Dr. Dawg

Turning the page on Sarah Grunfeld

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One in every class.jpg

One would have thought that the sad Sarah Grunfeld affair is now well past its best-before date, safely relegated to that bulging file we call “Life’s Lessons.”

Grunfeld’s failure to listen, leading to rash action, followed by her stubborn refusal to apologize when the truth became known, comprised a moral narrative that resonated across the political spectrum. Real life, normally nuanced, contradictory and ambiguous, doesn’t get much clearer than this. Its clarity in this case, in fact, resembles a fable by Aesop.

But it turns out that there’s a sub-text: the equally rash intervention of an “anti-Semites under the bed” organization known as B’nai Brith Canada. Instead of fact-checking, BB grabbed the story and ran a mile with it. And, paralleling the moral trajectory of the final-year York student who dozed, BB is refusing to apologize.

Yesterday the intellectually lazy Frank Dimant, B’nai Brith’s CEO, was still digging. Here’s an excerpt from the woolly letter he sent to the National Post in response to this smackdown column by Kelly McParland:

B’nai Brith Canada has offered its services to the university in an attempt to diffuse the situation so that by bringing together both the student and professor, a solution can be crafted that will be respectful of the perspectives of both parties. Mediation of such a case, rather than trying to publicly undermine the complainant, is a very viable option that has a good chance of satisfying both parties.

The fact that the media continue to editorialize on this situation without paying heed to the fact that there are two sides to every story is not helpful, and will certainly make students hesitant of ever daring to challenge their professors. [emphases added]

Dimant’s huffpuffery is a little short on concrete elements, which should surprise no one. Only a tiny delusional fringe of true believers now clings stubbornly to the notion that there is any second “side” here.

The professor in question needs no “solution,” because there is no problem to resolve. I trust that the university will give B’nai Brith’s offer of mediation services the attention that it deserves.

But in fairness I should note that, perhaps to his credit, Dimant is being entirely honest with us in his letter. “Diffusing the situation” is precisely what he’s been trying to do since the story broke.

The facts, of course, defused the situation almost as soon as it arose. It’s now high time to move on.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on September 17, 2011 10:10 AM.

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