The Edinburgh Witch Trials: Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity edition
Perhaps the only thing more alarming than the statements made by the frat’s members is the public’s eagerness to condemn those involved
Surely by now you’ve heard the noise about the Delta Kappa Episilon Fraternity and their rape jokes?
In a private, members-only meeting, a small group of young men made inappropriate and offensive jokes that were then leaked.
What happened next has been a display of rightful concern, reasonable outrage, and ridiculous overreaction.
Despite any real evidence being presented (not saying it’s not true, it probably is, I’m simply saying that nothing has been proven) the names of all the boys are being round up, even by national news sources (including The Tab).
Their personal information and private conversation are being screen-shotted and shared.
Even people simply associated with them are being called into question and having to deny any previous relationship.
It would seem the horrible practices of McCarthyism are alive and well in Edinburgh, except instead of communists, they’re targeting and blacklisting anyone that’s ever used the term ‘bro’.
While the comments in question are offensive, nothing has been proven, no crimes have been committed, and the more Edinburgh and its do-gooders call for expulsions and harass the boys online, the less they look like the glittering beacons of justice they think they are, and the more they begin to resemble an online lynch mob, out for blood.
The frat members have been harassed to the point of needing to close their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
They fear for their livelihoods and their careers, with some lynch mob participants looking to hurt future job prospects, while other participants revel in the thought.
I understand that what they said was offensive, and the more I think about it, the worse their comments get, but what I’ve seen since is sickening in another way.
I was against the frat to begin with, and if they dissolve into oblivion, I won’t shed a tear.
But if this practice of online witch trials becomes the norm, of condemn and permanently scar first, ask questions later, we will all be worse off in the long run.
Without any court or trial, the lynch mob hands out its own perverse version of justice to those that offend them, frothing at the mouth for their next victim.
No matter what you think, it is not fair. It is not justice. It is not a case of “well, they got what was coming to them”.
In the past, even on the occasion the person being lynched was entirely guilty, it was still the entirely wrong way to deal with the situation, and those taking part in this current lynching should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for deteriorating to such lawlessness.
I understand that, though the supposed comments and jokes were made in private, they were nevertheless offensive, disgusting at times.
The fact they were made at an official meeting for the frat is cause for more concern, and the cavalier attitude towards such a serious issue as sexual assault, where just recently there was a horrifying attack in the Meadows, is a rightful cause for outrage.
But this situation has highlighted another disturbing trend, and unlike the original alleged comments made by the frat members, this emerging practice of online lynch mobs and social media witch trials, is no joke.