“Students Against Pogge” Group Forms
A Facebook group has been created in the wake of allegations against Yale professor Thomas Pogge called “Students Against Pogge.”
The page states:
Here’s a page to organize against Thomas Pogge. Please stand in solidarity with Fernanda Lopez Aguilar and the other foreign women of color targeted by Professor Pogge by, at a minimum, not taking any of his classes in the fall. This is also a place to brainstorm other means of pressuring the university into making student voices heard and removing Pogge from the classroom.
Doesn’t that just reward him by lowering his teaching?Report
I would imagine these students are more motivated by protecting themselves and their classmates, and expressing their dissatisfaction with Yale’s actions. This seems to me reasonable.Report
Yale is not going to take him out of the classroom without due process, nor should they. If students protest his classes (as happened with Peter Ludlow), then things could get tense and tricky.Report
“Protecting themselves” from what? Isn’t it only argued that, at worst, he only predates third-world students? Of the 160 members of Facebook group, roughly half are male and under no threat of predation. Of the other half, hardly any are (discernibly) third-world. Regardless, Pogge would hardly be stupid enough to assault those, given the circumstances. So this prong seems a non-starter.
The rest seems quite vapid, or at least conclusory, as well. Stand in solidarity with “[FLA] and other foreign women of color targeted by [TP]” by not taking his classes? Solidarity for what? Her allegations that were found inconclusive by the Yale inquiry panel and presiding federal judge? If not that, the ill-formed letter about employment? That’s already been subject to process, conclusions rendered, and so on.Report
“Regardless, Pogge would hardly be stupid enough to assault those, given the circumstances” – Well, he was stupid enough that after he had been accused of sexual harassment at Columbia, he decided – and these facts are not in dispute by him – to stay alone in a hotel room with an undergraduate student, and to sleep on her lap during a flight.
I also don’t understand why pointing out that her allegations were found inconclusive by a Yale inquiry panel is meant to settle anything. One of the complaints is that Yale mishandled the original complaint. So claiming that we should take as evidence that there is nothing to stand with a person in solidarity for the fact that a panel found the allegations inconclusive seems circular at best. It would be like arguing that the people who run the Innocence Project are making a mistake because the people they are trying to help have already been found guilty in a court of law.Report
Don’t feed the concern trolls!Report
So your suggestion is what, that men and white women continue to take Pogge’s classes but tell women of color not to do the same? uh…Report
Even if the only things that are true are what he admitted to, I would join this group.Report
Am I the only one who is creeped out by the fact that Pogge looks like he is old enough to be Fernanda’s grandfather? This. together with the fact that he was found guilty of harassing a student at Columbia University some 20 years ago and has been accused by at least 3 women and maybe more, paints a revolting, sordid picture. And then he publishes a response in which he completely fails to address most of the allegations. The guy has clearly lost whatever grip on reality he might once have had. I certainly wouldn’t want him anywhere near me. Good that the students are protesting.Report
I don’t think Pogge’s conduct would be any less reprehensible if he were young and handsome.Report
While I of course agree, Matt, that Pogge’s age doesn’t make the allegations worse, I do see how his age might have made his victims a bit more vulnerable and “groomable,” and I’m assuming that’s why Ted finds it creepy. Pogge’s age might explain why Aguilar was willing to stay with him in his room, even though she says she found it an odd request. It might explain why when Pogge first began to cross the line in more subtle ways (e.g., his pleas with to her to not be so formal in her emails with him), that she did not necessarily think anything amiss or brushed off any misgivings she might have had. He probably came across as a grandfatherly type, i.e., as a mentoring, familial figure, not as a potential sexual predator… (compare Cosby’s victims, many of whom have said they implicitly trusted him because of his reputation as “America’s Dad.”)Report
I’m surprised that people cite being “creeped out” by Pogge’s appearance as a reason for condemning his behavior. Our disposition to being creeped out by how people look like has a very poor record of tracking the relevant moral facts, and has in the past been often used to justify prejudice. Pogge deserves condemnation for engaging in unprofessional and harassing behavior, not for being “creepy”.Report
I’m from new haven, ct.. I live only few blocks away from the campus. I’m so disgusted by the fact that Yale knew about previous allegations. And yet, they decided hire him. I’m so disgusted by how Yale has been responding to the situation. “No comments” from Yale Spokesman. It’sabsolutely unsatisfactory. IReport
Ah yes, the foundational value of the modern university: guilty until proven innocent, and even then still guilty.Report
Um. There is publicly available uncountered evidence that supports thinking that the accusations against Pogge are true, so it is certainly not the case that Pogge is being held guilty despite having been proven innocent. And because the testimony of multiple, independent victims is nontrivial evidence, it is not the case that Pogge has been simply assumed to be guilty and forced to prove his innocence either. But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good dig at others’ expense. right?Report