Could we finally be seeing the first signs that the vast overreach of the SJW movement and the embarrassing antics of their activists on the nation’s campuses have finally gone too far? We previously covered some of the sadly typical protests taking place at Oberlin college, where students have demanded an end to “racism” in the form of safe spaces, the renaming of buildings and the firing of faculty who are not openly enthusiastic enough about Black Lives Matter marches. Given the ultra-liberal nature of the college and its storied history of protests, this one seemed like a no brainer. But just this week we found out that the book length list of demands presented to the head of the institution has been rejected. (Cleveland.com)
OBERLIN, Ohio – Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov said he will not respond to 14 pages of demands submitted by black students.
Krislov posted a statement Wednesday about the petition, which was submitted last month before students went on winter break.
The detailed petition includes general goals of increasing the number of black students, faculty and administrators and more controversial proposals including creating “exclusive Black safe spaces,” curriculum changes, firing of specific employees, and renaming academic buildings.
The petition says “Failure to meet them [demands] will result in a full and forceful response from the community you fail to support.”
While Kislov spends too much time on the obligatory nod to the students and paying lip service to their issues, he describes the lengthy list of demands as “deeply troubling.” He rightly notes that the document is not an invitation to open discussion, but more like a ransom note. The personal attacks on individual faculty members and the one sided directives are called out as undeserving of an answer. What the president fails to point out is that students are consumers of education as a product, not equal partners in a democracy. This is a point taken up by Andrew Kloster at the Daily Signal, where he describes the SJW movement on campus as, a troubling presumptuousness by the consumer of education.
Acceptance into an undergraduate class confers no rights of radical critique: Colleges are supposed to be places of learning, insulated from this sort of “class consciousness.”
Unfortunately, many college administrators across the country have lost sight of education as a mission and have instead focused on collective “dialogue” and hyphenated learning. While Oberlin College’s stiff arm to an unreasonable list of demands is welcome, it does not represent a new direction, nor does it necessarily represent a movement. But perhaps it provides hope to other educators that their day will come.
Meanwhile, the college president has another hot topic on his plate. He’ll be participating in a call with a number of alumni who are legitimately concerned over threats of anti-Semitism on campus coming out of the same group of activists who claim they are being treated unfairly. (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The phone call comes several weeks after 200 alumni wrote to the college administration to voice concern about the actions of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, at Oberlin and a school culture they believe tolerates anti-Semitism.
“Several student organizations at Oberlin have assumed the role as the mouthpiece of the BDS movement, which claims to be a defender of Palestinian rights, but whose inflammatory language falsely portraying Israel as an illegitimate, colonialist and murderous regime demonstrates that its primary goal is to demonize the Jewish state,” read the letter dated Jan. 3. “Because participation in these groups requires denouncing Israel, the message to Jewish students can be summed up as follows: Either forfeit your allegiance to Israel and join us, or we will brand you as an enemy of justice and complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
There’s some serious irony for you. The people who are issuing demands for changes to prevent bias are creating an actual hostile environment for a less politically popular group. Frankly, even though some of the alumni are legitimately upset, I don’t think it’s Oberlin’s job to shut down the voices of those calling for boycotts on Israel, either. It’s speech which may be popular with some and unpopular with others, but that’s the nature of the adult world. We debate things and try to move the ball down the field. It’s just a shame that the SJW movement on campus can’t see the insulting level of hypocrisy in their actions.