“As a minority, low-income, first-generation Hamilton student, I give [The Movement] no permission to speak on my behalf.”
My alma mater Hamilton College has been in turmoil for years.
Over the course of two dedaces, hard-driving leftist professors effectively drove the study of Western Civilization off campus. The multi-cultural academic agenda was so strong that in in 2013 Hamilton’s multi-cultural center segregated a diversity program by race, though it later cancelled that event after publicity. But not before a desegregated campus-wide forum devolved into racial recriminations:
It soon became clear that for many people the problem had became an “us against them” battle, separate groups vs. integrated, whites vs. blacks. Though ‘The Movement’, which is a student group that hung fliers and wrote in chalk on Martin’s Way, the main path through campus, in favor of minorities on campus, said that it wasn’t a black and white issue, multiple accounts during the meeting made it clear that many people had felt it was.
The recent revelation that “The Movement” issued a list of 83 Demands has caused more racial turmoil on campus.
As reported by the student newspaper, The Spectator, the demands from The Movement for increased minority faculty hiring may not even be capable of being achieved, no matter how hard Hamilton tried:
At a Nov. 17 event entitled “Crucial Conversation” and a follow-up on Dec. 1, students, faculty and members of the administration gathered in the Events Barn to discuss diversity, Yik Yak and the need for more faculty of color at Hamilton….
Assistant Professor of Physics Katherine Brown discussed the lack of diversity in the sciences. “That’s what we’re dealing with now and it’s upsetting to me as a member of the search committee, as a physicist and as a woman,” she said. “We can’t hire applicants who aren’t there.”
Against this campus-wide turmoil, two students wrote separate columns in The Spectator complaining about The Movement.
One column was by a white female student, Questioning The Movement’s myriad demands:
As a white, heterosexual girl, I risk a lot by publicly expressing my opinions on this matter. I fear I will be labeled as racist or oppressive or worse that I could catalyze a similar call for censorship of our school newspaper that Wesleyan faced a few months back. I recognize this risk, but as a student at a liberal arts college I was trained to keep my mind open to all ranges of thoughts and to constantly question and debate aspects of my experiences that I do not fully understand or agree with. So here I am, writing an article saying that I do not support The Movement based on the majority of their demands issued Tuesday. I want to support them. I, like many students here, aim for equal opportunities and fairness. But I, like many voices, note some key flaws in what this organization is doing.
Another was by a minority student, An open letter to The Movement
As a minority, low-income, first-generation Hamilton student, I give you no permission to speak on my behalf. I could very well speak for myself and I do not feel threatened doing so. Allow me to imitate your style: We, the students of Hamilton College, demand that The Movement only speaks for itself….
As sad as this might sound, I actually thought that the letter you wrote was sarcastic. If someone did conspire to write something to discredit potential activism on our campus, he would not have done such a good job. Three years have passed since The Movement appeared on our campus, besides recurring community discussions, I do not think you have succeeded in creating any positive change. The obstacles to potential change is not the rigidity of our community; rather, it is your immature and divisive tactics and language.
The Movement unintentionally may have brought some students together … against the use of racial tension as a political tool on campus.
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