Saturday, 3 June 2017
Tiana Lowe writes in NRO:
In 1999, the Evergreen State College of Washington featured convicted cop-killer and Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal as its commencement speaker via a recording. Abu-Jamal was on death row and could not attend, yet the college eagerly gave him a platform to speak. Eighteen years later, Evergreen State refuses to protect the physical safety and free-speech rights of its own professors from the threats and aggression of student protesters with a sadly familiar illiberal bent.
In a shakeup of Evergreen’s traditional Day of Absence — a day when black students leave campus to evoke the spirit of the Douglas Turner Ward play — student activists this year requested that all the campus’s white members leave instead. Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary-biology professor and Bernie Sanders–supporting progressive, sent an e-mail to his fellow professors taking issue with the change-up on the grounds that while it made sense for students of color to willfully leave campus to “highlight their vital and underappreciated roles,” forcing every white member of campus to leave would be “an act of oppression in and of itself.”
Within days, vitriolic student mobs took over Weinstein’s classroom, screaming at him, calling him a racist, and demanding his resignation. When videos of the mobs made it to YouTube, the protesters demanded that the videos be taken down. Rather than ignoring the disruption and demands of students — including “the immediate disarming of police services” and “mandatory sensitivity and cultural competency training for faculty, staff, administrators, and student employees” — Evergreen’s president, George Bridges, actively enabled them, excusing protesters from homework, instituting said mandatory sensitivity training for all college employees, creating a new equity center, and launching “an extensive forensic investigation” to “seek criminal charges” against whoever posted the videos to YouTube. While local police chief Stacy Brown told Weinstein to remain off campus as law enforcement could not guarantee his safety, Bridges lauded the protesters’ “passion and courage.”
In short, the threat of violence has suppressed open discourse at Evergreen State, and the administration has assisted the student mob every step of the way.
Posted on 06/03/2017 5:17 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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