“Injecting racial tension into a conflict where none previously exists is generally harmful to society and shouldn’t be condoned, but we can also find it completely unacceptable to have professors brag about how they’ll try online to destroy the career of a student.”
This argument is about racism, not bad behaviour. If the professor really did react to the students baiting as described, something I sincerely doubt, then the professor behaved atrociously. And the student clearly contrived to destroy the career of the professor too, and apparently succeeded. So if the story is true then there was terrible behaviour on both sides.
But the only racism here is coming from the student, not the professor.
“I’m not sure why you feel it’s a good idea to guess all sorts of negative things about the poster.”
I am not guessing. I am asking for evidence. I think that to write nasty accusations about someone all over the internet is a horribly disgusting and cowardly thing to do. If you have an accusation to make then prove it.
“Does that make you feel better about siding with a peer than with a student?”
I will take the side of my students against other faculty members if I think they have right on their side and have done so. But I will never join in any kind of internet lynch mob against anyone just because some bitter student, who seems to fantasise about being some kind of warrior against something that isn’t happening, (which is conveniently the easiest kind of warrior to be) has decided to make a lot of completely unsubstantiated accusations based mostly on the colour of that person’s skin.
As for “peers.” Given that sociology, which is mostly just a lot of ideologically driven new-age mumbo-jumbo, is a discipline that I have very little respect for, I do not consider a sociology professor to be part of my peer group.
I prefer to deal in cold hard facts. You should try it sometime.
“And I’m not sure why you characterize this as a witch hunt.”
It is a commonly used term. It does not only refer to mobs with burning torches stringing up some unfortunate old woman because some vindictive neighbour has accused her of being a witch. It is commonly used today to describe a mob of self-righteous virtue-signallers condemning someone without any evidence at all. Usually the condemnations are made around anything that is the trendy political football of the day — like racism or sexism or whatever. Don’t like someone? Have a grudge? Well the easiest way to damage someone is to accuse them of some kind of ism, and pretty soon you can be sure that the villagers will begin to gather; all determined to join in and show how terribly virtuous and pure they are. Evidence? Don’t be silly! Who needs evidence? Just scream “racism” and then sit back and watch the show.
“Either the story isn’t accurate, in which case we don’t really know what happened;”
Finally the penny drops! That was my point. We don’t really know what happened, which is why this little internet mob of vigilantes might want to look at their own behaviour instead of joining in a politically correct feeding frenzy about a woman they know nothing about other than the colour of her skin. It’s disgusting. Just as disgusting as making accusations against your professor without evidence: