Purdue University employee Jamie Newman has responded to the school’s demand for “a full apology” for his alleged threats of rape against pro-life students and their family members with the statement, “If anything, you owe me an apology.”
Purdue legal counsel Steve Schultz issued a statement that referred to Newman’s “threat of rape” as “outside the bounds of any definition of protected speech.” Yet Schultz added that because Purdue is a public university, it is “obligated under the First Amendment and committed by principle to protect free speech–even speech as abhorrent as his.” As a result, no immediate punishment was issued to Newman.
Furthermore, Schultz said, “Anything other than a full apology and explanation from him about the intent of his statement will be insufficient to cure the harm he’s done.”
In response to Schultz’s statement, Newman sent a letter, which was shared with Lafayette Journal & Courier.
Given that no one in either your or the President’s office has had the simple common decency to contact me directly with regard to any of the events of the last few days, it’s hardly surprising that I would only learn about Purdue’s “demand” for an apology from me by reading about it on WLFI’s web site. Thanks [sic] goodness for digital media.
(1) Purdue Students for Life (PSFL) conducts a reprehensible stealth attack on the Black Cultural Center to “celebrate” the beginning of Black History Month.
[Breitbart News notes Newman is apparently referring to posters placed around Purdue’s campus by the school’s Students for Life group that intended to educate others about the disproportionate number of black babies who are aborted in the United States.]
(2) After PSFL is rather harshly criticized for this stunt by many in the Purdue community, it posts a victim-blaming “apology” on its Facebook page.
(3) I post an appropriately vehement response to PSL’s faux-apology on their Facebook page.
(4) My Facebook posting evidently comes to the attention of PSFL’s parent organization, Students For Life (SFL).
(5) In an attempt to punish and discredit me–indeed, to destroy me–for my criticism of PSFL, SFL publishes on its website an almost unspeakably horrific allegation against me, namely, that I threatened to rape “pro-life” Purdue students for purposes of impregnating them (and that my wife agreed to assist me by holding them down). This allegation is a complete fabrication, for which not one iota of evidence exists.
(6) This story quickly goes viral in the right wing, anti-abortion corner of the internet. It is widely disseminated. On right wing, anti-abortion blogs and web sites, and in my Purdue e-mail box, demands pile up for me to be criminally prosecuted and fired from [my] job and Purdue. I am widely denounced as a rapist.
(7) The story quickly comes to the attention of PSFL. Members of the organization, their parents, and people from around the campus, the city, the state, and the country then bombard the President’s office with demands that I be criminally prosecuted and fired. Remember: These demands are made on the basis of a false allegation for which not a shred of evidence exists.
(8) In response to the “threat” I’m assumed to pose to the Purdue community, Purdue launches a criminal investigation of me, and the President’s office releases a statement to the community that repeats the false allegations made against me, thereby ensuring that those false allegations are even more widely disseminated.
(9) The PUPD begins its investigation by contacting SFL for purposes of determining whether the allegations are credible, and asking for the sources of its story. SFL is unable to produce any credible sources. Shortly after being contacted by the PUPD, SFL removes the story from its web site, replacing it with one that is also defamatory, but doesn’t mention my having threatened Purdue students.
(10) Subsequently, I meet with the PUPD detective investigating the case, and provide him with a formal statement in which I deny all of the allegations made against me.
(11) At no point during this entire process am I contacted by anyone in Purdue’s Legal Department or the President’s office and afforded an opportunity to respond to the allegations made against me.
(12) Purdue then announces that it will not pursue criminal charges against me, or terminate my employment. At no time, however, does anyone connected with Purdue make a public statement indicating that the most repellant allegation made against me–that I threatened to rape and impregnate Purdue students–is a complete fabrication. At no time does anyone associated with Purdue issue a statement condemning Students for Life for fabricating and widely disseminating a completely false and utterly defamatory story about me, a long-term employee with a record of exemplary service to the University (as demonstrated by its recent decision to honor me with a Bravo award). Instead, Purdue officials continue to publicly impugn me, question my character and judgment, and blame me for creating a huge public relations problem for the University.
(13) Earlier this evening, I was notified by a friend–and not by you or anyone associated with the University–that WLFI has posted on its web site your statement demanding that I offer the Purdue community an “apology and explanation” for the “harm” I’ve done, and once again blaming me for the “disruption” Purdue has “endured”.
To the best of my knowledge, you have not yet made a demand for an “apology and explanation” directly to me. When and if you do, I can assure you that I will offer neither. The idea that I am in any way responsible for the series of events outlined above is laughably absurd. Had Students For Life not attempted to destroy me with fabricated allegations in retaliation for my comments about PSL, none of this would have happened. Indeed, none of this would have happened had PSL not engaged in its deplorable and scurrilous attack on the Black Cultural Center. (And how convenient for the University to be able to quickly shift public attention away from the misconduct of PSFL–which threatens to help upend the University’s attempts to portray itself as an oasis of racial harmony–and turn in it [sic] my direction). If you want apologies, seek them from SFL and PSFL.
If anything, you owe me an apology–indeed, you should probably be begging my forgiveness–for facilitating the dissemination of fabricated and defamatory statements about me, and for failing to vehemently denounce the effort made of Students For Life to destroy my life and career. I’m not planning to hold my breath waiting for one.
If at any time you’d like to see the e-mail messages I’ve received in response to SFL’s campaign of character assassination, I’d be happy to share them with you. They’re NSFW, but I suppose that, under the circumstances, you might agree to consider them.