one can infer the EMT who saw a panic attack so severe it popped out a contact lens needed extra observation.

Release of the body cam footage dropped the charges on Mullinax and Cody from aggravated assault to simple assault for Mullinax and resisting arrest for Cody.

Let’s get things clear: Mullinax did not assault Deputy Justin Johnson. Not once did he display an intent to cause Johnson bodily harm. At best one can accuse Mullinax of scaring Johnson with the thought of the press potentially seeing him manhandle Ms. Cody.

This is a bad case and a bad trial for prosecutors. Anxiety attacks aren’t something other people can intentionally or knowingly trigger, unless that person knows you very well and is despicable. Experiencing one hardly meets the elements of assault.

Worse for prosecutors is Deputy Johnson’s credibility, which is now very much in question. The body cam footage doesn’t help. Neither does a new report stating Deputy Johnson was forced to resign from a prior law enforcement gig in Washington County after, among other things, lying to his chief about an affair.

Cop life is arguably stressful. Following the First Rule of Policing means you’ll be in high-pressure situations on occasion. That a stressful situation escalating into an anxiety attack by a man with a badge, gun, and state sanctioned license to kill didn’t result in death is tragically, in our time, a miracle.

h/t Jamie Satterfield

Education or Indoctrination?

A number of theories currently circulate regarding conservative hostility to higher education. Some argue it’s because a lack of education will keep Republican politicians in power. Others say it’s because conservatives can’t handle hearing different opinions. Let’s consider another perspective: conservatives want their kids educated, not indoctrinated.

A class taught this spring at Ohio State University will review a parade of reasons why white heterosexual masculinity is allegedly problematic…according to its syllabus.

Parents are surely thrilled at the prospect of their children learning about problematic masculinity for approximately five to six figures of debt. What could such a course entail?

The course, “Be a Man! Masculinities, Race and Nation,” includes a variety of readings to that end, including its required textbook “Dude, You’re a Fag!” by C.J. Pascoe, which analyzes masculinity as not only a gendered process, but sexual one.

Time will only tell if OSU’s Bias Response Team is deployed to examine whether Jonathan Branfam’s required textbook is considered “problematic” with a homophobic slur in the title. Perhaps other required readings make up for the gaffe.

Other assigned reading excerpts include: “Masculinity as Homophobia” by Michael Kimmel; “Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity” by Jackson Katz; “Dude Sex: Dudes Who Have Sex with Dudes” by Jane Ward; “Looking for My Penis” by Richard Fung; “Sodomy in the New World” by Jonathan Goldberg; and “Teaching Men’s Anal Pleasure” by Susan Stiritz.

Solving the heterosexual masculinity problem involves a detailed examination of homosexuality. Got it. The audiovisual material in the course is just as ridiculous for a class at a university.

The class is also expected to screen “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” the dashcam footage of Philando Castile’s murder, Key & Peele’s “Hoodie Skit,” and an episode of “The New Normal.”

Connecting any of those videos with dreaded toxic masculinity is a stretch for those outside academia. Fear not, as Dr. Branfam’s done all the heavy lifting for mere mortals.

The course is ultimately presented as a study in “feminist masculinity” that seeks to explain how ideas about masculinity “simultaneously harm yet privilege” men, the syllabus states. It also aims to explain how “beliefs regarding masculinity serve to justify certain kinds of violence by men against others, and violence against particular groups of men.”

Being a man is both a privilege and harmful. Masculine beliefs justify violence against others. Students read a “male privilege checklist” on the first day of class. If anyone can explain how this isn’t a case study of indoctrination, I’m willing to listen.

Dr. Branfam’s work isn’t confined to the halls of academia. His published material includes a children’s book teaching “gender and sexual identity.”

“It was really a result of teaching women’s, gender and sexuality studies classes at OSU,” Branfman told the [OSU] Lantern. “I often found myself thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if everyone got really clear, unstigmatized information about gender and sexual diversity at a young age instead of them having to unlearn all kinds of harmful false ideas when they’re 12 instead of when they’re 20?’”

Get them while they’re young, and they’ll sign up for your gender studies classes later. Duly noted.

The unhinged lunatics infecting academia aren’t limited to places like Oberlin or Evergreen State. Odds are your local university has someone like Branfam teaching men they are bad, evil rapists destined for a life of violence unless they rid themselves of all the harmful manly thoughts and values taught by their parents and society.

Once the diploma is secured, and the newly neutered but “educated” man walks across the stage at graduation, he will attempt to find an employer who will pay him a living wage without subjecting him to the horrific violence that is masculine thought. This “woke” individual will no doubt make every effort to point out co-workers’ problematic displays of manliness.

And he’ll blame the patriarchy when his boss finally sees him as a liability.

Conservatives aren’t willing to engage with differing opinions. Parents against sending their children to college are more wary of the gospel preached by the Dr. Branfam’s of academia. They’re paying for their children to learn useful skills and study subjects preparing them for the transition to adult life.

When the kids come back home over break and argue with their parents about the gendered violence of the NFL, Mom and Dad will call their friends and tell them to keep their children away from university.

The second call will be to the school, demanding a refund.

h/t Andrew King

When Compelled Consent Is The New Normal

Consent is a specific component of the sex crime called rape. If the victim does not consent, what might begin as a sexual encounter between two adults turns into a criminal act. Furthermore, consent must be mutual. Unless you’re part of the Social Justice Xisterhood Orthodoxy. Status in such a group grants you the superpower to compel another party’s consent, less they commit the offense of “reverse rape.”

There is one aspect of rape that’s like not addressed enough though, maybe because it’s quite rare. I call it “Reverse Rape” …[referring] to the rare times when a man refuses to have sex with a woman.

NO MEANS NO UNLESS YOU’RE A MAN; THEN YOU ARE DISEMPOWERING ME WHEN I WANT SEX.

Anne Gus’s 2o14 Thought Catalog piece was meant as satire. Some people didn’t take Poe’s Law into account after a read. Now the term carries a whole new meaning, as the most “woke” will gladly tell you.

Reverse-rape is the refusal to sexually engage w/ women of the “wrong body type” and is just as horrific as rape.

So if you’re a man, and you turn down the proposition of a woman you simply don’t find physically attractive, you’re now a sexual predator of the Weinstein variety. Still think this is satire? Ask a recent Big Brother UK contestant and see if your opinion changes.

In the latest episode, Ginuwine seemingly rejected fellow housemate India Willoughby.

The controversy stems from a conversation between Willoughby and the “Pony” singer, in which she asked whether he would date a trans woman. “You would date me, yeah,” Willoughby, who is a trans woman herself, asked. “Not if you were trans,” Ginuwine replied. After Ginuwine replied that he would not date a trans woman, Willoughby attempted to plant a kiss on the singer. When her advance was rejected, Willoughby stormed off.

It’s not just Willoughby who finds rejection from a cisgender male offensive. Mic, a left-leaning media company recently published a video mocking men who wouldn’t date trans women as “insecure.”

Whether… you may not understand my gender identity, it doesn’t mean that I’m weaker than you. I find myself to be a lot stronger than those people, actually, because my strength has to come from within, you know the endurance of what I have to endure day to day and what I have to do day to day to myself and all the things I face on a day-to-day basis. I think it makes me resilient and that actually makes stronger than that kind of man so I actually think they’re weaker.

So a refusal to romantically or sexually engage with someone you don’t find attractive makes you “weaker” and in some cases “phobic?” What if your business involves sex and you’re the target of an outrage mob because you refuse to have sex with someone for health and safety reasons?

[The suicide of adult film star August Ames] is stirring up quite a controversy, because in the days leading up to it, Ames was being bullied heavily online, including several specific suggestions that she kill herself. Ames had tweeted that she had backed out of a sex scene because it wasn’t disclosed that the man she was supposed to have sex with had done gay porn. Apparently, the reticence of women to work with “crossovers” is fairly common and long accepted in porn.

Ames apparently held the belief men who worked in same-sex adult film scenes were at a higher risk of contracting STDs and HIV, which cripples the career of adult film stars. When she attempted to defend her right to work with whom she chose, the online outrage mobs descended and called her homophobic.

This brave new world of throwing labels such as “rapist,” “phobic,” and “bigot” comes to one logical conclusion. Eventually people will wonder why their invisible signals of sexual juju don’t bring around their preferred targets of desire. They will puzzle over why the opposite sex runs when they advance.

None will stop to think for even the slightest moment the person sprinting in fear doesn’t want to end up on a punitive registry for the rest of their lives.

Advice After Aziz

It was only a matter of time before someone sufficiently “woke” ran afoul of the #MeToo Hollywood choir. Few could expect the dreaded “sexual misconduct” would include “regrettable hook-ups.” Well, time’s up.

Golden Globe winning actor and comedian Aziz Ansari has been accused of “sexual assault” by a 23-year-old photographer from Brooklyn kept anonymous for her safety. (emphasis mine)

The bolded portion of that quote is the first alarming part of Fader’s write-up. “Sexual assault” means certain things, like rape and sexual battery. These are crimes. Not awkward bedroom moments with celebrities, as Babe’s account suggests of the date between “Grace” and Aziz.

Ansari and “Grace” met at the 2017 Emmy Awards after party and found a connection between the type of camera the two used to take pictures. She took pictures with Ansari, and gave him her telephone number before leaving.

When her plane landed back in New York the next day, she already had a message from him. They exchanged flirtatious banter over text for a week or so before he asked her to go out with him on Monday, September 25.

After dinner, the two proceeded to Ansari’s apartment where the two engaged in a variety of sexual acts. “Grace” later claimed everything Aziz did was “aggressive.” He failed to read her signals of discomfort, and that was too much for the young photographer to bear.

Throughout the course of her short time in the apartment, she says she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was. “Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points,” she said. “I stopped moving my lips and turned cold.”

Whether Ansari didn’t notice Grace’s reticence or knowingly ignored it is impossible for her to say. “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested. I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.”

Ansari was sexually aroused and indicated as much. “Grace,” not so much. She went to Ansari’s bathroom, collected herself, and then returned with a rejection.

“I said I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you,” she said.

“Grace” didn’t want to feel forced. That’s completely understandable. No one should feel forced to have sex with someone, and Ansari acknowledged he understood this.

 “He said, ‘Oh, of course, it’s only fun if we’re both having fun.’ The response was technically very sweet and acknowledging the fact that I was very uncomfortable. Verbally, in that moment, he acknowledged that I needed to take it slow. Then he said, ‘Let’s just chill over here on the couch.’”

Once the pair hit the couch, “Grace” performed oral sex on Aziz.

“He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable.” (emphasis mine)

“Grace” could have said no. She’s ostensibly a grown woman, completely capable of telling anyone she doesn’t want to engage in sexual activity with them. “Grace” could have left the apartment the moment Ansari motioned that he wanted oral sex. None of this happened.

The night continued, with Ansari making a final advance while watching an episode of “Seinfeld” with “Grace.” At that point “Grace” felt violated and verbally lashed out.

“I remember saying, ‘You guys are all the same, you guys are all the fucking same.’” Ansari asked her what she meant. When she turned to answer, she says he met her with “gross, forceful kisses.”

After this, “Grace” left in an Uber, crying and texting her friends about the encounter. She felt “groggy and miserable” the next day. When Ansari messaged her about the prior night, the digital disconnect between the two allowed “Grace” enough space to tell Aziz how she really felt.

“It was fun meeting you last night,” Ansari sent on Tuesday evening. “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me,” Grace responded. “You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.” She explains why she is telling him how she felt: “I want to make sure you’re aware so maybe the next girl doesn’t have to cry on the ride home.”

“I’m so sad to hear this,” he responded. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”

None of Ansari’s actions constituted sexual assault at any point. “Grace” could have said no, left his apartment at any time. Her feeling “pressured” and “forced” to perform oral sex on Ansari, however much this pains the #MeToo crowd, doesn’t constitute any element of sexual assault.

Yet with the help of her friends, and enough recitations of her story, “Grace” managed to make the leap to “sexual assault.”

“It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault,” she told us. “I was debating if this was an awkward sexual experience or sexual assault. And that’s why I confronted so many of my friends and listened to what they had to say, because I wanted validation that it was actually bad.”

Validation from your friends doesn’t meet the elements of a sex crime. It didn’t stop “Grace” and Babe from putting Aziz Ansari on trial in Internet Court. Ansari has since issued a statement, saying the entire encounter was consensual, but he still supported the #MeToo movement because it was “necessary and long overdue.”

Amy Alkon, the “Advice Goddess,” had a different take on the experience, one future “Graces” might want to consider. It’s not as touchy feely as they would like, but one worth considering for equality’s sake.

If you are a woman who is so emotionally frail that you cannot have agency — control your behavior when in the presence of an unarmed person who wants something that you don’t want — you should not be allowed out unsupervised.

As in Victorian times, you should meet men in the family parlor, with supervision.

If Ms. Alkon’s above statement offends too much, well, she doesn’t pull any more punches.

The apartment had a door.

There’s a word: “No.”

Another word: “Stop!”

If you don’t stand up for what you want on some occasion, there’s something you should do — and no, it isn’t putting another person on trial on social media. It’s deciding to turn the experience into a learning experience and figure out what you’ll do to stand up for your interests the next time around.

Bad dates don’t equate to sex crimes, and if you lack the ability to clearly say “no” to anyone, even someone previously referred to as a “woke feminist bae,” then it’s definitely time to turn your bad date into a learning experience, not accuse someone of sexual assault.

X+Y=Racism

Literature, chock full of references to white cisheteronormative shitlords, was first on the racism chopping block. Timeliness and striving for greatness, goals often considered worthy, couldn’t escape the dreaded R-word. Now mathematics, arguably the least racially charged subject, isn’t woke enough for academia.

Three British professors recently claimed that statistical analyses have been weaponized to “serve white racial interests” within academia and beyond.

Led by David Gillborn, a professor at the University of Birmingham, the professors argue that math serves white interests because it can “frequently encode racist perspectives beneath the facade of supposed quantitative objectivity.”

If that word salad has you scratching your head, you’re not alone. Statistics by nature are designed to measure certain issues within a set parameter of data. How a string of numbers can “encode racist perspectives” is beyond comprehension.

“Contrary to popular belief, and the assertions of many quantitative researchers, numbers are neither objective nor color-blind,” Gillborn and his team assert in their article for the journal Race, Ethnicity, and Education.

Numbers are not neutral because “quantitative data is often gathered and analyzed in ways that reflect the interests, assumptions, and perceptions of White elites,” they contend, adding that even so-called objective analysis fails to take the pervasiveness of racism into account.

Reaching this conclusion requires a sharp left turn off the tracks towards [ableist slur]town. Two plus two equals four. Ten multiplied by ten equals 100. “White elite” perspective has no say in the result. Numbers don’t reach a system of oppression towards minorities or the oppressed.

Despite this, the shut-ins of the ivory tower have a solution to make math “woke” enough for public consumption.

To address the racism numbers reinforce, the professors advocate for the adoption of “QuantCrit”—a portmanteau for “quantitative analysis” and “critical race theory.” Quantcrit, they say, has five key tenets, including that “numbers are not neutral.”

Other key tenets of QuantCrit theory include realizing that math tends to legitimate existing racial inequalities, acknowledging that numerical analyses disadvantage minorities, and understanding how numbers play to the benefit of white interests.

Do what now? Math legitimates existing racial inequalities? Is there no absurdity outside academia’s reach?

Lumping mathematics under the dome of “racism,” as with many other disciplines, only serves the purpose of rendering actual racism meaningless. Yes, we have a long way to go in our collective struggle to address racism, and some people still harbor the lunatic mindset those without white skin are inferior.

Adding numbers to the problematic masses just neuters the real, ugly racism in our lives.