The “safest” spaces seem to be the most intolerant of dissenting views.
We’ve written a lot about the attacks on progressive professor Bret Weinstein at Evergreen State College. He was accused of racism by student activists for opposing a proposal to ban white people from campus for a day, a move he condemned as impermissible racism.
In a bizarro world that is today’s campus, the anti-racist was called a racist as a tactic to ostracize and isolate him, with physical confrontations not only of Prof. Weinstein, but also of the college president who submissively capitulated to the mob.
I summarized the events in The Campus Inquisition at Evergreen State College:
The short version is that Weinstein has become the target of students after he wrote an email objecting to a campus movement to exclude whites for a day, as impermissible racism. His email was polite and thoughtful.
Yet the reaction was vitriolic, as we covered in the post Evergreen State leftist professor stunned as SJWs viciously turn on him…
Students are being steeped in an ideology and attitude in which racism in the name of social justice is accepted. That’s a dangerous situation for the nation.
Weinstein is getting support from unlikely places like NY Times columnist Frank Bruni, These Campus Inquisitions Must Stop:
Racism pervades our country. Students who have roiled college campuses from coast to coast have that exactly right.
But we’re never going to make the progress that we need to if they hurl the word “racist” as reflexively and indiscriminately as some of them do, in a frenzy of righteousness aimed at gagging speakers and strangling debate.
That’s a mechanism for shaming, not a strategy for change. It mesmerizes all. It converts none.
I’m thinking of the recent ugliness at Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Wash., which echoed too many other incidents at too many other schools….
Right-wing media have had a field day with Evergreen, but not because they’ve faked a story. No, the story was given to them in ribbons and bows.
That last sentiment, regret that “right-wing media” might be right this time, seems to be reflected in a general lack of coverage in the mainstream media of Prof. Weinstein’s plight.
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) May 27, 2017
Incredibly, there also appears to be an effort to scrub the public record, such as the original, widely circulated video of Prof. Weinstein being confronted being removed by YouTube for violating its “harassment and bullying” policy.
(Update – a different, longer upload of that video is still live on YouTube)
This interview with Tucker Carlson contains portions of that confrontation video:
This would be consistent with the claims of the student and facutly activists that they are the victims of Prof. Weinstein getting publicity to his plight. An open Google Docs letter signed by dozens of faculty members and staff demande that Prof. Weinstein be punished and the student activists praised.
The College Fix originally reported, Evergreen State faculty demand punishment of white professor who refused to leave on anti-white day:
More than 50 professors at the public college – nearly a quarter of faculty – have signed a statement as of Friday afternoon calling themselves “angry and frustrated and concerned” by the backlash against students and the university.
They demanded Weinstein be punished for his response to students who cornered him and called him racist after he refused to leave campus on the anti-white “Day of Absence”:
Demonstrate accountability by pursuing a disciplinary investigation against Bret Weinstein according to guidelines in the Social Contract and Faculty Handbook. Weinstein has endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in news outlets, and on social media.
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) May 31, 2017
This video from Badger Pundit also shows how faculty have been in the lead:
On the intersectional left behaving like a cult
Weinstein: Several people, in fact, many people, have started to now refer to what’s going on in the staff/faculty zone here as a cult. And I think, on the one hand, that could be tongue-in-cheek. On the other hand, the mechanisms at work that have people doubling down on absurdities rather than trying to get on the right side of history as quickly as possible, it is very cult like. Again, you asked me what would have to happen for us to right the ship, the second one is my faculty colleagues have to wake up to the fact that their belief structure has become bizarre and unrecognizable from any normal position.
Here is an abbreviated video of that discussion:
Prof. Weinstein himself described the college cutting off access (for everyone) to the faculty directory as symbolic of this cult:
In trying to assess this situation, I stumble upon one of our post from September 2016, Evergreen State College President Says Safe Spaces ‘Critical’ to Student Success. In the sub-headline, Mike astutely asked, “Safer for whom?”
The university system has existed for centuries without safe spaces but now they’re indispensable?
That’s what the president of Evergreen State College says.
Campus Reform reports:
Safe spaces ‘critical’ to student success, college prez says
In the wake of the University of Chicago’s attack on safe spaces, one college president is adamantly defending their usage and calling UC’s letter insensitive to the needs of students….
Evergreen State College president George Bridges …. has taken it upon himself to present a defense of the use of trigger warnings and safe spaces, even calling them “critical” to the success of students.
“The University of Chicago’s letter to incoming freshmen was a sign of insensitivity to the needs of students,” he began his op-ed in The Seattle Times, saying UC’s letter “wasn’t welcoming,” adding that “the message, conveyed in a letter from the dean of students, revealed a profound indifference to concerns that many students now bring to colleges and universities.”
That tone is one of capitulation in the form of “safe space” ideology. Physical safe space is one thing; intellectual safe space is something entirely different. It is that latter form, intellectual safe space, that pervades campuses.
While it’s anecdotal, it certainly does seem that the worship of “safe space” breeds intolerance.
The supposedly safest spaces, be it at Oberlin, Middlebury, Berkeley, or any of the other dozens of campuses, are the most intolerant of dissenting views.
Evergreen State College was a safe space for the racists masquerading as social justice activists. It was and is a very dangerous place for anyone who refuses to go along with that social justice charade.DONATE
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