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Reed College Freshmen Battle Campus Social Justice Warriors

Reed College Freshmen Battle Campus Social Justice Warriors

A New Hope.

The last time we reported on Reed College in Portland, Oregon, a student sit-in had shut down school’s finance office. The protests were organized by “Reedies Against Racism,” (RAR) a group that has been active on campus for a little over a year and whose members interrupted the lecture of a humanities class (Humanities 110) on Western Civilization it described as “Eurocentric” and “silencing people of color”.

Despite the intimidation and harassment, Reed College freshmen are battling back. The following snippet is from an article in the Atlantic that details the challenge the freshmen are giving to the RAR’s moral authority.

…This school year, students are ditching anonymity and standing up to RAR in public—and almost all of them are freshmen of color. The turning point was the derailment of the Hum lecture on August 28, the first day of classes. As the Humanities 110 program chair, Elizabeth Drumm, introduced a panel presentation, three RAR leaders took to the stage and ignored her objections. Drumm canceled the lecture—a first since the boycott. Using a panelist’s microphone, a leader told the freshmen, “[Our] work is just as important as the work of the faculty, so we were going to introduce ourselves as well.”

The pushback from freshmen first came over Facebook. “To interrupt a lecture in a classroom setting is in serious violation of academic freedom and is just unthoughtful and wrong,” wrote a student from China named Sicheng, who distributed a letter of dissent against RAR. Another student, Isabel, ridiculed the group for its “unsolicited emotional theater.”

Two days later, a video circulated showing freshmen in the lecture hall admonishing protesters. When a few professors get into a heated exchange with RAR leaders, an African American freshman in the front row stands up and raises his arms: “This is a classroom! This is not the place! Right now we are trying to learn! We’re the freshman students!” The room erupts with applause.

I caught up with that student, whose name is Pax. “This is a weird year to be a freshman,” he sighed. Pax is very mild-mannered, so I asked what made him snap into action that morning. “It felt like both sides [RAR and faculty] weren’t paying attention to the freshman class, as it being our class,” he replied. “They started yelling over the freshmen. It was very much like we weren’t people to them—that we were just a body to use.”

Freshmen students organized their own meetings after a lecture was cancelled because of RAR antics, which was attended by 150 scholars who were willing to actually debate instead of run to a “safe space” and grab a coloring book. Another course on The Iliad was disrupted by a RAR partcipant; the professor simply walked out, went to another room, and proceeded to give the lecture to the entire class that followed her out.

Support for RAR seems to be collapsing, as about 100 students were involved in this year’s boycott, a substantial decline from the 400 plus who participated the year before. There haven’t been any Hum protests since the upperclassmen who participated in the disruptions were barred from lectures.

File this story under, “A New Hope.”


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DouglasJBender | November 8, 2017 at 10:41 am

When I was a senior in high school, only two universities expressed interest in me (I don’t think I was offered a scholarship to either, but I think I was encouraged to apply for a scholarship, at least). One was West Point (the Army), and the other was Reed College. Talk about two extremes. I didn’t want to join the military, and when I looked into Reed College, I was scared off by their rather unusual grading and academics.

A New Hope

Or maybe – The Return of the Judicious.

4th armored div | November 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

it is a good thing that students, especially non white, are taking back their future by being able to attend classes and getting credits required.

what schools can and should do is disenroll the trouble makers who prevent student education. students pay a pretty penny to go to school and disrupters are effectively stealing that money.

    dunce1239 in reply to 4th armored div. | November 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I think even if they wanted to kick out disruptive students they wouldn’t because it is a private college that depends on liberal financial support.

One lesson to be learned by much of today’s activity on campus: The phrase “You should not judge a book by its cover” is highly applicable to campus organizations.

You would think a group called “Reedies against Racism” would decry any activity that actively attempts to polarize racial groups against each other instead of seeking to find a way in which we can all work together, despite and *because* of our differences.


Culture changes. I see my teenage sons and their friends making fun of overly sensitive politically correct kids.

“Are you triggered, bro?” is a constant refrain.

They don’t even know what a trigger warning is yet but they are making fun of it. There is hope, pendulums can swing.

There are plenty of basket cases too. Lord save those kids (probably need saving from their parents)

Pax is very mild-mannered, so I asked what made him snap into action that morning. “It felt like both sides [RAR and faculty] weren’t paying attention to the freshman class, as it being our class,” he replied. “They started yelling over the freshmen. It was very much like we weren’t people to them—that we were just a body to use.”

I was with him up to this point. Walk a mile in a prof’s shoes who has a bunch of SJW punkass bitches disrupting his class and then you can criticize how they are handling it.

The yelling disrupting entitled dipshits are 100% to blame here…and no one else.

Lost in this is these students have yet to learn the course materials. They are debating without foundation.

I’m not a fan of calling any behavior “un-American” – this is the “Land of the Free” by golly, and by definition all behaviors are “American” when allowed to be freely expressed. I even include illegal behavior in this definition – because laws to prevent and punish illegal behavior are typically clearly defined and taught and known by the vast majority of people – so they know the risk they take. That’s all to say that I prefer to identify behaviors and attitudes that are inherently American – though not to the exclusion of other cultures. One of those attitudes is Good Old Fashioned American Optimism. One thing that I’ve had a hard time being optimistic about is the aggressive and sometimes violent nature of campus activists shutting down conservative speech – or speech even mildly outside their religion. This article renews my hope and Optimism, and in the same spirit that a colleague whose daughter quit Evergreen College over the treatment of Brett Weinstein.

    KEYoder in reply to GOFAOptimism. | November 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm


    I find it difficult to recall a comment with which I so strongly agreed as to the ending while simultaneously violently disagreeing with the beginning.

    "All behaviors are American which can be freely expressed…" Oh good, murder isn't American because it can't be freely expressed. Got it.

    But wait, "Illegal behavior is American because it is clearly defined and people know the risk they take." So murder IS a good old fashioned American behavior after all because it's clearly defined and I know that I risk life imprisonment or death if I do it. So that's OK then. Good to know.

    But some behaviors are "inherently American." (Presumably some are NOT inherently American as well.) Now I'm confused…which behaviors are these? The freely expressable ones? The illegal ones? Both? Behaviors that were performed before the Revolutionary War? Before the War of 1812? Some other definition all together? Who gets to decide?

[Our] work is just as important as the work of the faculty, so we were going to introduce ourselves as well.”

If you think what you have to say is so important, why don’t you rent some space and invite people to attend your lectures (for pay for for free)?

How arrogant must one be to assume that it is you who gets to determine the “importance” of your own “work”?

Yes, they said I was a crackpot but, really, I’m a genius …

“Social justice warriors?”

Why use their language? These are “brownshirts” at best, and young fascists, at the least.

Remember: if they gained power, we’d be enslaved.

But, why didn’t the prof call the campus police to remove the malefactors from the classroom and why hasn’t Reed expelled them?