The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is a conservative think tank dedicated to “producing leading research in several key policy areas that weave a tapestry of the organization’s core beliefs: respect and support for the power of free enterprise, a strong defense centered on smart international relations, and opportunity for all to achieve the American dream.” It is certainly one of the more prominent think tanks in this country and is regularly involved in the political debate.
The above paragraph begs the question: why the heck are they getting involved in a conversation about date rape, and why are they minimizing the subject?
Earlier this week, AEI posted this video from its YouTube channel:
The video opens with, “Ladies, have you been told not to drink the punch at parties? Have you asked a friend to watch your drink because you are afraid to leave it alone, even for a moment…There are ‘supposedly’ predators…..”
And look, computer simulated stills!
You can’t make this stuff up. I wish it was made up, but it’s not.
The video goes on to downplay the threat of date rape drugs, saying, “Most commonly, victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault are severely intoxicated, often from their own volition.”
From all reports, the claims made in the video are incorrect. 25% of all women report that drugs were a factor in their rape – not a small number by any stretch of the imagination.
According to the Huffington Post, “conservative pundits have been leading the backlash” against the Obama Administrations push to reduce sexual assaults on college campuses. So, this video would seem to be part of that response.
I guess that begs the question: really? Really? The President of the United States is trying to make women on college campuses safe from sexual assault, and there are some out there who are opposed to such a mission? This is one of the most bizarre uses of YouTube I’ve ever seen – the topic is strange and the odd computer animation seems like something out of a Saturday Night Live skit that airs close to the conclusion of the program, when most of the viewers have already gone to bed. I cannot believe that there are groups out there which think this is a good use of resources. The social media lesson here? Stick to areas that matter and won’t cause a backlash.