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Emails Reveal Situation at Evergreen State was Crazier Than Anyone Knew

Emails Reveal Situation at Evergreen State was Crazier Than Anyone Knew

“white people making changes in their white supremacist attitudes and behaviors”

Jillian Kay Melchior of the Wall Street Journal obtained emails from Evergreen State College during the campus protests of last spring which provide a window into the insanity there.

Inside the Madness at Evergreen State

Last week the university announced it would pay $500,000 to settle the couple’s complaint. Evergreen said in a statement that the college “strongly rejects” the lawsuit’s allegations, denies the Day of Absence was discriminatory, and asserts: “The college took reasonable and appropriate steps to engage with protesters, de-escalate conflict, and keep the campus safe.”

A different story emerges from hundreds of pages of Evergreen correspondence, which I obtained through Washington state’s Public Records Act. The emails show that some students and faculty were quick to levy accusations of racism with neither evidence nor consideration of the reputational harm they could cause. The emails also reveal Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Heying were not the only ones concerned about a hostile and dangerous campus.

Consider a February exchange, in which Mr. Weinstein—a progressive who is skeptical of identity politics—faulted what he called Evergreen administrators’ “reckless, top-down reorganization around new structures and principles.”

Within minutes, a student named Mike Penhallegon fired back an email denouncing Mr. Weinstein and his “racist colleagues.”

Another student, Steve Coffman, responded by asking for proof of racism within the science faculty. Mr. Coffman cited Christopher Hitchens’s variation of Occam’s razor: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

Jacqueline McClenny, an office assistant for the First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services—a campus office that helped organize the Day of Absence—observed that because Hitchens’s razor is an “Englishman’s popularization of a Latin proverb,” it “would seem to itself be the product of at least two traditionally hierarchical, imperialist societies with an interest in disposing of inconvenient questions.”

Media professor Naima Lowe urged one of Mr. Weinstein’s defenders to read about how calls for civility are “often used to silence and/or dismiss concerns about racism.” She also said that the “white people making changes in their white supremacist attitudes and behaviors” were those “who do not immediately balk and become defensive,” instead acknowledging that “white supremacy is literally ingrained in everything.” In other words, merely defending oneself against the accusation of “white supremacy” is evidence of guilt.

Hat tip to Michael Shermer:


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The entire American “education” establishment – from pre-k through post-doc – has become a dysfunctional morass of political correctness, social “justice” and identity politics. Time to burn it all down and start over.

The question should be why hasn’t the Thurston County (Olympia, WA) Prosecuting Attorney brought criminal charges against the students who committed criminal acts?

    J Motes in reply to Guahan. | September 24, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Remember the photo of a group of Evergreen students who were patrolling the campus and enforcing their rules? Several held baseball bats, and nearly all showed their full faces and obviously were confident that they would not be subject to any kind of punishment. No black scarves, hoodies, or other concealing garments for this brazen group. Those who posed for this photo should be easy to identify, and those who were holding baseball bats should be first in line for criminal investigation and prosecution. Will it happen? I very much doubt it. It’s as unlikely as Jeff Sessions (or any other person with authority to prosecute) bringing charges against high-ranking politicians for whom evidence of criminal conduct is available.

    Milhouse in reply to Guahan. | September 25, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Have the victims made criminal complaints? They should.

I long for a replay of Kent State. An example needs to be made.

Matt, I assume you’re being facetious about another Kent State massacre. The way to respond to the Evergreen students’ lawlessness is to apply lawful criminal proceedings against the offending students. A few criminal convictions and jail sentences will send the proper message to Evergreen students and to other students nation-wide who have engaged in violent behavior. Another Kent State massacre would only make martyrs of the offenders and would counteract would should be the proper remedy.

Three quarters of a Trillion dollars per year for this?

Guahan is mostly correct. Kent was different in that the protests did not target faculty but rather the Vietnam War. At Kent campus buildings were set on fire and the National Guard was deployed. The guardsmen were not combat veterans but people of age similar to the student protesters. The protesters confronted the guard, a mistake in my opinion, and in the confusion gun fire like firecrackers were set off triggering the young guardsmen to fire rifles and the subsequent tragic deaths. When the military gets deployed it’s time to go home. Unlike the police, the military is not trained and is likely to not accept rocks, bottles, and excrement to be thrown at them and will possibly react with extreme prejudice.

DINORightMarie | October 1, 2017 at 1:54 am

…In other words, merely defending oneself against the accusation of “white supremacy” is evidence of guilt….

Is this not JUST LIKE the Spanish Inquisition?! (..and no, not Monty Python, this time).

The Spanish Inquisition argued that there was no defense, and confession was the only answer. I believe that even the mere attempt to defend oneself from heresy was evidence of guilt…….

How frightening…….