Jacques: George Will no rape apologist

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

Let's be clear about something. Conservative columnist George Will is no apologist for rape. But that's what some groups have labeled him, after he wrote a column this summer questioning the statistics used by the White House regarding the so-called epidemic of rape on college campuses.

Women's rights activists expressed outrage after Will offered his opinion and called for newspapers to stop printing his syndicated Washington Post column. A few bowed to these demands.

Now Michigan State University is feeling heat from these same protesters, including some students at the university, for inviting Will to speak at its commencement Saturday. MSU President Lou Anna Simon says the school isn't backing down. That's the right call.

The Obama administration issued a report early this year that stated one in five women is sexually assaulted in college. A number of critics have since questioned how those statistics were compiled.

But that hasn't stopped federal officials from buckling down on universities to do something about the "crisis" threatening to take away precious government dollars if colleges don't comply. MSU, along with the University of Michigan, are under federal investigation for allegations the administrations mishandled sexual assault cases on campus.

Will, and others, have warned universities against throwing out due process for the accused, and potentially harming a young man's future. It's a fair warning that should be heard.