On May 23, 2017, hundreds of students at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington protested as part of a “Day of Absence, Day of Presence.” The demonstration supposedly sought to fight “institutional racism” within the school. Student organizers explained their reasoning in a press release to a local newspaper: “What started out as anti-black comments on social media has turned into the dismissal of the rights of students and femmes of color, physical violence by police, and false sentencing of students protesting. . . . Students of color have never felt comfortable on campus and have not been treated equally.”
The solution? An entire day dedicated to banishing white people from campus. Professor Bret Weinstein expressed his disapproval of the Day of Absence via email correspondence with Director of Multicultural Advising Rashida Love, calling the protest an “act of oppression in and of itself.” Fifty student protestors then confronted Weinstein outside his classroom and berated him with the chant, “Hey hey, ho ho, these racist teachers have got to go!” These students went on to occupy meetings, classrooms, and seminar buildings over a two-day span.
In reaction to the mayhem at Evergreen, Washington State Representative Matt Manweller (R) plans to introduce a bill that would privatize the school by decreasing state funding over the course of five years. He is also calling for an investigation to see if Evergreen has broken any civil rights laws. Rep. Manweller says these are “figurative shots across the bow” to the Evergreen administration and protestors. He continues, “I think that when a public university sends a message either directly or indirectly that you’re not welcome on campus based on your skin color, you have crossed the line.”
Common sense would dictate that Rep. Manweller is spot-on. However, we are no longer living in the era of common sense, but of political correctness. In the era of political correctness, it is acceptable to ban an entire group of people from a college campus as long as they are white. Washington State Representative Beth Doglio (D) comments, “Students [at Evergreen] are working to make it a more inclusive, diverse campus and experience, and that’s important especially in today’s world.” Sorry Rep. Doglio, but withholding access to the campus based on people’s skin color is the very opposite of “inclusive.”
The Evergreen protestors claim to be fighting institutional racism and promoting equality, yet their movement does nothing but exacerbate racial tensions and promote inequality. Chief among their complaints is the low number of black faculty members at the school. If equality were the goal, then faculty members would be hired based solely on merit. But the Evergreen protestors argue for a higher number of black faculty members. Does it matter if they can teach? What matters is their skin color. In the era of political correctness, students fight “institutional racism” with actual racism. This is inequality in its purest, simplest form. And unless we follow Rep. Manweller’s lead, it’s coming to a school near you.