I’m of the opinion that University of Southern California Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry should be out of a job, not publishing letters in the school newspaper saying that a conservative speaker is “abhorrent, painful, offensive and hateful.” But, alas, this isn’t how academia works.
You may not have heard of Carry before now — unless, of course, you’re a student at USC or you’ve been following the sex assault accusations against a gynecologist employed by the university who had a history of complaints going back to the 1990s. But let’s start at the beginning, because Carry really doesn’t like Ben Shapiro.
Shapiro is speaking at USC, which means (of course) it’s time for the activist brigade to turn out in force and pretend a mainstream conservative is somehow analogous to David Duke or George Lincoln Rockwell. And Carry agrees with them — although he doesn’t want them to be violent or anything.
In a letter to the USC’s student newspaper titled “Students can make USC proud by hosting, listening to and peacefully protesting Shapiro,” Carry discoursed on how he “listened to students express legitimate concerns related to a speaker invited to campus by a student organization.”
“Student organizations have sponsored controversial speakers before, but the concerns generated by this speaker’s content ring a collective alarm,” he wrote.
This is Shapiro, of course; students have told Carry the Daily Wire impresario’s “rhetoric has no place in an educational environment that places such a high value on diversity, inclusion and respect for all.” He seems to find no argument with this.
“In preparation for this piece, I viewed some of the speaker’s YouTube videos. I found the content of his speech to be abhorrent, painful, offensive and hateful. My gut instincts question why a University cannot simply deny a speaker’s invitation to spread his message on their campus,” Carry said.
To his (exceptionally minimal) credit, he follows this by noting that “if we believe that the mission of an educational institution is to seek truth, advance learning and disseminate knowledge, then free speech, even offensive speech, is a prerequisite. We cannot deny speakers who have been invited by the student community based on the content of their message.”
You know, right after he told every student whose belief systems might parallel Shapiro’s that they’re politically “abhorrent, painful, offensive and hateful.” Inclusivity! Your tuition dollars at work, USC conservatives!
This disdain for students whose beliefs fall within the conservative mainstream should be enough to question whether or not Carry should still have his position. Of course it isn’t, given that he works in an environment where every administrator in a position to do something about it likely shares his beliefs.
However, there is another reason to believe that Carry ought to be out of a job — as USC student and National Review contributor Tiana Lowe pointed out:
“Ainsley Carry, the USC Student Affairs VP who brokered a hush money payout to the gynecologist who molested HUNDREDS of students for +30 years, calls @benshapiro “abhorrent, painful, offensive and hateful.” Look in the freaking mirror, Carry. A total farce,” Lowe tweeted Thursday.
Ainsley Carry, the USC Student Affairs VP who brokered a hush money payout to the gynecologist who molested HUNDREDS of students for +30 years, calls @benshapiro "abhorrent, painful, offensive and hateful." Look in a freaking mirror, Carry. A total farce. https://t.co/VNRbjfv6xx pic.twitter.com/XL9hOyTnax
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) October 4, 2018
The case Lowe is referencing is that of Dr. George Tyndall. From 1989 until 2017, Tyndall has been the one gynecologist employed by USC’s student health clinic, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was in that position despite the fact that he had decades of complaints of sexual impropriety with patients — and Carry played a major role in the scandal.
“The complaints began in the 1990s, when co-workers alleged he was improperly photographing students’ genitals. In the years that followed, patients and nursing staff accused him again and again of ‘creepy’ behavior, including touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies,” the Times reported.
“Still, Tyndall was allowed to continue practicing. It was not until 2016, when a frustrated nurse went to the campus rape crisis center, that he was suspended.
“An internal USC investigation determined that Tyndall’s behavior during pelvic exams was outside the scope of current medical practice and amounted to sexual harassment of students. But in a secret deal last summer, top administrators allowed Tyndall to resign quietly with a financial payout.”
That secret deal is where Carry gets involved.
According to Tyndall, Carry had “summoned” him to a May 2017 meeting. “A powerful figure at USC, Carry presided over Greek life, student government, the rape crisis center and student health. He reported directly to Provost Michael Quick.
“Carry told Tyndall he was slated for termination. What happened next is in dispute,” they reported.
“Tyndall said Carry proposed an alternative to firing. If Tyndall agreed to resign, he would be given a severance and the conclusion of the investigation would be changed to ‘no finding,’ the physician recalled Carry saying.
“Tyndall said he inquired what would happen if he refused the deal.”
“I asked, ‘Are you going to report that to the medical board?’ And he said, ‘Probably,'” Tyndall told the Times.
Carry denies this part of the narrative, but what is known is that Tyndall left the university as quietly as could be.
“Tyndall’s resignation was effective June 30, 2017. Clinic staffers were not told,” the Times reported. “A few weeks later, they watched as his belongings were removed from his office. A terse email in October informed colleagues only that Tyndall was ‘no longer with the University of Southern California.'”
I would assume most of our readers are probably acquainted, at some level, with Ben Shapiro and his “rhetoric.” (Conservative opinions, I’ve noticed, always consist of “rhetoric,” not legitimate positions on the political spectrum.) Which is more “abhorrent, painful, offensive and hateful” — Shapiro or what’s described above?
Now, if Shapiro were present as I write this, I’m assuming he would probably remind me that two things can be true at once. Fair enough. What’s interesting, however, is that the same people who will be vociferously protesting a typical conservative as a purveyor of hate speech are also the ones who sought the intervention of a man who helped quietly usher a doctor accused of unspeakable behavior out of USC.
I would think if the student protesters really wanted to make some sort of tangible difference, they would be spending more time outside the offices of the university administrators who approved this deal — including Carry’s — and less time shouting down speakers whose opinions they disagree with. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.