Smithsonian’s Stance on Pro-Life Discrimination: When Money Speaks Louder

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Compared to other lawsuits, the settlement amount was small. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum paid a total of $50,000 to 12 Catholic students. Staff at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum humiliated and mocked students who attended the March for Life in 2023.

What was their crime? Staff members told students that the museum is “neutral” and that such hats were forbidden. This was despite many visitors wearing sweatshirts, t-shirts and jackets that have slogans on them, ranging from climate changes to favorite sports teams.

Staff bullied students, made up rules, and intimidated them because they did not agree with their political and religious beliefs. Students faced the classic petty tyrant. If given authority, a person will abuse that power.

Although two-thirds of its budget ($1.25 billion), is funded by US taxpayers, this abuse of power raises many concerns among the public.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) took the case. In their statement, they said that they were repeatedly threatened and accosted if they did not remove their prolife hats. Each member of the group was wearing a blue hat that had a simple message reading “Rosary Pro LIFE”. There were many people in the museum wearing hats of all kinds without issue.

The staff at the museum made fun of them and used expletives. The museum staff also claimed that such comments were not permitted in the neutral zone.

Shakespeare said: “The lady protests too much, I think.”

Employees won’t lose their jobs. The employees won’t be fired.

The settlement states that “…the Smithsonian has agreed to settle with customers by offering a $50,000 monetary amount, along with a tour of the National Air and Space Museum by the director. Smithsonian apologized and issued an “after-action” report after the incident. ”

The museum must arrange for the students to see the video footage of the harassment.

The director of the museum must take part personally in the settlement. This is an unusual twist. The Parties and Potential Plaintiffs have agreed that Director Browne or his successor will give a tour of the museum to Plaintiffs and Potential Plaintiffs at a mutually agreed time and date. “If a Plaintiff or Potential Plaintiff cannot attend the tour, then Director Browne will apologize to them via Zoom, Webex, or other video-calling platforms at a mutually agreeable time.

Behind the Black is Bob Zimmerman’s excellent space and aviation site. He has followed the story since the beginning. He summarizes the story very well.

It will be very difficult for them to do this again soon.

We need more pro-life students to show up at Air & Space in similar clothing and challenge those who challenge them. Freedom is only possible if you exercise it without fear.