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SJW Hissy Fit At Sarah Lawrence

All, I’m off to New Orleans in a moment, to have my chakras realigned over lunch with an old pal, and then to head over to UNO for tonight’s wing-ding with the great Melissa Harris-Perry. But first, I have some raw, juicy Dreherbait to throw to the masses.

You might have heard about the Social Justice Warriors protesting at Sarah Lawrence College, which one fears is headed towards being an advanced day care center for the emotionally fragile daughters of the upwardly mobile. What sparked the protest was a New York Times op-ed written by Samuel Abrams, a conservative professor there, in which he claimed that campus administrators were intolerantly liberal — not only at Sarah Lawrence, but around the nation. [1]Abrams wrote:

This warped ideological distribution among college administrators should give our students and their families pause. To students who are in their first semester at school, I urge you not to accept unthinkingly what your campus administrators are telling you. Their ideological imbalance, coupled with their agenda-setting power, threatens the free and open exchange of ideas, which is precisely what we need to protect in higher education in these politically polarized times.

That frightened the Sarah Lawrence children who call themselves the Diaspora Coalition (they are, it appears, persons of color). They decided to occupy the president’s office for 24 hours. Here is a link to the full slate of their demands. [2] Excerpts:

  1. Sarah Lawrence must commit to actualizing the value that housing is a human right.
    1. The College must provide winter housing to students at no charge. This housing must include a communal kitchen with dry goods from the food pantry available for all students.
    2. In the extreme case that housing cannot be provided to students during break due to housing probation, the school must provide a list of local low-cost, free, and/or accessible housing options for students.
  2. The College will designate housing with a minimum capacity for thirty students of color that is not contingent on the students expending any work or labor for the college. This housing option will be permanent and increase in space and size based on interest.
  3. All campus laundry rooms are to supply laundry detergent and softener on a consistent basis for all students, faculty and staff.

Fabric softener! Just like Rosa Luxemburg demanded!

More:

  1. Diasporic Studies
    1. Students of color should not be forced to resort to racist white professors in order to have access to their own history. It is crucial that the College offer courses taught about people of color by people of color so that students may engage in and produce meaningful work that represents them authentically.
    2. We demand there be new tenured faculty of color – at least two in African diasporic studies, one in Asian-American studies, one in Latinx diasporic studies, and one in indigenous/native peoples studies.
    3. We demand there be at least three more courses offered in African diasporic studies taught by Black professors.
    4. We demand that the College offer classes that embody intersectionality, as defined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and address the racial diversity of the LGBTQ+ community instead of centering whiteness.
    5. The aforementioned classes must be taught by professors who are a part of the culture they are teaching about.

Segregated teaching. Lester Maddox would have loved it.

Finally:

change_me

Mental Health Support for Students of Color

    1. We demand the College provide and support at least:
      1. One new Black therapist
      2. One new Asian therapist
      3. One new Latinx therapist
    2. We demand all students have access to unlimited therapy sessions through Health and Wellness.
    3. We demand the College provide transportation to students with weekly therapy in the Westchester area.

Unlimited therapy sessions with Therapists Of Color.

If grown-ups ran Sarah Lawrence College, they would expel these nuts. But grown-ups do not run Sarah Lawrence College. Follow the latest on the Twitter feed of the college newspaper. [3] The most recent tweet:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

And there are these doozies from yesterday’s protests:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

I would love to say that these snowflakes are going to melt when they get into the real world and have to find a job in industries where they aren’t dealing with marshmallow administrators. But then again, they may be smarter than I am. They can ride this performative fragility all the way to the corner office, I’m guessing.

Anyway, parents who are considering sending your daughters to Sarah Lawrence (tuition + room + board = $72,000/yr) need to bear all this in mind. Everything that is happening now at that school vindicates Prof. Abrams’ critique.

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78 Comments To "SJW Hissy Fit At Sarah Lawrence"

#1 Comment By Grande Orso On March 14, 2019 @ 6:16 pm

A waste is a terrible thing to mind.

#2 Comment By Dommerdog On March 14, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

“I would love to say that these snowflakes are going to melt when they get into the real world and have to find a job in industries where they aren’t dealing with marshmallow administrators. But then again, they may be smarter than I am. They can ride this performative fragility all the way to the corner office, I’m guessing.”

Dr. Phil’s “how’s that working for you?” comes to mind. It’s working very VERY well for them! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; and as long as it’s working, it ain’t broke.

I’ve been meaning to make this point in one of your comments sections and just haven’t gotten around to it, but it’s time. The administrators, profs, and students are referred to as the educated elite, which just stokes their egos and reinforces their self-righteousness. I disagree with “educated” in this context. One has to learn something factual and real (even if it’s how to determine what’s factual and what’s real) to be educated. These people are credentialed members of the mutual admiration society that for reasons I cannot fathom command the respect and deference of people who I refuse to believe didn’t know better at some point in their lives.

#3 Comment By DSP On March 14, 2019 @ 7:13 pm

How in the world did the student activists fail to mention the rape culture that exists on the Sarah Lawrence campus?
The implied violence in Professor Abrams problematic editorial must have really rattled the students to have caused them to commit this oversight.

#4 Comment By John On March 14, 2019 @ 7:14 pm

Was honestly surprised one of the demands wasn’t to have Professor Abrams fired. Maybe that’ll be included in the next set of demands.

#5 Comment By Carl Eric Scott On March 14, 2019 @ 7:16 pm

President Cristle Collins Judd
Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY 10708

#6 Comment By Seoulite On March 14, 2019 @ 7:22 pm

America circa 2035:

Presidential candidate Ocasio-Cortez runs on a platform that includes the following demand:

“The Federal Government must commit to actualizing the value that housing is a human right.
The Government must provide housing to all people of color at no charge that is not contingent on whether people are able or willing to work.”

We demand there be at least three more courses offered in African diasporic studies taught by Black professors.

Enjoy it while it lasts. When America becomes truly brown, the “black experience” is gonna be a whole lot less important.

Unlimited therapy sessions with Therapists Of Color.

Just LOL.

#7 Comment By Adam Loumeau On March 14, 2019 @ 7:57 pm

Another great article Rod. I will say, though, I wish someone (perhaps not you but someone) would do an investigation into why every single president of a university is behaving in the exact same way, which appears nothing short of insane to the outside world. *Clearly* there are some very specific, pernicious forces working behind the scenes which are causing these presidents to all behave this way.

Why does logic lead them to say and do not only the most humiliating things but also behave completely irrationally (assuming the goal is truth)? Someone needs to roll up their sleeves and do some investigative journalism or tap into disparate efforts of investigative journalism that have already been done and piece them together to make a coherent bigger picture.

I feel like we are all having too good of a time at the expense of the snowflakes and their subservient university presidents when perhaps we should be looking deeper instead.

#8 Comment By Joachim On March 14, 2019 @ 8:12 pm

How fortunate for them that low-cost, accessible housing with food provided is readily available at the local jail.

#9 Comment By Moone Boy On March 14, 2019 @ 8:27 pm

42. [9].
1. It was a good board, and I like it.
2. You know how hard it is to find a board you like.

#10 Comment By Jim Jatras On March 14, 2019 @ 8:41 pm

“Mental Health Support for Students of Color”

I dunno, they might be onto something there …

#11 Comment By Free Speech Advocate On March 14, 2019 @ 10:21 pm

I might be wrong, but here is what I suspect is going on with the list of “Coalition” demands. Reading them, one wonders, why don’t (at least) the Black students enroll in an historically Black university and avoid these “structures of oppression?”

And my guess would be that it is because Sarah Lawrence is offering pretty generous minority scholarships that Black universities in no way have the funds to offer. BUT the scholarships at these “elite schools” aren’t enough to cover “daily living” kinds of things — like laundry supplies and housing during breaks — that these kids in reality can’t afford.

These schools arguably “virtue exploit” for their “diversity reputations” kids who would be far better served elsewhere. I have no doubt that, at bottom, these students are sincerely stressed out about money. And attending SL has made them very aware of (and politicized about) what financial privilege looks really like.

I think these institutions — with administrators who are deeply clueless about *actual* middle-class (much less moderate-to-low income) POC — “made their bed” and have to “lie in it” now in terms of practical demands AS WELL AS academic demands. Again, what did they expect would happen on campus if kids began to “practice” what these institutions “preach”? That these students would want to sit around and discuss Emerson or Matthew Arnold?? To me, these school richly deserve all these problems, although it is very unfair to the rare conservative on campus.

#12 Comment By KevinS On March 14, 2019 @ 10:26 pm

I grew up 5 minutes from Sarah Lawrence….it’s always been filled with crazies….

#13 Comment By Dan Schneider On March 14, 2019 @ 10:34 pm

I have said this before, the world will never truly be free until the last degenerate is hanging by the entrails of the last whining liberal. If they need martyrs for their causes I say we indulge them.

#14 Comment By Interguru On March 14, 2019 @ 10:42 pm

50 years ago, 18-year-olds arrived as students. Now that market-oriented thinking as engulfed our values, including at the academy, 18-year-olds are customers. The administrators are following the maxim ‘the customer is always right ‘ to ensure the survival of their institutions — and their jobs

#15 Comment By Brian NJ On March 14, 2019 @ 11:16 pm

I grew up near Sarah Lawrence. It’s in Yonkers……although the “official” address says Bronxville.
A family friend had a Bed and Breakfast that did a lot of business with visiting parents from the school. I heard a few nightmare stories of kids from the south and midwest leaving their parents in tears after that first visit, halfway through the first freshman semester. You know, gullible kid turns into blue haired, pierced, self-hatier, sjw in about 2 months. Our friend consoled many a crying parent.
Sarah L has been on the cutting edge of this b.s. for 40 years at least. I’m shocked that there is 1 conservative professor on the staff.

#16 Comment By JonF On March 15, 2019 @ 6:22 am

Re: Eventually, you have to produce. If you don’t, your company will get creamed by those (incl overseas) that are less concerned with social-justice than with efficiency.

Keep in mind that kids like these are fairly rare since they come from a rarified stratum of society. The average graduate from State U is not like this. I work with a fair number of 20-somethings at Famous Bank– young’uns who no doubt hail from prosperous, stable families, but not 1% types. I couldn’t tell you a thing about their politics since no one ever talks politics there. Most businesses will do just fine with today’s crop of college graduates since there’s only a few snowflakes and those will be weeded out if/when they fail to perform on the job. And at least some of the current crazies will mellow as they age. It’s how life works.

#17 Comment By Mighty Whig On March 15, 2019 @ 6:57 am

I think what prompted this is that the college is letting go some diversity administrators. My guess is this is the administrators and their allies getting back. Similar thing happened at U Missouri; the student protest was just a cover.

#18 Comment By Elijah On March 15, 2019 @ 7:03 am

“The proliferation of college “administrators” is a scandal that has been building for decades. The problem isn’t that they are overwhelmingly “liberal”: it is that they exist at all.”

@ Harve – a true bipartisan working point.

“The administrators are following the maxim ‘the customer is always right ‘ to ensure the survival of their institutions — and their jobs.”

@ interguru – I don’t think this is right. Universities pay too much attention to market forces in bringing ‘amenities’ to campus, for sure, but in this case faculty has been encouraging this student attitude for decades. It is, in fact, the very script of the 1960s ‘radicals’, as Harve suggested.

#19 Comment By Andrea On March 15, 2019 @ 7:14 am

I would guess that Free Speech Advocate is right. The scholarship kids and the international students probably don’t have the money to buy detergent or find a place to stay during college breaks. As for the demands about people of color hired as professors or counselors, those are standard for students with these political leanings. The protest/sit in is likely a resume booster for some of these girls.

I actually don’t disagree that housing and health care are basic needs that should be rights and should be funded in some fashion, though where the funding will come from I do not know. Starting out by asking for the moon and settling for a few of the things they ask for is probably the strategy.

#20 Comment By Andrew On March 15, 2019 @ 8:51 am

The Sarah Lawrence protestors confuse me. Dean Trujilo is Latino (he says so in his online bio).

So why are the heaping abuse on him?

And the associate dean is African American.

So what the heck are these students talking about?

[10]

#21 Comment By GSW On March 15, 2019 @ 10:19 am

“Conservatism is a giant scam in which the billionaire donor class subsidizes pundits to teach regular Americans to be compliant and deferential in the workplace and in politics and society in general.” @Matt in VA

You’ve quite misunderstood the economic determinism of Karl Marx who you here incorrectly channel.

In The German Ideology Marx (1845) Marx writes: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”

Conservatism is decidedly not the ideology of the billionaire ruling classes in the west (“i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society.”) Their “means of mental production” – the media, social media, entertainment, academe, the intelligentsia, etc. – are overwhelmingly hostile to Burkean or even Madisonian principles of conservative governance. The ideology/”ruling ideas” of the west’s contemporary ruling class protects the sanctity/fluidity of international capital while breaking down any traditionalist sites of opposition to its dominance (e.g. religion, the family, nationalism).

#22 Comment By Illumifi On March 15, 2019 @ 10:42 am

Pavlov’s law
In a simplified way, they are just testing boundaries and taking advantage of what they can.
The more boundaries that they test, and those boundaries prove false, will only serve to embolden them, to incentivize them to push on and take advantage of whatever else they can.
My 3 yr. old does a similar thing. He may yell and throw a tantrum towards his mother in order to get what he wants. If he does gets it then that behavior becomes reinforced and is more likely to happen again. If not, then less likely. Unfortunately once the behavior has produced desirable results, it becomes a much more difficult task to unlearn it than if it hadn’t been learnt (rewarded) at all.
Your right Rod that these kids are not stupid. They are very, very smart,
however, deprived of faith, meaning, and a higher purpose they have become nihilistic and angry.
Postmodern thought has, consciously or not, seeped in and truth has become lies, everything is now about power.
Constantly shown the false glamour of social media and the cult of celebrity and the scapegoat to contrast, they have become driven by envy and bitterness. Grateful for little to nothing. Entitled.
And we as a society bear much of the guilt when we unwittingly (being charitable here) condition them to behave/believe like this. We are teaching them to become the tyrants of the future and we do it, each one, in his own house.

#23 Comment By BF On March 15, 2019 @ 10:45 am

I’m most interested in the demand for free housing during winter break and the much-derided fabric softener. To me these are both signs that a lot of these kids are under serious economic stress. The college probably doesn’t charge its poorer students full tuition and it houses them during the school year. But the need for detergent and fabric softener? There apparently isn’t much room in the kids’ budgets if this makes the list.

And housing during winter break? When I went to a relatively wealthy school, the rich kids went skiiing during winter break and the rest of us went home. The dorms were closed. At SL it looks like there is a substantial group who have no home to go to, or who can’t afford to get there.

[NFR: Alternatively, maybe it’s a sign that if you can’t afford to attend a very expensive small liberal arts college in suburban NYC, you shouldn’t go there. — RD]

#24 Comment By Allen On March 15, 2019 @ 11:12 am

“No. Get out of my office or you’re expelled. And I’ll have you arrested.”

“Wahhhhhh! He talked mean to me!”

#25 Comment By Maclin Horton On March 15, 2019 @ 12:07 pm

I can recall the moment when the enchantment surrounding the elite schools fell away for me. It was in 1978 or ’79 when I met a Sarah Lawrence grad. We both had degrees in English lit, mine from an academically undistinguished state university. But my education was clearly better than her–more breadth, more depth.

In response to Adam Loumeau above, wondering where this administrative lockstep mentality came from, this Quillette article sheds a lot of light on it:

[11]

For what it’s worth, my experience in higher ed, which comes to at least 40 years or so counting time both as student and staff (not faculty) member, supports this.

#26 Comment By John Spragge On March 15, 2019 @ 12:53 pm

I note the call for ideological “diversity” in this context contains a contradiction. Dr. Abrams seems, in the end, to be complaining the ideas he prefers are losing in the marketplace of ideas among his peers, his students, and among administrators. He provides no specific solution, except for some form of “vigilance” by parents. I have a problem with the example, because I consider the proliferation of university administrators appalling: it pushes up the cost to students, excluding middle and working class students except for those able to win full ride scholarships. Worse, it produces young people in their twenties or even early thirties who have never had a chance to take serious or even unserious responsibility. So I deplore the existence of these administrative positions, apart from the political opinions of their holders. But the basic argument for free speech holds that if the truth is allowed to be heard, the truth will prevail. In our system, a freely arrived consensus deserves respect, not repression.

In other posts, Rod has correctly noted the “white fragility” trope is noxious. If nothing else, it’s ableist. If you don’t like the word “ableist”, try this: using medical or pseudo medical terms to describe political disagreements is inappropriate. This makes the use of “performative fragility” here somewhat inconsistent. I would suggest using a term such as “emotional display” instead.

Quoting DRZ:

…the Intersectional Brigades will spend all their energy establishing a hierarchy of oppression.

I disagree. By my reading, intersectionality as properly understood, expresses an attempt to get away from the old hierarchies of oppression and accept the complexity of the way oppressions work with real people in real life. Read Donna Harraway or Chela Sandoval. I consider this point worth making because in the acceptance of complexity that intersectional theory proposes, I see an opportunity for common ground with Burke’s rejection of grand projects for comprehensive social reform.

#27 Comment By Brian NJ On March 15, 2019 @ 2:51 pm

notable alumni:
Rahm Emmanuel, Joanne Woodward
Barbara Walters, Kyra Sedgwick
Vera Wang, Yoko Ono
Carly Simon, Carey Elwes
Leslie Gore, Tea Leoni

#28 Comment By JonF On March 20, 2019 @ 9:54 am

GSW, social conservatism is not the ideology of the ruling class, and it never has been (Savonorola sought to moralize Florence; the Di Medici never did). However a certain Reaganite economic conservatism, with its roots in Hayek, Friedman and at the far extreme Ayn Rand, certainly is, for the American economic elite of 2019. You can argue those ideas are not truly conservative, and I’ll probably agree with you, but we’re both swimming against the tide. The aforenentioned economic POV in its several strains is and has been recognized as a core form of conservatism here for a good long time.