Too many American colleges have become “institutions of higher daycare,” writes Lance Morrow, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in a biting essay on the chaos at Evergreen State College in Washington.
Bret Weinstein, a biology professor, argued — rationally and courteously — against asking all whites to leave campus for a day as a protest against racism. Fifty students surrounded him after class to “shout him down, curse at him and demand his resignation,” reports The College Fix.
The campus was closed for three days after an anonymous caller claimed he was headed to the college with a .44 Magnum “to execute as many people on the campus as I can get ahold of.”
Photo of bat-wielding “social justice warriors” tweeted by Professor Bret Weinstein.
“They have had people walking around with sticks and baseball bats late at night causing property damage,” Sheriff Snaza said.
“Carrying bats is causing many to feel unsafe and intimidated,” college officials told students in an e-mail, reports The College Fix. “The bats must be put away immediately in order to protect all involved.”
“The Red Guards in China’s Cultural Revolution behaved in this fashion—banging through the institutions, humiliating their elders and now and then destroying a professor’s life’s work,” writes Morrow.
What’s at work in the campus eruptions is not a virtue or social justice; it has nothing whatever to do with learning or knowledge or the life of the mind. It’s the other way around. These performances — a travesty of education — do not expand the mind, they devour it. College authorities — a term of irony, a perverse oxymoron — are desperate for the approval of the children. . . . Learning to tend the fires and ceremonies of their grievances, (students) acquire plausible historical and ideological excuses for not studying — and indeed for not thinking. Ideology does the thinking. Some parents pay something in the high five figures for four years to have their sons’ and daughters’ minds systematically disabled. Pre-frontal lobotomy would be cheaper.
A quarter of the faculty has signed a statement demanding the administration launch a “disciplinary investigation” against their colleague, charging Weinstein “endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in news outlets, and on social media.”
Evergreen President George Bridges announced that Weinstein wouldn’t be suspended, then called the professor’s attackers “courageous” and promised to comply with their demands, writes Morrow.
(A student “meeting” with Bridges “turned into a profanity-laced fiasco,” reports The College Fix. In addition to cursing the college president, protesters ordered him “to put his hands down while speaking.”)
“The sane response at Evergreen, Middlebury, Yale and elsewhere would be to expel the students involved,” concludes Morrow.
As for the universities, their very reason for being is at stake. Right now, it seems to me that they are in the active process of trying to destroy themselves.
Evergreen’s enrollment has fallen sharply in recent years, despite “wide-open admission standards,” notes the Seattle Times. “At about 4,080 students, it is about 300 students short of the Legislature’s funded enrollment target.”
It will be much worse in the fall: What percentage of the first-year class will show up? How many serious students will return to Evergreen?