Shakespear Feyissa (see his Obama Delegates page) came to the US from Ethiopia in 1991, attended Seattle Pacific University, and in 1998, as a senior, was kicked out. He had been arrested for sexually assaulting another student, the fifth to lodge a similar complaint against him. The charges were dropped and he ended up filing suit against the university for racial discrimination. Unfortunately for him, records showed that white students in similar circumstances were treated the same and he lost.
Fast forward ten years, and now he’s been trying to get the university to remove the articles from the student newspaper. He’s a lawyer now and this story tends to pop up when his name is googled. The university, tired of the whole situation after 10 years, agreed. The students running the paper weren’t so quick to give in, though. They were bright enough to recognize the freedom of the press implications. Newspaper archives shouldn’t be retroactively purged just because someone involved in the story doesn’t like it. If there’s an error in the story, correct or amend it–otherwise it’s important to keep a true and accurate history for the community and the world. Ironically, he wants the story removed because, as the Seattle Times reports, “Feyissa said he fears the article casts him as a troublemaker who files frivolous discrimination complaints — not exactly the image he wants as a civil-rights lawyer.” So he thinks trying to coerce the student newspaper into abandoning the First Amendment will burnish his civil rights credentials?
See also: WSJ’s Best of the Web, the original Falcon story from 1998, a Bits Blog cache of the original article (in case the Falcon folds on the issue), and finally, he even made news in China. So much for getting the story deleted from the internet.