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Students at Williams College Boycotting English Department Over Alleged Racism

Students at Williams College Boycotting English Department Over Alleged Racism

“we have no choice but to call for an indefinite boycott of all English Department classes (ENGL) that do not engage substantially with race”

The students claim that the curriculum is too white and that professors of color are being denied tenure.

The College Fix reports:

Williams College students boycott English Department, claim it’s ‘whitewashed,’ ‘racist’

Students at Williams College have launched a boycott of the entire English Department, claiming the curriculum is “whitewashed” and its scholars “racist.”

Joined by alumni and others, the “Boycott English” effort calls “on the students of Williams College to boycott the entire English Department,” according to the activists’ lengthy online missive.

Their main complaints include allegations of scholars using the N-word, a curriculum that prioritizes white authors over authors of color, and claims that professors of color are not given tenure at the private and preppy Massachusetts institution.

“As such, we have no choice but to call for an indefinite boycott of all English Department classes (ENGL) that do not engage substantially with race,” the activists’ online manifesto states.

“A token assignment of ethnic literature in an otherwise whitewashed syllabus is not enough. Refusing to enroll in English classes is one way that we can create the pressures necessary to promote change,” it states.

Williams College’s spokesman Greg Shook did not respond to emails and a phone call Sunday and Monday seeking comment. Several professors in the English Department did not respond to emails Sunday and Monday seeking comment. A couple professors in other departments also did not respond to The College Fix’s requests Sunday and Monday for comment on this issue.

Much of the contention in the activists’ online boycott declaration centers on two “black queer feminists” at Williams who left earlier this year, citing vague allegations of microaggressions and “violent practices” at the school as the reasons for their departure.

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citing vague allegations of microaggressions and “violent practices” at the school

“Microaggressions” are imaginary offenses and don’t merit much excitement, but I’d like to hear more about the “violent practices”—those might be real news rather than nebulous innuendo.

““As such, we have no choice but to call for an indefinite boycott of all English Department classes (ENGL) that do not engage substantially with race,” the activists’ online manifesto states.”

Good luck getting your diploma without satisfying all of your gen ed requirements.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to herm2416. | November 6, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Not being awarded the diploma because of this is just further proof of…

    (Students? Yes? You in the back with the Ché sweatshirt?)

    RACISM!

The Friendly Grizzly | November 6, 2019 at 9:24 am

Racism! Racism! Wolf! Wolf!!!

I’d like to see a photo of these students just to see if they had anything in common.

There once was a time when students attended colleges and universities to learn rather than to instruct on matters irrelevant to education or civilization.

we have no choice but to call for an indefinite boycott of all English Department classes
Fine. Understand there are consequences to not attending class and not doing your work. It’s called “getting a F.” But, you were taking 8 years to get your degree anyway, weren’t you?

The chance of just about any department at Williams—and especially a humanities department—being racist: not bloody likely! This is probably a small group of malcontents, who in the present climate find it easy to have their complaints amplified, especially by guilt-laden white middle-class students (who are afraid of being attacked themselves) and pusillanimous administrators. If the aggrieved students’ complaints include ‘using the n . . . word,’ then I am doubly incredulous, unless the alleged incident involves quoting from a work of literature that used it. These people should be told off, and I feel pretty confident that even at Williams an honest majority of the students would not support them.

Also: “joined by alumni and others . . .” I especially like the “others,” who are probably career activists who have no link with Williams, may never have studied literature, and couldn’t care less if the whole institution were to disappear into a sinkhole. I also wonder how many of the alumni graduated more than four years ago.

This sort of ‘down with dead white males’ campaign is usually led by students who, at bottom hate literature, and think of it only as a means to propagandize the world. I’ve known quite a few radical minority leftists who would never say ‘get rid of Shakespeare’ or ‘remove Donne from the curriculum!’ It’s easier to politicize something you are indifferent to.

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