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Evergreen State profs: Campus crisis due to ‘right-wing attacks on racial equity in education’

Would’ja believe it? The campus craziness that is Evergreen State College in Washington State isn’t the fault of radical racialists who demanded the college president put his hands down while speaking, and/or black professors dressing down white colleagues with profane tirades.

Indeed, according to a trio of professors at the school the Evergreen insanity is the fault of right-wingers.

In a ten-point treatise, Evergreen State’s Anne Fischel (media and community studies), Zoltán Grossman (geography and Native studies), and Lin Nelson (sociology and environmental health) allege the following:

“1) The Evergreen crisis fits a pattern of right-wing attacks on racial equity in higher education.”
“2) Evergreen’s Day of Absence was not ‘reverse racism.’”
“3) The student protests were not just about one professor.”
“4) The Tucker Carlson interview unleashed a flood of hate toward Evergreen.”
“5) Evergreen was targeted by a far-right terrorist threat and rally.”
“6) Racist hate mail and threats targeted free speech at Evergreen.”
“7) Evergreen is a target of political assaults that could affect all of higher education.”
“8) Free speech works both ways.”
“9) Liberal arts and intersectionality are both about increasing available viewpoints.”
“10) Equity and diversity reforms are continuing.”

Points 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are all related and, as we’ve noted here already at The College Fix, represent the latest method by which leftist academics are attempting to quell any criticism about their seemingly endless nuttery.

“In recent months,” the professors write, “conservative and far-right forces have intensified their targeting of higher education, particularly outspoken faculty members who stand up for equity and diversity.

“In HuffPost, Matthew Houghly describes, ‘increasingly organized attacks on college and university faculty who are critical of, and public about, social inequality. Attacks seem most virulent when the faculty are people of color and/or when they critique white supremacy.’”

This is akin to what Cornell’s Russell Rickford argued recently — that outlets merely reporting on academics’ outrageous statements and behavior is a “technique of repression.”

If it already isn’t plain enough to clear-thinking people, let me make this perfectly clear: That is unadulterated balderdash.

Can you imagine someone arguing that CNN, NBC and other media shouldn’t report on the outlandish statements and behavior of Donald Trump and other Republican/conservative politicians (or Republicans/conservatives in general)?

Can you imagine the media’s reaction if Republicans/conservatives argued that their statements and behavior shouldn’t be reported for the same reasons Fischel, et. al. do — because it might make them a target for hate mail, hateful social media comments, and even threats?

The remainder of Fischel, Grossman, and Nelson’s screed is merely an exercise in the demonization of anyone who doesn’t share their philosophy on race and equal rights. Consider their attack on fellow professor Bret Weinstein:

“Reverse racism” against whites (like “states’ rights”) has long been a key trope used to critique civil rights. Weinstein was espousing an ideology of “color-blindness” that denies the depths of racism in our society. H. Richard Milner IV, director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh, explains that “color blindness” on the part of college faculty and staff contributes to “opportunity gaps,” as key parts of students’ identities and experiences go unseen. Weinstein’s opposition to the Day of Absence was part of his continuing campaign against the college’s equity emphasis, including our Equity Council’s proposal to prioritize the needs of struggling students of color and first-generation students.

When the Council made a mild suggestion that the college should actively recruit faculty (of any race) with the knowledge and skills to teach about race, Weinstein commented, “In order to find professors who are good at what we Evergreen professors do, we need the largest pool of applicants possible. If we are prioritizing race over everything else, we would succeed in finding those unusual professors much less often.” Essentially debunking affirmative action, Weinstein’s stance, similar to the Trump administration’s insistence that affirmative-action “discriminates” against whites in universities, ignored the history of exclusion of people of color from faculty positions, and failed to explain why faculty of color would not be equally adept at the teaching Evergreen values.

Believe in looking past the color of one’s skin? Racist.

Believe that racism is racism, no matter who practices it? Racist.

Believe that employers should look for the most qualified person for a job? Racist.

In a somewhat ironic twist, Ludmilla Drago’s (Brigitte Nielsen) tirade to the American press in Rocky IV seems a rather appropriate response this Evergreen trio:

“You have this belief that you are better than us. You have this belief that [you are] so very good and we are so very bad. You have this belief that you are so fair and we are so very cruel.”

Or to put it more succinctly, “Gimme a freakin’ break.”

MORE: Madness reigns at Evergreen State College as students ‘take over’

MORE: Following Weinstein debacle, Evergreen State president kowtows to student demands

MORE: Evergreen State prof: ‘I have no way of knowing whether it’s safe for me to return’

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.