By Scott Tibbs, August 4, 2008
Imagine for a minute that an employee at a public university files a false allegation of misconduct at work against a colleague. Imagine that, after an investigation into the matter clears the colleague against a malicious charge, the chancellor sends a letter of apology to the false accuser. Stop imagining, because that is exactly what happened at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Back in March, I blogged about the case of Keith Sampson, who was falsely accused of "racial harassment" for reading an anti-Klan book he checked out of the university library. The false accuser's name has been revealed by freestudents.blogspot.com, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and The Volokh Conspiracy. Her name is Nakea Vincent. As with the case of Crystal Gail Mangum, the stripper who falsely accused the Duke Lacrosse team of "raping" her, I think it is important that Nakea Vincent's name be known as someone who has committed intolerable misconduct at work. She should be named in every article about this case.
The university did apologize to Sampson, which is good. The incident will not go into his personnel file. Given the very public embarrassment this caused the university, I think it is unlikely that he will face further persecution from the university. But more needs to be done. IUPUI needs to make it very clear that it respects academic freedom and ideological diversity, and will not tolerate misconduct by university employees. The first step should be terminating the fools who made the ruling that Sampson committed "racial harassment" by reading a book.
The next step should be terminating Nakea Vincent's employment with the university.
It is abundantly clear that Vincent committed misconduct by unjustly accusing a co-worker of a serious offense. She disrupted the work environment and brought national shame upon her employer with her unethical behavior. She belittled the experiences of every minority who has ever faced real racial harassment at work by hysterically claiming that reading a book opposed to the Ku Klux Klan was "harassment". IUPUI should terminate Nakea Vincent's employment as an example to others who would make false accusations and as an uncompromising statement that IUPUI will always stand with freedom of speech and ideological diversity.
Furthermore, Nakea Vincent should be named in each and every news article about this case. After all, Keith Sampson has been named, and he is the victim. Why should the perpetrator of professional misconduct be allowed to remain anonymous? Obviously, she should not. Racial harassment is a serious issue and IUPUI should not tolerate true racial harassment. But those who make false accusations of racial harassment, like Nakea Vincent, should be shamed, and that will be as a deterrent for others tempted to commit professional misconduct.