Recently, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman donated $25,000 to the Crowdpac campaign to Recall Judge Persky. Now, Stanford alum Joe McCarthy has joined the fight by donating $5,000 on behalf of his daughter, a sexual assault survivor, to call attention to the serious problem of sexual assault on Stanford’s campus and across the country. He states:
“Brock Turner’s actions were inexcusable. Yet he insists on hiding behind excuses rather than accepting responsibility for his actions. His assault, victim blaming, and lack of personal accountability were all wrong. But he’s part of a larger issue.
Judge Persky is certainly mistaken in his view that privileged individuals (e.g. fellow Stanford athletes) should not be held fully accountable for their acts. While I believe that judges should have leeway in their decisions, I also believe there should be consequences for misuse of that power. A recall is the most appropriate consequence. The lenient sentence, and his attempts to justify it, was wrong. But he’s part of a larger issue.
This case itself was the symptom of a larger and systemic problem that exists at Stanford, at other campuses, and throughout society. I sincerely hope that my alma mater addresses head-on the attitude of sexual assault rather than being misled into treating it as an alcohol consumption issue. Athletes, fraternity members, and all students must understand what consent is and is not. Right now, Stanford is part of the larger issue.
Whether privileged or not, drunk or sober, we need to understand: Only an informed and enthusiastic “yes” is consent. Fear, inebriation, or unconsciousness are not. Sexual assault should be punished, with no excuses and no leniency, so that the consequences associated with it pave the way to justice for survivors and would-be perpetrators are put on notice.
If we make excuses like Brock, if we accept lenient sentences like Judge Persky’s, if we don’t hold people accountable for their actions, if we don’t discard the idea that sexual assault and rape are the survivor’s fault or alcohol’s fault or simply a by-product of modern society, if we don’t follow the example of the Swedish grad students and intervene, if we don’t teach our sons about consent and respect, if we don’t speak out loud and clear against sexual assault… then we, too, are part of the larger issue.
We owe it to the survivor in this case and survivors everywhere: We must step up and be part of the larger solution.”
I urge you to please join Joe McCarthy, Reid Hoffman, and others in supporting the Recall Judge Persky campaign on Crowdpac.
Chair, Committee to Recall Judge Persky
Michele Dauber is a Stanford law professor and a sociologist, Michele Landis Dauber has written highly original historical and sociological studies focusing on the history of social provision and the US welfare state. Her first book, The Sympathetic State (2013 University of Chicago Press) received numerous distinguished book awards and prizes including from the American Historical Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Political Science Association, the American Society for Legal History, and the Law and Society Association.