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‘Disorientation guide’ tells black students that Penn is ‘made up of people who hate you’

Decries ‘white capitalist’ values that let them attend Penn

If you attend the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution in a tony Philadelphia neighborhood, you are massively privileged.

That didn’t stop student activists from grasping at straws to sling mud at the private university in a newly released “Disorientation Guide,” also known as “the shit Penn won’t say,” that they distributed to students Monday, The Daily Pennsylvanian reports.

It decries the “white capitalist imperialist values” of Penn that make it possible for the privileged student activists to attend a university that will vastly boost their earning potential for a lifetime and gives them wide latitude to say odious things without any sanction, to say nothing of a speech-chilling investigation.*

The biggest section of the guide is about Penn’s racism, informing black students it’s “made up of people who hate you” … because last year a University of Oklahoma student created a racist GroupMe chat and invited black freshmen at Penn to join it.

A single op-ed co-written by Law Prof. Amy Wax that praised “bourgeois culture” and said not all cultures are equal also proves that Penn is “made up of people who hate” black students.

That’s right: Penn’s “present day” racism section consists of two incidents, one of which came from 1,400 miles away.

MORE: Penn students demand hate speech measures on campus

Its anonymously written section on “rape and fraternity culture” explicitly acknowledges the Penn Women’s Center as the oldest such “resource center” on campus, founded more than 40 years ago.

The author then asks “why I should be grateful to the administration for something that students deserve,” and goes on to denounce fraternity members for … watching the author pass in front of their houses as they hang out on the porch:

Woah [sic], did not sign up to be stared at by random men as I go to class!

The only part of the guide with images is written by Students for Justice in Palestine, which shared photos of its anti-Israel activism.

Beyond complaining that its members have been called “terrorists” at Penn, which has a large Jewish student population, SJP has one apparent beef with the administration.

It  was refused permission to post “disheveled teddy bears” on lampposts across campus to protest Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes. The activists did it anyway, the administration sent them an email, and they took down the teddy bears at day’s end.

Michael Moroz, who faced death threats before coming to Penn for publicly criticizing college race protests, shared his perspective on the guide as co-director of the College Republicans editorial board:

“It accuses this University of being a white supremacist organization that excludes any other people from participating any other people from participating, which of course, we know is not true,” Moroz added. “The University of Pennsylvania, as an institution, is not systematically and routinely discriminating against people of other races, and in fact, it’s proactively trying to include more of them in the student body.”

Moroz said he agreed with sections of the guide on class issues (his parents are immigrants) and mental-health challenges.

*The College Fix noticed that Penn still has a “green light” (most speech-friendly) rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, despite the presence of two “yellow light” (ambiguous enough to be abused) policies on sexual harassment. Samantha Harris, vice president of policy research, told The Fix through a spokesperson that the ratings are based on “the totality of the circumstances,” and Penn’s yellow-light policies do not “pose a substantial threat to free speech on campus” when considered with “the university’s policies as a whole.”

Read the guide and Daily coverage.

MORE: Student who criticized race protests forced by threats to finish school at home

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

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