An ex-Provost spills the beans on The Evergreen State College

Michael Zimmerman was provost and vice-president for academic affairs of The Evergreen State College (TESC) from 2011-2016, but when the cowardly invertebrate George Bridges was hired as President, he summarily downgraded Zimmerman’s job, i.e., fired him from it. Zimmerman left TESC on July 1 of this year (2 days ago), and the very next day he posted a long essay about TESC on (of all places) HuffPo, “The Evergreen State College implosion: Are there lessons to be learned?” Zimmerman’s answer is a big “yes,” and he tells the story of the conflagration that’s consumed the college since November of last year, a fire whose nucleus is biology professor Bret Weinstein. It’s ironic that HuffPo published this, as they pander to the same kind of identity politics indicted by Zimmerman’s account.

I’ve posted quite a bit on Weinstein and TESC, so if you’re even a semi-regular here you’ll know that he gained infamy at the College by refusing to leave campus on the “Day of Departure,” when students of color asked white people to go away for a day (in the past students of color had themselves departed to hold seminars and events). Despite Weinstein’s stellar reputation as a teacher at the College and his long history of social and anti-racist activism, the email he sent got him called a racist, and the students became so agitated that Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying (also a biology prof at TESC) were forced to leave town with their children.

Zimmerman, now free to speak his mind, tells us that the demonization of Weinstein actually began last November, when Weinstein questioned a slapdash Strategic Equity Plan (see it here if you have the patience) that Bridges and a committee had put together. The plan apparently would have changed all future hires at Evergreen from not just requiring that “diversity” (i.e., race) be considered when hiring faculty (a normal procedure at all colleges), but that the position itself, be it physics, biology, art, and so on be required to teach “equity”. In other words, all positions would become social justice positions, a requirement that would kill off much of the humanities and all of the sciences. It would also enforce a stifling unanimity of viewpoint on the entire faculty (which is almost there anyway!). The plan hasn’t yet been adopted. Weinstein was demonized because he wanted to discuss the plan, which he thought would be bad for minorities and which statistical analysis said wouldn’t work anyway.

Zimmerman goes on about a few issues; I’ll quote him on them (indented):

The undiscussable Strategic Equity Plan.

[Weinstein] has played that role [the questioner and interlocutor] to a great extent and to the frustration of many this academic year, a year almost completely focused on the twin concepts of equity and inclusion on campus. Indeed, George Bridges, Evergreen’s relatively new president, reformulated a college-wide Equity Council and provided them with a very wide charge. The group consisted of 28 members, six of whom were current faculty members and they set to work to outline a strategic equity plan.

The Council created a plan without any public input and scheduled a meeting in the middle of November to present it to the campus community having announced that it had already received the blessing of President Bridges. The plan, as presented, was built on a statistical analysis of retention, achievement and graduation data and proposed to make significant changes to faculty hiring practices as well as to the structure of the curriculum. The meeting offered no opportunity for open discussion of the plan and was structured as an opportunity to celebrate the plan’s creation. Building on the region’s Salish culture, the meeting concluded with attendees being asked to metaphorically climb into a canoe to embark on a journey to equity. The implication was that if people failed to board the canoe, they would be left behind. Indeed, the sentiment was expressed by some that if you were unwilling to get on board, perhaps Evergreen was not the place you should be working.

Weinstein kept calling for the faculty to actually discuss the plan, something that apparently was not on. The College’s attitude was “here’s the plan; take it or shut up”. Read the Plan yourself if you don’t think it needed discussing. Well, a call for discussion of any sort was just what TESC didn’t want. (So much for what a college should be doing.) The results?

In response, [Weinstein] was branded a racist and an obstructionist. A faculty member who sat on the Equity Council explicitly called him a racist in two different faculty meetings. When Professor Weinstein asked for an opportunity to defend himself, he was told that a faculty meeting was not the appropriate venue for such a defense. When he asked what the appropriate venue was, he was told that no such venue existed because he was a racist. Neither the president nor the interim provost interceded to make it clear that leveling such charges against a fellow faculty member was unacceptable within the college community. When Professor Weinstein spoke privately with both of those administrators about these incidents, they both acknowledged the inappropriateness of the behavior but each said that it was the responsibility of the other to do something about it. Neither administrator took any public action in response.

What about the statistics that supposedly supported the plan but seemed wonky? Well, the faculty was supposed to shut up about that, too (my emphasis):

But even that tells only part of the story. As mentioned above, the Equity Strategic Plan was built on a statistical foundation. When the validity of that foundation was called into question, including by a robust analysis by an Evergreen alum currently in graduate school, the same faculty member who publicly called Professor Weinstein a racist began attacking scientists generally claiming that their reliance on data was dismissive of the concerns of students. President Bridges, upon being presented with the alum’s statistical critique, promised a response but none has been forthcoming.

This dismissal of data and analysis is of course characteristic of the postmodernism in which TESC is marinated.

Then there were the disruptions involving students:

A completely segregated course of study.

There was an on-going, mostly on-line discussion among students about limiting a program to be taught the following fall to students of color. One student objected asking how it would appear if the reverse were ever to be the case; if a program were to be limited to white students. (The program in question was to be taught by the faculty member who publicly called Professor Weinstein a racist.) The student raising the objection received a good deal of abuse and then, he claimed, he was physically confronted in the cafeteria. This student, himself a student of color, went to the campus police department to file a complaint against the two students he said assaulted him. The police began an investigation later that evening and one of the students interrogated was the leader of the protest that soon followed.

Student disruptions of speakers and ceremonies. I tell you, these students are entitled crybabies, a persona that, says Zimmerman, was cultivated and promoted by President Bridges and the faculty (Weinstein agrees, ultimately blaming most of the student unrest on the faculty). My emphasis here:

Fast forward to the day following the 2016 presidential election. Two campus events were scheduled for that day: a board of trustees meeting; and the dedication of the newly remodeled and renamed Purce Hall. Students upset by the election surrounded the trustees and berated them for their racist attitudes. The meeting was cancelled and hours later the building dedication was similarly disrupted – despite the fact that Purce Hall was named for Evergreen’s immediately preceding president, an African American who served as president for 15 years. Despite the chaos associated with both events, no students were brought up on disciplinary charges.

And this, in which Bridges behaved as the reprehensible and sleazy man that he is:

. . . we need to go back to the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year. Evergreen’s academic year begins with an all-campus convocation. That event includes a talk by the author of a book all in-coming students read over the summer. This year a number of students attempted to take over convocation and refused to permit the speaker to address the campus community. President Bridges managed to convince the students that they’d have a chance to be heard after the College’s invited guest spoke. Afterwards, the president sent out a note to the full campus community apologizing for his actions saying that he should have let the students speak when they wanted – that their voices were every bit as important as that of the author of the common read.

Can you believe that the President apologized for not letting the students disrupt the talk of a speaker whose book had been assigned reading for new students? And of course the students felt entitled to disrupt that talk. They and Bridges are cut from the whole cloth. They are the thugs, and Bridges the capo di tutt’i capi. 

Faculty responsibility for enabling bad behavior.  I’ll give one example here. You may already know that the TESC faculty called for Weinstein to be investigated after he went on Fox News, and that only one professor has spoken up in his defense despite others (including, now, Zimmerman) who have agreed with Weinstein but remained silent. Get a load of this:

On 14 November, two days prior to the meeting at which the Equity Council’s strategic plan was released, she [JAC: an unnamed faculty member that I name below] made the following post on Facebook: “SERIOUSLY JUST BE QUIET. ONLY APPOINTED/APPROVED WHITES CAN SPEAK (AND ONLY WHEN SPOKEN TO). When that post, a post by a member of the Equity Council, was brought to the attention of President Bridges, he opted to do nothing publicly.

An even more disturbing Facebook post by this faculty member generated no response from the administration but actually gained defenders from the faculty ranks. The post was in response to a note written by Professor Weinstein’s wife, Heather Heying, also a faculty member at Evergreen. After Professor Weinstein was warned by Evergreen’s police chief to stay away from campus because his safety couldn’t be guaranteed, and after administrators were held hostage in their offices by a student group, the interim provost wrote a note saying that if anyone felt unsafe, they should come and speak with him or one of the deans. Professor Heying thought this note was both insensitive and disingenuous since obviously her husband was unsafe in the eyes of the police chief and he was advised against setting foot on campus. The faculty member responded to this note by posting this on Facebook: “Oh lord, Could some white women at Evergreen come and collect Heather Heying’s racist ass. Jesus”

Zimmerman doesn’t identify the professor, but her name is Naima Lowe, a professor of media, and we’ve seen her before. Here’s her tweet (she also uses the Twitter name “Naima Niambi”:

That’s from a professor, and could be interpreted as a call to harassment or violence. Whatever it means, it’s unseemly, but in character with TESC’s ridiculously Authoritarian faculty.

The upshot.  Zimmerman answers his title question with “yes”; the fracas at TESC has wider implications for American higher education. It’s what happens when Authoritarian Leftist students gain control of a school, egged on by faculty members who indoctrinated them with that brand of Leftism as well as postmodernism. I’m really surprised that most media outlets have ignored what’s going on at TESC. It’s a small and largely unknown school, but what happened there could happen at other places, for many schools—some of them good ones—are showing signs of Evergreen Disease. Chronicle of Higher Education, are you listening? Here’s Zimmerman’s conclusion:

The Evergreen campus has become a place where identity politics takes precedence over every other aspect of social intercourse. It has become a place where it is acceptable for colleagues to levy personal attacks on colleagues in response to differences of opinion and even in response to calls for dialogue. It has become a place where it is acceptable to shout down those with whom you disagree. And it has become a place where the administration watches from the sidelines, apparently fearful of antagonizing anyone.

But that is not what leadership is about. Leadership means treating all members of a community with respect and demanding that others do the same. It also means publicly holding community members responsible for their behavior. Finally, it means having and upholding a set of principles, even when doing so might be uncomfortable.

Evergreen is not alone in the constellation of institutions of higher education facing these problems. It is, however, a place that has allowed extremists to dominate and discussion to die. Others will do well to learn from the mistakes made on this campus.

Amen. The termites have gone very far, and dined very well.

71 Comments

  1. colnago80
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I am generally opposed to political interference with state colleges and universities but it would appear that the time has arrived for the governor and the state legislature to take a hand in this mess. The following steps should be instituted immediately.

    1. The president of the school should be fired immediately if not sooner.

    2. The board of directors should be dismissed and replaced immediately, if not sooner.

    3. Students who have threatened Prof. Weinstein with physical violence should be expelled from school immediately, if not sooner.

    4. Other faculty members who have threatened Prof. Weinstein with physical violence should be fired immediately, if not sooner.

    Actions like these are certainly severe but they are the only language that the SJWs understand.

    • ploubere
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I agree, both that ordinarily legislatures should not dictate state school policies, and that in this case there is no other solution. The place has become a cult.

      • pck
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Hell no. Once we get this kind of government interference, there’s no way to go back. Get the right governor and say goodbye to any university that is not literally advocating death camps for poor people and teaching young earth creationism.

        • Mack
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          I fear that you’re all correct… The only way to remedy the situation at TESC is simultaneously heavy handed, dangerous, and wrong. State schools (see University of WI) already face state legislatures hostile to their pedagogical mission. Empowering states further opens valuable institutions to political control.

        • Craw
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Piffle.
          We already have government oversight of colleges in most places. Look up statues on accreditation, boards of regents etc. The purpose of oversight is just precisely to step in in egregious and extreme cases like this one.

        • Posted July 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          I disagree. I do not think the states should forcibly collect tax money and then dump it on the CTRL-Left crazies to spend it as they wish. Besides, the experience of actual dictatorships contradicts your fears. There was a period (the Lysenkoism) when it was impossible to teach genetics in the Soviet bloc. Then, there was a spontaneous recovery. I am hoping for a spontaneous recovery at Evergreen when it will be possible to teach biology there again. But I am not holding my breath.

  2. dd
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Dr. Coyne, you wrote:

    “I’m really surprised that most media outlets have ignored what’s going on at TESC.”

    Perhaps you should not be surprised. First, it’s not an elite school or a big state one.

    And this maybe even more: What could be reported that does not make “progressives” look really, really bad?

    I believe that the NY Times ran 3, maybe 4, op-eds about Evergreen, but otherwise, did very little reporting about it. As a long time reader of the Times, I can’t recall another time in which something garners so many op-eds in light of so little reporting.

    A cynic would say that they can’t figure out how to make facts fit a Times narrative.

    Eventually something like this will happen at a bigger, more prestigious school.

    • jay
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      “I’m really surprised that most media outlets have ignored what’s going on at TESC.”

      They ignore it because they are of the same mindset. Several recent surveys have concluded that over 90% of the national media reporters and editors are registered democrats and many of those being much farther left.

      They’re FAR from a representation of the country’s population at large. This is why they have a blind spot, and they don’t have a clue as to what is really going on. They’re deep into the kool-aid.

      There is a tendency on the left to see EVERYTHING as a racial issue. Was watching a Tucker Carlson address the other day and he summed it up: People in the rust belt worry about jobs, and really are concerned that bringing in a large number of immigrants will devastate the local job market. But to the media, these people are simply deplorable bigots.

      A while back one reporter gave this challenge to his colleagues: Three of the best selling vehicles in the US are pickup trucks…. how many reporters even KNOW someone with a pickup.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I am an observer from the other side of the Atlantic. You say that “surveys have concluded that over 90% of the national media reporters and editors are registered democrats…and even further left”. Please could you cite those surveys in detail?

          • Steve Pollard
            Posted July 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I saw that article when it was published. The main poll quoted suggests 7% of media reporters are Republican and 28% Democrat. The article suggests that those who say they are independent are really liberals (not necessarily the same as Democrats) but don’t want to admit it. It produces no evidence to support this conclusion.

            My no doubt limited reading of US media suggests to me that most liberal-leaning reporters try hard to be fair and balanced in their writings. My no doubt limited reading of said media suggests to me that many right-leaning reporters don’t.

      • Posted July 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        Even if it were true, why would it be problematic that 90% of reporters are registered as Democrats and not Republicans.

        I’d bet more than 90% of professional biologists are evolutionists and not creationists.

  3. BJ
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    From the article and quoted in this post: “In response [to proposing discussion of the panel’s plan], [Weinstein] was branded a racist and an obstructionist. A faculty member who sat on the Equity Council explicitly called him a racist in two different faculty meetings. When Professor Weinstein asked for an opportunity to defend himself, he was told that a faculty meeting was not the appropriate venue for such a defense. When he asked what the appropriate venue was, he was told that no such venue existed because he was a racist.”

    Here we see one of the most common tactics of regressives. “You’re a racist!” If you attempt to or even ask if you may defend yourself, the answer is “why should you get to defend yourself? We’ve already decided you’re a racist. Should we let racists defend themselves?” This is the natural end-point of “hate speech” as an idea. Certain groups and their allies can brand anyone a racist, misogynist, Islamophobe, homophobe, transphobe, sexist, etc. to preclude that person from speaking. Once this happens, anyone who wants to be an “ally” must agree that the person so labeled cannot be allowed to speak, because surely if our betters (read: those higher than us on the oppression scale, and to whom we must always and continually establish our allyship) have decided that they are hateful, anything they might say will be hate speech. It is an effective way of censoring individuals and groups before they even speak.

    ” I’m really surprised that most media outlets have ignored what’s going on at TESC.”

    I’m not surprised at all. Until this year, during which we’ve still seen only a handful of articles on what’s happening at TESC, all media not of the right has strenuously ignored the regressive plague that has been sweeping campuses for years. The fact that it has wider implications and lessons doesn’t concern the media; in fact, it is likely because of the wider implications that the media does not wish to discuss it. As one commentator here has continually noted, all of this makes the left look bad and may “provide ammunition to the right.” The media would rather let this issue go and suppress it than spread awareness of it.

    All of this new information demonstrates that Weinstein wasn’t just being persecuted for his disagreement with the Day of Absence, but because he had the temerity to disagree in the past with something that had the labels of “equity” and “diversity” slapped onto it, no matter how misguided the policy so labeled was. Words like equity and diversity are considered holy among regressives, and such labels, when affixed to any policy or idea, immediately signal to the mob that the policy or idea must be supported (and that anyone who tries to so much as discuss it must be ostracized, harassed, abused, and intimidated).

    All of this labels and signals create a vicious cycle whereby anyone who steps out of line can be immediately branded and censored with great effect and without reason. It is the very act of resisting or questioning in even the most nominal manner that is heresy, and heresy must be rooted out within any cult.

    “Amen. The termites have gone very far, and dined very well.”

    He died just before his next great fight 😦 I can’t imagine the wonderfully acerbic things he would have to say about the regressive movement, particularly its clear opposition to free speech and religious nature.

    • GM
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      He died just before his next great fight 😦 I can’t imagine the wonderfully acerbic things he would have to say about the regressive movement, particularly its clear opposition to free speech and religious nature.

      I am in general not a big fan of the “great man” view of history, but in cases like this one can’t help but wonder how much of a difference events such as the premature passing of one person make.

      There just isn’t anyone out there to fully substitute for him.

      • GM
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Oh, and following from that, compare where we were 10 years ago at the time of the four horsemen, and where we are now.

        Check this thread:

        https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/06/28/existential-comics-tackles-scientism/

        Where we see quotes like the following:

        I’ve largely fallen out with the atheist “movement” in favor of bridge building with progressive theists. Atheism has never been a matter I particularly care about in and of itself – I’m just not religious. Most of my focus is on minority rights, and I’d rather spend my time talking to nice theists than the veritable minefield of alt-right assholes that many online atheist communities have become.

        Or this:

        Fortunately I never cared much for New Atheism. I always preferred the company of progressive theists (those who use their belief to advocate things like gender equality) than the company of Dawkins, Harris etc.

        Or what we see here:

        https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/07/01/how-much-teleology-and-reductive-stereotyping-can-you-cram-into-a-ted-talk/

        Where a poster openly states:

        To be fair while the guy is wrong the mainstream of LG rights activism is complete obsessed with a biological justification for homosexuality. It’s wrong from the likes of the HRC as well. More to the point, however, is that this sort of argument is dangerous. If it was conclusively, with Cartesian certainty, that gay people are 100% biologically determined to be gay the Christian right and the les deplorables will simply dig their heels in to insist that homosexuality is an illness. This sort of research, at this point, should not be done. It may get people killed. It certainly will get people tortured.

        This is where (a section of) atheism has gotten in 10 years…

        • BJ
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Well, the atheist movement has essentially fractured and lost significant power and cohesion since the infiltration of regressives, but this was to be expected. Regressives try to infiltrate every big movement, industry, and even hobby, and they usually see little to no pushback, as what normally happens is people acquiesce out of fear. Nobody wants to be labelled with one of the “ists” or “isms.”

          What they didn’t count on with atheists was that atheists would fight back, and you can see their rage in not succeeding like they usually do when you look at people like Steve Shives, PZ Meyers, Dan Arel, and many others. They ultimately lost the war, but they managed to completely fracture an otherwise healthy movement during the battles.

          • GM
            Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            I’m not sure they’ve lost.

            Institutionally, universities are in the hands of SJWs, and that means that the day when there will be an internal crackdown on the hard sciences within universities is not that far off into the future.

            It looks inevitable to me.

            I am at a fairly major institution, and the other day I had a rare chance to listen to a few administrators (all females, of course) discussing the handling of new students, and it was horrifying — they were talking about how the gender binary was an outmoded construction, how they should be encouraging kids to come out as trans, about how many misgendering offenses (one? two? three? those were literal words) should be sufficient for launching a Title IX prosecution, etc. Note that this wasn’t a lecture, I was just sitting nearby while they were talking among themselves, i.e. those were their honest views, not a mask put on for in front of the public.

            How long before these people openly come after evolutionary biologists for being unrepentant transphobes and racists?

            • BJ
              Posted July 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

              “How long before these people openly come after evolutionary biologists for being unrepentant transphobes and racists?”

              Oh, they’ve been doing this for quite some time, the line being that evolutionary biology isn’t a real science, just a tool of the cis-white patriarchy to justify racism, sexism, gender roles, and discrimination. I think the only reason it hasn’t gained more steam is that evolutionary biology is still pretty niche right now (on the whole) and I don’t think most of them know much about it.

              As for your experience with administrators, we’ve seen various pamphlets at multiple colleges in the last few years that are essentially regressive left indoctrination instructions given out to underlings like RAs and lower level managers to help them better punish those who ideologically step out of line, even when they do so outside of the classroom and in their own dorms.

            • Harrison
              Posted July 3, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

              I don’t want to sound like a utilitarian, but it really is STEM’s importance to industry that has best shielded it from PoMo. PoMo science doesn’t turn a profit. Creation science doesn’t turn a profit. Real science works. Thus there is a demand for it. All the witch hunts in the world can’t kill it if it works and makes money.

              • GM
                Posted July 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

                STEM’s importance to industry that has best shielded it from PoMo

                I am well aware.

                But things like evolutionary biology do not enjoy that protection because they are not useful in such a way.

                The School of Medicine and the bio-engineering departments will be left alone.

                But will the evolutionary and organismal biologists escape too?

          • scottoest
            Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            Eh, this is where people I otherwise agree with start to lose me.

            Atheism was never ‘infiltrated’ by anyone – there has been a natural fracturing among a loosely-associated group of people, as the argument over identity politics has intensified within liberalism (or at least, people who self-identify as liberal).

            The fracturing of the YouTube atheist “community” was a pretty great example of this.

            • BJ
              Posted July 3, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

              I guess I would normally agree, except that with the atheist community, it seemed like there was a very purposeful attempt at a takeover at a specific time with multiple people heading it. It didn’t happen spontaneously nor build up over time.

  4. DrBeydon
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    SERIOUSLY JUST BE QUIET. ONLY APPOINTED/APPROVED WHITES CAN SPEAK (AND ONLY WHEN SPOKEN TO)

    Cook’s bones! I mean what can you say to that? If racism equal prejudice plus power, in these schools, where this view seems to be dominant, isn’t it racist? It certainly is in the real world.

    • loren russell
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      ‘Cook’s bones’ gets us onto the canoe in another sense entirely. I’m guessing that you chose this particular emphatic with tongue in cheek?

      • DrBrydon
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Ha! No, serendipitous.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      This is why I accept the racism = prejudice + power. It is often assumed that people of colour cannot be racist because they don’t have power. However, that is not the case, and Evergreen demonstrates that. At TESC the power belongs to to those denigrating Weinstein and Heying.

      On the regressive/authoritarian left, those handing out the accusations are the ones with the power, and their actions frequently demonstrate prejudice of some kind.

      • Craw
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        So Heather, is it your position that when Hitler was in prison, writing Mein Kampf, he was not a racist, and that his book is not a racist book? Because that is what your equation implies.

        • Craw
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          Can a racist be executed?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see the point of getting bogged down in semantics. There’s a difference between a bigot and a bigot with a power — the difference between a prisoner in Landsberg prison and the Führer, between a gang of brown-shirted rowdies at the beer-hall and the Third Reich.

          Of course, what the people making this prejudice + power distinction too often ignore is that power comes in disparate forms (including their own). Yet its exercise to exclude is always invidious.

          • BJ
            Posted July 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            But these people came up with this distinction for a reason: they espouse the theory that white people always hold power over “people of color” in any situation, men over women in any situation, Christians over atheists or Muslims in any situation, etc. The whole idea is to create a paradigm in which those lower on their oppression scale can never be guilty of racism or sexism against those higher up on the scale, regardless of the roles of the people involved or the situation in which the conflict arises. It’s important to bring up the semantics because it is a semantic trick specifically created to let those people regressives don’t want punished or rebuked off the hook.

            I understand what Heather is saying, but the fact is those who came up with and cling to these definitions will never accept what she’s saying, because they believe that certain people can never be the more powerful person in any context.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that the reason it’s said that people of colour cannot be racist is because they never have power. There are plenty of situations where they clearly have power, and this is one of them.

          The argument doesn’t apply to white people who are racist in the minds of these people. The same people who say that people of colour cannot he racist say white people have white privilege, wherever they are. So there is no way for white people to escape a charge of racism.

          There was a certain amount of sarcasm in my comment.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        I think the trouble is that the Ctrl-Left defines power in such a way that it is exclusively the domain of the white, mostly male, West. If they were to accept that power relationships were fluid, they would have to admit that occasionally Caucasians are a minority. Then we would be in a situation where we would actually have to examine each case on its merits.

        • BJ
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          “Then we would be in a situation where we would actually have to examine each case on its merits.”

          And the whole point of the new definition is to disallow such examination beyond skin color and sex/gender of those involved in the first place.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Yes, that’s pretty much what I’m saying. See my response to Craw.

    • eric
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      The far right and far left are similar in that when either is in power, they both continue to view themselves as the downtrodden underdogs. Thus Prof. Naima and her colleagues can be essentially running the university, setting policy, forcing people who disagree with them to leave town, and they’ll still consider themselves to be fighting against the privileged elite instead of being it.

  5. Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Nice Hitch reference 😉

  6. Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    This quote from Puffho; “A number of senior administrators voiced the same fear with one going so far as to say that expecting a public review of the plan after it had been approved by the Equity Council which had so many people of color on it was an example of white supremacy.”

    Breathtaking.

  7. Larry Smith
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I liked the image that this sentence provided:

    “Building on the region’s Salish (Native American) culture, the meeting concluded with attendees being asked to metaphorically climb into a canoe to embark on a journey to equity.”

    I don’t want to unilaterally make fun of what one hopes are good faith efforts to respect indigenous cultures, but, really, this is just too precious.

    “Where are we going?

    On a journey to Equity!

    When are we leaving?

    Real soon!”

    • Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Laugh-a while-a you can-a, monkey-boy

      • DrBrydon
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        The missing circuit’s in your head, Whorfin!

    • Posted July 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Pretending to climb into a Salish canoe sounds a bit like cultural appropriation to me.

    • Richard
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      All together now, with gusto:

      Where am I goin’?
      I don’t know
      Where am I headin’?
      I ain’t certain
      All I know
      Is I am on my way
      When will I be there?
      I don’t know
      When will I get there?
      I ain’t certain
      All that I know
      Is I am on my way
      Gotta dream boy
      Gotta song
      Paint your kayak
      And come along!

  8. Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    As during the Terror, there are only two choices: acquiesce or mount the scaffold.

  9. ploubere
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The story has gotten some coverage, but I don’t know that it’s fair to say that mainstream media are reluctant to cover it for ideological reasons. The fact is that, on the scale of everything that’s newsworthy, there is still not much of substance that has happened at Evergreen, nothing of a serious criminal nature has happened (yet), nobody’s been fired and nothing resolved. It’s not breaking news, but worthy of some indepth reporting which should be done after some resolution is achieved. Inside Higher Ed has done several articles on it.

    • BJ
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      “The fact is that, on the scale of everything that’s newsworthy, there is still not much of substance that has happened at Evergreen…”

      It becomes something of substance when viewed within the context of the wider regressive wave the has been sweeping campuses over the last few years (and which the media continues to ignore). The situation at Evergreen demonstrates the next logical step as this wave grows larger, and that’s why it has finally forced at least some cursory coverage from a very small handful of mainstream outlets.

    • Craw
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. I think something of substance has happened. A society has dissolved and become dysfunctional.

      I think civil and decent society is a fragile thing. It can dissolve, and suddenly, if norms of behavior are not respected. I don’t know which norms exactly, or what the tipping point is, but there is ample evidence it can happen. We just saw it happen in a cossetted, rich, peaceful sub-society, TESC. We should give some thought to just how that happened, yet most people don’t even know it did. And we see a widespread and concerted attacks by the regressive left on all the same norms.

  10. ed hessler
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Zimmerman is the Director of the Clergy Project and publishes or published somewhat irregularly in PuffHo (usually around Darwin Day) so this is not a surprise.

    I’m pleased by the quantity and quality of ink spilled here. I’m disappointed that there has been so little reporting about this as well as implications.

    Thanks for pushing it on.

  11. Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    In case you have missed it, Glenn Loury has an interview with Bret Weinstein which I thought very good, here:

    https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/46681

    (or click my name if that isn’t a link). Several past editions of his podcast deal with this mess too.

  12. Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    According to professor Zimmerman, the witch-hunt at Evergreen has “wider implications for American higher education.” In fact, The persecution of professors Weinstein and Heying, in complicity with the university administration, has become THE CRISIS in academia that has been building with the colonization of departments by postmodernism and related anti-science ideology, in alliance now with a large sector of the Left. Nothing less than the scholarly integrity of our universities is at stake. This most outrageous attack on academic freedom is only one instance. How the Evergreen meltdown comes to be resolved will be the proverbial watershed. The coverage by Why Evolution is True (WET) is in direct proportion to the seriousness of the crisis. As teachers in higher education concerned with the continued viability of rational inquiry and university-based scientific research in this country, we hope that the example of WET starts to put some backbone into majority of concerned faculty, who have so far remained silent. It was one of the first to call the alarm, and by all indications, the tide appears to be turning on this one case. Thank you!

    • eric
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Evergreen was one of those liberal/progressive type experimental Universities to begin with. I doubt their ‘experiment’ trying to implement alt-left principles means all American universities or even most of them will go down the same path. A few probably will, sure, but most will not.

      Second, I’m hoping it will serve as an object lesson for other University presidents; catering to such demands leaves your campus in chaos, brings on massive negative PR, and worst of all (to their way of thinking), causes large drops in admissions and thus revenue.

  13. Carey Haug
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    What makes postmodernism so scary is that it denies objective reality and the pursuit of knowledge, much like religion. How can you win an argument with people who think the scientific method is a tool of oppression and facts don’t really exist?

    • Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      If they seem to be sincere, you don’t. Instead you address uncommitted others, in order to help protect against it convincing them.

  14. barn owl
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m still gobsmacked that anyone would put the unhinged Professor Naima “I’m so tired of this” Lowe, who apparently has the impulse control and egocentric mentality of a spoiled toddler, in a position of power at TESC. Her tweets remind me of those from another egocentric adult with poor impulse control (and a position of power) …

    • GM
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      You think it’s just TESC?

      Take a look at this:

      http://blogs.ams.org/inclusionexclusion/

      Yes, that is an AMS URL…

      • barn owl
        Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        O_O

        Mathematics = Zuul the Gatekeeper, it seems.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Let’s hope Zuuly doesn’t hook-up with the Keymaster on match-dot-com.

          • BJ
            Posted July 3, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Did you just give the mighty Zuul a cutesy nickname? He will surely smite you!

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted July 3, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

              Don’t blame me; blame Venkman — that’s Doctor Venkman to you.

              • BJ
                Posted July 3, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

                Yes, it’s true…

                This man has no dick.

  15. Posted July 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    … the meeting concluded with attendees being asked to metaphorically climb into a canoe to embark on a journey to equity.

    That’s metaphorical cultural appropriation!

    • Craw
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      It is! Great catch.

  16. Jonathan Dore
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    “[Naima Niambi] made the following post on Facebook: “SERIOUSLY JUST BE QUIET. ONLY APPOINTED/APPROVED WHITES CAN SPEAK (AND ONLY WHEN SPOKEN TO).”

    Did anyone get a screenshot of that post? It’s the most purely undisguised expression of that thought that I’ve heard of so far.

  17. Jimbo
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    “For many schools…are showing signs of Evergreen disease… [and] the termites have gone very far, and dined very well.”

    “Evergreen disease” – a new meme has been “Coyned.” I like it. School president Bridges, Naima Lowe, and these threatening, self-righteous students are very much analogous to pine beetles. We must ensure that the forests and groves of American academia are healthy enough to resist these destructive little insects.

  18. Laurian
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh for the love of Crom! Mr. Coyne and the rest of you have no dog in this fight and from your cliche reactionary non-sense it is obvious y’all know nothing about this extraordinary college and its processes, nor do you care to learn. Congrats. You have more evidence the of today are hippie brownshirts bent on returning us to the Dark Ages with which you can whip yourself into a proper Authoritarian lather. Knock yourself out.

    • Jimbo
      Posted July 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      This strikes me as rather rude. The unfounded accusations of racism and of physical violence from students against a biology professor and threats that result in loss of his job strike me as very important to many here, especially professor Coyne. There is a disturbing pattern of this type of student behavior at numerous US universities over the past few years and many articles in leading newspapers and magazines discusding it.

      You obviously do not comprehend that the posts on this subject on this site have been ANTI-authoritarian in every respect. Use of data not opinion in determining college policy. Including more faculty in the process. Holding students and faculty accountable to the school’s code of conduct. Please learn more.

    • Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      We have, “no dog in this fight”? Au contraire,Lauren. The issues Dr. Coyne addresses here are central to academia and the wider world. Your inarticulate ejaculation would be a lousy advert for whatever “extraordinary college” you attended.

    • BJ
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      “Authoritarian lather.” Bwahahahahaha. Surely this post is made in irony!

  19. Skye
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    When these schools lose federal money they will fail. take away the handouts and these crybabies will poop their diapers.


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