Another Assault on Freedom, Free Speech

Another Assault on Freedom, Free Speech

By Steve Hunley

The mainstream media seems ever more comfortable in its refusal to cover increasing assaults on freedom and free speech.  Take the case of Bret Weinstein, a professor of biology at Evergreen State College in Washington State.  Keep in mind, Weinstein is no fire-breathing conservative nor is he a card-carrying Republican.  Quite the contrary, Professor Weinstein is an avowed “progressive.”  Yet Weinstein has run afoul of a literal mob at Evergreen.  For years Evergreen College has celebrated a “Day of Absence”, which allowed minority professors and students to meet elsewhere to discuss diversity and racism.  Weinstein never once objected to the tradition, never was critical of it and in fact supported it.  This year, students decided they wanted white people to leave the campus for the Day of Absence.  Weinstein did object to that notion.  Weinstein’s sin was he made his objection public, posting on the campus email list a message.  “There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and underappreciated roles and a group encouraging another group to go away,” Weinstein wrote.  “The first is a forceful call to consciousness, which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression.  The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.”

Weinstein announced he would not be leaving campus on the selected day, nor would he cave into being bullied.  The professor encouraged other white faculty and students to follow his example and refuse to stay away.  That is when the fat was in the fire.  “On a college campus, one’s right to speak – – – or to be – – – must never be based on skin color.”

Immediately Weinstein was denounced as a racist as students affiliated with the Day of Absence whined the professor’s attitude – – – or refusal to be bullied – – – somehow belittled the folks behind the Day of Absence who insisted there could be no white people on campus for that particular day.  Others pointed to Weinstein’s reputed opposition to a proposed rule being considered by Evergreen administrators on a new hiring policy.  That policy would require an “equity justification/explanation” for all future hires at the school.  Weinstein then made yet another mistake – – – speaking the truth.  Explaining his dissent from the proposed equity justification/explanation, Weinstein said it “subordinates all other characteristics of applicants to one thing.”  “The most important thing is that the person in the front of the room knows something about the subject and has insight teaching”, Weinstein said.

For his candor, Weinstein has been astonished to be greeted by angry students screaming at him on campus, as well as being told he needs to resign or simply leave Evergreen.  Weinstein, evidently a very old fashioned liberal and apparently a sheltered one, has tried to explain his fundamental belief in everyone being equal.  Nor does Weinstein insist everyone agree with his own beliefs, yet he has been surprised by the anger and the insistence of a mob of students that he be fired.  There have also been threats to Professor Weinstein’s physical well being.

As usual, the students have taken to social media to rant and share their feelings with the world.  One wrote, “That is not an act of oppression, Bret.  Part of dismantling white supremacy is giving up white spaces to people of color; it is part of the healing process.”  The student went on to grouse, “I guess the real issue with reversing the traditional ‘who leaves campus’ roles is that POC (people of color) on campus won’t object to a day without all the annoying white people around and will gladly leave, while white folks will object and throw temper tantrums at the mere suggestion that they give up their traditional space for just one day.”

The president of Evergreen College hurried to mollify the protesting students.  Repeatedly praising the valiant loudmouths, George Bridges announced the college would insist upon “mandatory diversity and cultural sensitivity training for all faculty members; the college will create “an equity/multicultural center”; “adopt a new policy where every official event at the college will start with an acknowledgment that Evergreen State is on land stolen from Native Americas”; and “hire a vice president or vice provost who will focus on equity and diversity issues.”

Bret Weinstein was yet again surprised and said, “The president’s carefully crafted statement is clearly intended to support a false narrative about the present state of our campus…”

The student protesters have demanded a video of their barging into Professor Weinstein’s class, literally cursing him, and disrupting the class and demanding he resign be taken down from the Internet.  The mob claims the offending video had fallen into the hands of “white supremacists.”  Police officials had already informed Professor Weinstein it would not be safe for him to return to his classroom, so he convened his classes in a nearby park.  The students, recorded shrieking hysterically, bullying and cursing are livid because the video has been viewed countless times on the net.

Clearly, these young people don’t understand the meaning of ‘oppression’ and have as much respect for freedom of speech as Hillary Clinton has for the truth.  These little liberal fascists in-the-making are perfect examples of one of the worst of all human afflictions: hypocrisy.  If anyone doesn’t believe these folks want to persecute people for their own beliefs, just ask Bret Weinstein.

 

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