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Hamilton College Tag

When I first saw this story, I thought maybe it was a hoax, or at least parody. But apparently it's for real, or at least the campus newspaper The Spectator treats it as being real. It's about my alma mater, Hamilton College, which has seen its share of social justice activism in recent years reflecting a generational faculty shift to the left.  Hamilton is a textbook example of how a relatively small group of left-wing faculty activists can take over an institution, as detailed in our 2012 post, Western Civilization driven off campus at Hamilton College.

Hamilton College is acknowledging the hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution with displays of crimson banners, books from International Publishers (a Communist organization), and visages of Lenin in the library. What should be added is a rendering of a hand-less and toothless frozen corpse with the death certificate from 1939:

Last week, the group of Hamilton College activists known as “the Movement” released a lengthy list of demands to almost universal ridicule. Few Hamilton students respect the Movement’s childish and arrogant calls for public apologies, special attention, and, of course, money. Our college administrators, meanwhile, rushed to validate the protesters’ demands and feelings. “Fwd: Demands,” read the subject line of the email President Joan Hinde Stewart sent out to the campus, though she referred us benignly to the “attached message” the young scholars of the Movement had so humbly submitted for her consideration. “Certainly,” she wrote, “we always want to do better as a community and encourage discussion.” She could start by learning what a discussion is, because it sure doesn’t involve “demands.”

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.

Many campuses are seeing sets of "Demands" issued by students to administrations, often seeking to suppress speech the students deem offensive and to increase faculty and student affirmative action policies and programs. It's not surprising that the Demand movement has come to my alma mater, Hamilton College, in upstate New York. Hamilton at one time focused on the study of core subjects and Western Civilization. Over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, multiculturalism took hold of the curriculum as leftist faculty from Kirkland College (which merged with Hamilton when I was a sophomore in the late 1970s) maneuvered into positions of power. The story of how Hamilton was transformed was detailed in my post in December 2012, Western Civilization driven off campus at Hamilton College:

There is excellent article at See Thru Education by Robert Paquette, Hamilton College Professor of History, who also is a co-founder of The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. Previously, we have featured Prof. Paquette's battles with multicultural dogma on campus, Western Civilization driven off campus at Hamilton College. Prof. Paquette's post is How American Universities Assassinated the Fourth of July:
“American exceptionalism” would not become the whipping-bench of the professoriate until the last decades of the twentieth century, yet Americans from the first Independence Day onward, without the term in their lexicon, had a sense, somewhat mystical, but nonetheless deeply ingrained, of what might be called an orthodoxy, that their system of government exemplified by design a standard of moral rectitude that would not only bring peace and prosperity to themselves but serve as a liberating beacon light for oppressed people around the world....

Willamette University joins an increasing number of universities rejecting the anti-Israel academic boycott, but in a twist, denies having any knowledge as to why ASA lists it as an Institutional Member. The ASA considers Institutional Memberships to be important indicators of university support which is why it highlights the list:
Institutional members help to insure the continuity, development, and enhanced usefulness of a dynamic, professional, scholarly organization dedicated to broadening and intensifying the study of American life and civilization. They help to promote interdisciplinary activity and programs, working toward the lowering of rigid barriers of approach and technique, and the cooperation of scholars in various disciplines in a vital, international field of study. Institutional members also help to stimulate intellectual and professional activity among their own faculty. We depend on institutional dues to carry on many of our current activities and to develop new programs and services.
Willamette University is listed as one of the Insitutional Members of ASA in the ASA Quartely and Annual Meeting materials. Stephen Thorsett, President of Willamette University, communicating with a Legal Insurrection reader, rejected the boycott and indicated that Willamette was unaware of its Institutional Membership.  Here is the exchange, in part (emphasis added):

There was some real angry ugliness at Brown University Tuesday night, as NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted down and his lecture shut down. There has been celebration in some circles at Brown, but not from Biology Professor Ken Miller, a Brown grad himself. Miller wrote a wonderful letter to the Brown Daily Herald about his experience hearing George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party, speak at Brown in the late 1960s, and how it compared to the shout down of Kelly. Read the whole thing, this excerpt will not do it justice:
I went to scores of seminars and talks during my four years as an undergraduate at Brown, but the one I will never forget took place on the evening of Nov. 30, 1966.The speaker, a Brown alum, had been invited by the Faunce House Board of Governors to take part in its fall lecture series. But once his name was announced, a storm of objections forced the board to withdraw its invitation. Counterprotests ensued citing academic freedom and arguing that our campus should be open to all views, even — and perhaps especially — to those a majority of its members found repugnant. The speaker was George Lincoln Rockwell ’40, leader of the American Nazi Party. A new campus group called “Open Mind” was formed. Once recognized by the University, it re-invited Rockwell to campus. Rockwell spoke to a packed house in Alumnae Hall.... For the first time in my life, I understood the allure of fascism, the reason that “good people” could have supported the likes of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler. I also understood why the notion that “it couldn’t happen here” is hopelessly naive. It could happen here, and it most certainly would happen if we forgot the lessons of history, lessons that Rockwell brought to life with a sinister smile that evening in Alumnae Hall. I’m glad I was there. I’m glad the talk was allowed to go on. And I’m glad Brown was an open campus where those lessons could be learned in the most personal way possible.

Last Monday I appeared as a guest of The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization to give a talk at my alma mater, Hamilton College. AHI is not affiliated with Hamilton. To the contrary, as discussed here before, Hamilton would not allow AHI...