It appears that law students at Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard are claiming to have been so distressed by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner that they are insufficiently compos mentis for their exams. Therefore, they are demanding the right to reschedule said exams. One wonders what will happen to these young barristers when they are expected to practice law despite the unpleasantness in our postlapsarian world, but I think I’ll leave the matter to our old friend, Dr. Johnson, via Boswell:
Talking of our feeling for the distresses of others:—JOHNSON: Why, Sir, there is much noise made about it, but it is greatly exaggerated. No, Sir, we have a certain degree of feeling to prompt us to do good; more than that Providence does not intend. It would be misery to no purpose.
BOSWELL: But suppose now, Sir, that one of your intimate friends were apprehended for an offence for which he might be hanged.
JOHNSON: I should do what I could to bail him, and give him any other assistance: but if he were once fairly hanged I should not suffer.
BOSWELL: Would you eat your dinner that day. Sir?
JOHNSON: Yes, Sir; and eat it as if he were eating it with me. Why, there’s Baretti, who is to be tried for his life to-morrow, friends have risen up for him on every side; yet if he should be hanged, none of them will eat a slice of pudding the less. Sir, that sympathetic feeling goes a very little way in depressing the mind.
Thus he refutes law students.