Marshmallow Vs. The Mob
If you have even the slightest doubt about what kind of tyrannical mob is now running Evergreen State in Washington, take a look at this video of their protests the other day. Notice especially the pathetic punching bag named George Bridges, president of the college, who sits there masochistically allowing these berserkers to abuse him. This video is NSFW:
In response to the mob intimidation — much of which is explicitly anti-white and racist — Bridges capitulated almost entirely. Here are excerpts from his response, published in the student newspaper:
I’m George Bridges, I use he/him pronouns.
I begin our time together today by acknowledging the indigenous people of the Medicine Creek Treaty, whose land was stolen and on which the college stands. I would like to acknowledge the Squaxin people who are the traditional custodians of this land and pay respect to elders past and present of the Squaxin Island Tribe. I extend that respect to other Native people present.
In response to Native Student Alliance requests, we commit to opening every event with this acknowledgement.
Yes, this is how George Bridges, the president of the college, speaks. More:
We have heard from students very clearly that they experience racism on campus that interferes with their education. We acknowledge that the status quo isn’t acceptable. We don’t know all the answers. We want to come together with you to learn from your experience, to build solutions, and to take action. We are grateful for this catalyst to expedite the work to which we are jointly committed.
For a long time, we’ve been working on the concerns you’ve raised and acknowledge that our results have fallen short. We should have done more to engage students in our work on equity and inclusion. This week, you are inviting us into the struggle you have taken up. We share your goals and together we can reach them.
Evergreen State is a fringe-left campus, yet these students seem to believe that it’s Ole Miss circa 1955. Heaven help any teacher on campus who has to try to do his or her job with an administration that empowers a deranged mob. More:
[Student demand:] “We demand mandatory sensitivity and cultural competency training for faculty, staff, administrators, and student employees.”
The United Faculty of Evergreen and the College have executed a memorandum of understanding committing to mandatory training. I’d like to Invite Grace Huerta to speak about the agreement we’ve reached today. It reads:
“Now, therefore, the parties agree as follows:
“We share a mutual interest in ensuring that all Evergreen students receive an education that is culturally competent, culturally relevant and free from the negative effects of bias.
“To achieve this, we recognize that Evergreen faculty members must have access to, and take advantage of, professional development opportunities to address subjects including but not limited to institutional racism, and the needs of students of color, LGBTQIA students, undocumented students, victims of sexual assault, and students with disabilities.
“We commit to annual mandatory training for all faculty beginning in fall 2017.
“This agreement was ratified today by both parties”.
Required training for all staff currently includes a review of the college’s non-discrimination policy. We commit to providing cultural competency, sensitivity, and anti-bias training in the training required of all staff. By requiring this training for all staff, we will also ensure that all search committee members are trained. We’re launching staff training in the fall and offering it throughout the year.
“We demand the creation of an equity center.”
Today we commit to establishing a new and expanded equity and multicultural center with design plans finalized for student review by the beginning of fall quarter this year. You will have the space that you seek and deserve.
The design of the center will be informed by students. Over the summer, we seek to hire students to design and plan for a new equity and multicultural center in collaboration with staff. They will be compensated for their time. A final plan for implementation will be developed following the work completed this summer.
Et cetera. Bridges concludes by thanking the mob for abusing him and his colleagues:
Let me reiterate my gratitude for the passion and courage you have shown me and others. I want every one of you to feel safe on this campus and be able to learn in a supportive environment free from discrimination or intimidation.
Yes, but Bret Weinstein and others on campus who disagree with the mob cannot teach or learn on Evergreen’s campus, because President Bridges is afraid to do his job.
I’m telling you, if you are a college professor, you had better learn how to resist the insanity on campus by joining Jonathan Haidt’s Heterodox Academy group right now. Here’s Haidt’s response to the latest round of witch hunts on campus. Excerpt:
There are several lessons that American professors can draw from these three events:
1) Never object to a diversity policy publicly. It is no longer permitted. You may voice concerns in a private conversation, but if you do it in a public way, you are inviting a visit from a mob or punishment from an administrator.
2) Do not assume that being politically progressive will protect you (as Weinstein and the Christakises found out). Whatever your politics, you are eventually going to say or do something that will be interpreted incorrectly and ungenerously. Your intentions don’t matter (as Dean Spellman found out at CMC.) This is especially true if your university offers students training in the detection of microaggressions.
3) If a mob comes for you, there is a good chance that the president of your university will side with the mob and validate its narrative (as the presidents at Yale and Evergreen have done, although the presidents at Middlebury and Claremont McKenna did not).
4) If a mob comes for you, the great majority of its members will be non-violent. However, given the new standard operating procedure (which I described in a recent Chronicle article entitled “Intimidation is the New Normal”) you must assume that one or more of its members is willing to use violence against you, and you can assume that many members of the mob believe that violence against you is morally justifiable.
… Many faculty and students report being afraid to speak up openly and honestly on many issues, even in seminar classes. What will presidents and administrators do about it? What will alumni and trustees do to put pressure on presidents and administrators to do something about it? When will the faculty begin to stand up en masse?
When indeed. Read the whole thing.
And might I ask when will state legislators start raising hell about this stuff when it occurs at state-funded colleges like Evergreen? What’s wrong with Washington state lawmakers?
UPDATE: Reader Mr. Pickwick comments:
My youngest son is a student at a state university in Oregon, and says that the level of intolerance and intimidation by the Far Left on campus is impacting the educational experience. He is by no means a conservative or a Republican. Here’s just one example of what he is encountering. He was astonished to show up for the first session of a particular class of a required writing course to find that the theme of the course was “Toxic Masculinity.” He tried to tough it out, but after several sessions of being a minority of one (he objected to the assumed collective guilt of all straight, white males), he found that he simply couldn’t bring himself to enter the classroom anymore. The never-ending verbal assaults and mob-think were just too much to take. And he could no longer write the assigned papers (about how bad straight males were) in good conscience. He was afraid to tell his academic advisors about what was going on (didn’t want to be identified as An Enemy of the People). One advisor seemed to figure out what was going on, and urged him to file a complaint. But my son feared that he would be targeted by the mob. So he flunked the course, which endangered his financial aid.
Good news: he is now re-taking the course, but from a different professor. This professor has injected no politics or ideology into the class, so now my son is flourishing. In fact, none of the courses he is taking this quarter pose any problems in terms of Far Left intolerance. He filed an appeal with financial aid, and (without mentioning the subject of the course) explained how the mob mentality in the course brought on a personal crisis. Financial aid granted his appeal.
Moral of the story: at schools where the intolerant Far Left is allowed to throw its weight around, serious students have to be very careful about course selection. My son avoids any course with a description that makes any reference to gender, race or privilege. Generally, he avoids courses in the English department. He gravitates toward courses in the Pol Sci, History and German deparments (although even in those departments he still exercises caution). And there are, here and there among the faculty and administration, decent people who are trying to uphold the best aspects of academia. Example: even though many students and faculty at his school are on board with the Far Left,, there are at least two profs who are members of the Heterodox Academy. More power to them.