In a display of what awaits American society as a whole if leftists continue to gain power, the campus of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington has devolved into a nightmare of mob action, threatened professors, hijacked administrators, property damage, vigilante patrols, death threats, and violence against dissent. Conservatives are just beginning to fight back, but it is highly likely that the liberal safety bubble that social justice warriors at Evergreen have created for themselves is about to burst.
It all started with a liberal professor who drew the line against political correctness. Professor Bret Weinstein learned that the annual “Day of Absence,” an Evergreen Tradition where minority students and faculty meet off campus for a day, was being flipped. This year, a decision was made by the “First Peoples Multicultural Advising,” that instead of minorities choosing to leave campus, they would instead “invite” all white students and faculty to leave the school for a day. Professor Weinstein objected stating in a letter that there was a significant difference between a group removing themselves and asking another to go away and that the second, “is a show of force and an act of oppression in and of itself.” Common sense says that leftists would label as racist anyone who refused the request. Weinstein went on to write, “…I will be on campus on the Day of Absence, ” and “… one’s right to speak–or to be–must never be based on skin color.”
A mob answered Professor Weinstein’s appeal to reason. According to Professor Weinstein, on Tuesday, May 23, an estimated fifty students invaded Professor Weinstein’s class and began shouting at him, accusing him of racism, and demanding that he resign. When he attempted to discuss their allegations with him, they shouted him down and refused to listen. Someone called campus police in concern for Weinstein’s safety. Students left the building while chanting. On Wednesday, campus police called Professor Weinstein and asked him to stay away from campus. They couldn’t protect him.
By Thursday, students had taken over the campus. They went from barricading themselves into the library to crashing a faculty event to putting graffiti on campus buildings to surrounding and screaming profanities at the faculty. They went so far as to tell faculty not to move, holding administrators hostage, and telling them when they could urinate. But after a few tense days, things relaxed somewhat.
Within the next week, news of the campus madness reached the outside world via youtube videos and Professor Weinstein’s speaking to the press. As a result, anonymous callers made threats of violence to local law enforcement. In response, the administration closed the campus Thursday, Friday, and Monday, June 1, 2, and 5.
The campus community response was absurd. Student activists took to patrolling the campus with bats. Unknown parties broke windows and graffitied buildings. When another student attempted to chalk over leftist graffiti, he was assaulted and chased off campus by a gang of black-clad social justice warriors. To add insult to injury, many of the Evergreen faculty have expressed support for the student protesters. Other professors have called for a disciplinary investigation against Professor Weinstein because, in their words, he, “has endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in new outlets, and on social media.”
The outside world is responding. Rep. Matt Manweller of the Washington State legislature is calling for a civil rights investigation and has introduced a bill which will if passed, ultimately end all state funding for Evergreen College within five years. Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, who most recently held a conservative free speech rally in Portland, which drew thousands of leftist counter protestors, has announced that his merry band of helmet wearing self-defending free speech Patriots will be scheduling a rally at Evergreen soon.
It is important for conservatarians to understand what is happening on campuses, and for that, Professor Weinstein is a great asset. During his lengthy interview with Joe Rogan, he delves deeply into the dynamics behind these ridiculous protests, what drives those who are engaged in them, how best to stand up to these bullies, and to debunk their thinking. In short, leftist campus thought has embraced the post-modernist view that truth is subjective. As a result, these groups no longer seek the truth, or equality of justice and opportunity for all. Instead, they seek dominance. And the way to achieve that is to label everyone who disagrees with you as a racist, nazi, or bigot. Because this thought doesn’t stand up to outside analysis, it is of the utmost importance that those who push these ideas maintain safe spaces where no one is allowed to disagree. Sound familiar?
The lesson for conservatives is that you must speak. You must challenge lunacy. No matter how uncomfortable or unpopular. Failure to do so threatens the survival of our nation.