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Pushback: Judge rules that libel suit against two black professors for slandering white real estate assessor can proceed

Mott (l) and Connolly, eager to defame whites
Mott (l) and Connolly, eager to use race to
defame an innocent white man

Bring a gun to a knife fight: A U.S. district judge on August 2, 2023 ruled [pdf] that the defamation lawsuit of real estate assessor Shane Lanham against two black Johns Hopkins professors can now proceed.

And boy, does Lanhan stand a good chance of winning. This is a followup of an earlier blacklist story from February. The two professors, Nathan Connolly and Shani Mott, had publicly accused Lanham on national television of being a bigot because they had not liked the value he placed on their house. As I wrote then:

This story began when Connolly and Mott asked Lanham (who is white) and his company, 20/20 Valuations, to appraise their house. When they were unhappy with his appraisal, they decided to get another appraisal, but this time do what they themselves called a ““whitewashing experiment.” For the second appraisal they removed all evidence that a black family owned the house, to the extent of having a white friend present himself as the owner instead. The second appraisal, done months later, came up with a higher price.

Connolly and Mott then sued Lanham and 20/20 Valuations (lawsuit available here [pdf]), claiming he had violated their civil rights and demanding unstated compensatory and punitive damages. More significantly, Connolly and Mott then went on a public campaign claiming that blacks are discriminated against by white appraisers, and held Lanham up as their prime example. In interviews with the New York Times and ABC News both accused Lanham of racism and bigotry. The subsequent news stories, with these defamatory statements, were then picked up by numerous other media outlets.

Putting aside the simple fact that home real estate values can often change drastically over short time periods, and that the art of appraisal is an imperfect science that carries an enormous amount of uncertainty no matter what the circumstances, to accuse someone of racism based on this flimsy data is certainly mean-spirited and vicious. To do so in such a public way is plainly defamatory and a slander. Lanham has a strong case.

Lanham then countersued for defamation. noting this very pertinent fact:

In making their baseless attack, Dr. Connolly and Dr. Mott failed to disclose the sale of the similar house next door to their home that sold only a month after Mr. Lanham and 20/20 Valuations’ appraisal for $7,000 less than the amount of the appraisal, validating Mr. Lanham and 20/20 Valuations’ appraisal.

The judge’s ruling last week means that Lanham’s countersuit can go forward, which is requesting, at a minimum, $250K in compensatory damages and $250K in punitive damages.

As I said in February, he has a very strong case. In fact, it is so good I think the last thing he should do is settle. Push this hard, because the behavior of Connolly and Mott was unconscionable. Not only was Lanham not treating them unfairly because they are black, they themselves have been treated very well by society as a whole. They are both well paid professors at a major university, able to earn enough to buy a home for $450K and that Lanham valued in his appraisal as worth $472K, indicating a 5% increase in value over four years.

To use their positions of respectability and credibility to go on national television and accuse someone of racism based on flimsy and poorly manufactured evidence suggests Connolly and Mott do not deserve their positions or their credibility. Lanham needs to establish this fact in law, if only to recover a little of his now destroyed reputation.

Moreover, that Johns Hopkins has two professors in its faculty so quick to scream “Racism!” with so little evidence also suggests there is a significant lack of quality in that university’s faculty. Who else has Johns Hopkins hired that acts in such a vicious way, outside of facts or rational discourse?

Finally, the news organizations that so eagerly spread the slanders put forth by Connolly and Mott — The New York Times and ABC News — need to face the music as well. Lanham needs to win so that he might be able to followup with further lawsuits against these incompetent and malicious media outlets.

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  • John S

    As a graduate and long time member of the faculty club I can tell you that a once great university (JHU) has become one of the most woke (phony) misdirected institutions in the academic world, although I gather many once great universities have become so, witness the Ivy league. The epidemiological analyses during the pandemic, so publicized nationally because of JHU’s medical reputation, were outright fraudulent. For a simple instance deathrates for hospitalized covid patients advetised as covid death rates. It was like the inrent was to manufacture fear.

    I can forward letters and essays (mine and others) in that realtime period clarifying that corrupted litany. To me and fellow long-ago graduates it was embarassing. But such is the case today neither competence nor correction is present through the public narrative.

    This episode is not surprising at all. The president of JHU is Ron Daniels, don’t know him personally but that once fine institution has gone the same way as I guess many have.

  • Max

    So many people believe under the current political climate, that social justice can be achieved for perceived crimes rather than actual crimes. To receive punitive damages because of ignorance of a situation, or simply because they believe they can get away with it, sanctioned outrage because your feelings were hurt. A form of reparations for having a different skin color in a country that doesn’t judge by skin color, the best country with the most opportunity on the planet.
    The pushback is occurring, except for those with the “force of government” behind them in the public private partnership. Like people whose bank accounts were seized because of being a Trump supporter. Or blacklisted, forced to resign for expressing a right opinion, or just standing in the way. (let’s not forget the long list of people dying suddenly having taken the shot to keep their job or be able to travel… if you don’t own your own body, you own nothing)

    Here’s an update to the Oberlin college debacle where they ended up paying $36 million to the bakery they falsely accused of racism destroying the business.

    “the Lexington policy excludes any such coverage if “personal and advertising injury” is caused “with the knowledge that the act would violate the rights of another … ,” or if the insured published material it knew to be false.”

    Yes, the insurance company said they would not cover the judgment and told them to pound sand.

    This is the same College that Zimmerman has posted about 10 times before. The Marxist will not give up power.
    Here’s one I chose at random searching this site.

  • Max

    This just being reported on the local news, apparently a 75-year-old man made threats against president O’Biden. If the threats were real, he would’ve been in Park city and not at home this morning where they used flash bang grenades then shot him dead.

    The president is not campaigning, but shaking down people for money. (It was revealed this morning that he received $20 million for nothing)
    Interesting article how “The fix is in” that he does not need to campaign or spend any campaign funds.
    THE FIX IS IN: Has No Plans to Hold Campaign Events, Is Not Spending Campaign Money, and Democrats Aren’t Worried

    In other news, Michelle Obama is making preparations to campaign, doing all the necessary legwork and going to the right functions. She’s doing all of the requirements publicly and privately to prepare for a campaign which no one does unless they’re serious.

  • Max, there is no such thing as “Social Justice”.

    That is but a subjective construct of the radical Left that is used to create division and some faux sense of balance and fairness due.

    It is similar to manipulative terms like: “Equity”, “Restorative Justice” and the like, they do not mean anything in the real world.

    Just political word weapons of manipulation.

    I suggest that if you are determined to use these kinds of words you put them in quotation marks which indicates that they are indeed make-believe subjective words of political manipulation and not objective real words.

    All subjective politics is and can result in is authoritarian rule.

  • Cotour

    And PS: Michelle Obama is from what I have seen of her a shrill person driven by race and division who hates politics, and that if she does indeed decide to go there will without doubt IMO shine through.

  • Cotour: The simple solution is to not use these fake terms, at all. Some other examples:

    Transvestite or cross-dresser are the legitimate English terms, not transgender.
    Epidemic is the legitimate English term, not pandemic (which is a fear word).
    Assault weapon should never be used. It is meaningless entirely.
    Bigotry and racial discrimination and segregation are the proper words to describe what DEI officials want to achieve.

    Shall I go on?

    In fact, maybe I expand this into an essay.

  • Jay

    A wonderful Michele Hussein Obama moment. Before I dumped Nascar from my life, I witnessed an amazing moment. Michelle was trying to use Nascar to promote some leftist ‘for the children’ crap. She had two small kids by her side. In order to try to get as many fans as possible, they announced the First Lady just before Start Your Engines. When the announcer stated her name, 10s of thousands booooed. As they began booing, the hateful look on her face was so delicious. Needless to say, she never attempted an encore visit.

  • Cotour

    If I choose to use any of these words that are used as political weapons of manipulation and fear of the radical Left, I always put those words in quotation marks in order to distinguish the words as being subjective and being used as such.

    The context between the subjective and the objective is extremely important.

    All authoritarians are always subjective and that is in fact the only thing that they can be.

    The Constitution and the law and justice that emanates from it is structured in the objective. The political warfare that is fought within those objective parameters structured by the Constitution is being stretched and distorted by those who are driven to be authoritarian. They have surrendered to their desperation to do anything in order to retain and further acquire political power and control and have totally rejected the concept of objectivity and freedom for the individual. They can no longer be objective.

    All sewn up in the “Climate change” we have to exterminate most everyone in order to save everyone and the planet. They have become insane in their polarized us VS them tribal beliefs. They no longer have any tolerance for them anymore.

    This IMO is a component of a natural paradigm change cycle. Things change and IMO in the long term it is healthy, but there are no guarantees that the Constitution and what it very specifically structures survives as intended. No guarantee.

    Please write a piece on the subject but please consider making the subjective V objective distinction a part of it.

  • Cotour

    Related and to my point:

    Black Rock CEO states, “We have to force behaviors”:

    The Black Rock CEO is subjective, and he is in control of $10 trillion dollars in assets and has an ability to force his subjective view onto and into America and the world.

    See: Soros and similar.

    This is “Progress”.

  • Jay

    This must be another Jay…

  • BLSinSC

    Just how many AA’s are college “professors”??? My guess would be PLENTY! These two need to PAY for their BIGOTRY and RACISM! But, I guess the biden regime has made open season on whites legal now! This is a disgrace and needs to be rectified! AND when he WINS his case, the SETTLEMENT should INCLUDE the two of them going on the SAME SHOWS to APOLOGIZE and ADMIT that THEIR ACTIONS were indeed BIGOTRY and RACIST!! We need a LAW that REQUIRES every episode of LIES in MEDIA proven WRONG to be granted the SAME EXPOSURE as the LIE!!

  • Cotour

    Spoken like a true WHITE SUPREMESIST!


  • Jason

    This case had such a big impact that it was a driving force in the change to the continuing ed requirements for appraisers. We are now forced to take a DEI class as part of our licensing requirements in this state (and most others I think). I already attended mine – it was not the full on Maoist struggle session that I expected – it was a more benign discussion of the concept of bias in appraisals. However, it is also certainly the camel’s nose under the tent. With each continuing ed cycle, I fully expect the propaganda to increase. It is infuriating that this fraudulent claim was the basis for these requirements. I am so glad I don’t do residential appraisals – I would be terrified to turn in a report on a black person’s home in this environment. This will absolutely lead to inflated appraisal values as nobody wants to get this treatment over a $400 job.

  • Andi

    Minor edit in second paragraph: “they had not liked the value”

  • steve lanham

    Thanks R Z for commenting on this and all the posters for your comments…It’s been a year since this case came forward. I can’t express the amount of stress and emotions that Shane’s family and friends have had to endure . We have all stuck together knowing that Shane is the last person who should have to defend his self from slander and libel BS…The judge’s decision was monumental. A far left judge could have easily thrown the case out using a bogus opinion . Yes , circuit court appointments matter.. not sure how long this process has to go but we are feeling somewhat confident but are not close to celebrating . Shane’s lawyers are working hard and believe in him which goes a long way but we are still keeping our fingers crossed and praying that the system will deliver justice.. Thanks again !!

  • Steve Lanham: I had not realized that the steve who commented about the judge decision was related to Shane Lanham. You and Shane have my support, in all ways.

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