Last month, Professor Bret Weinstein gave testimony before Congress on his experience at Evergreen State College and what he believes it means for our future as a nation. Weinstein posted video of his testimony on YouTube last week (see below). Here’s a bit of what he said:
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the day that 50 Evergreen students–students that I had never met–disrupted my class, accusing me of racism and demanding my resignation. I tried to reason with them. I felt no fear because I knew that, whatever my failings might be, bigotry was not among them…
The protestors had no apparent interest in the very dialog they seemed to invite. I was even more surprised by the protestor’s fervor in shouting down my actual students–some of whom had known me for years. The cruelty and derision reserved for students of color who spoke in my defense was particularly chilling. If not discussion, what did they want? I was one of Evergreen’s most popular professors. I had Evergreen’s version of tenure. Did they really think they could force my resignation based on a meritless accusation?
They did think that. And they were right….
What is occurring on college campuses is about power and control–speech is impeded as a last resort, used when people fail to self-censor in response to a threat of crippling stigma and the destruction of their capacity to earn.
These tools are being used to unhook the values that bind us together as a nation–equal protection under the law, the presumption of innocence, a free marketplace of ideas, the concept that people should be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Yes, even that core tenet of the civil rights movement is being dismantled.
Am I alleging a conspiracy? No. What I have seen functions much more like a cult in which the purpose is only understood by the leaders and the rest have been seduced into a carefully architechted fiction. Most of the people involved in this movement earnestly believe that they are acting nobly to end oppression. Only the leaders understand that the true goal is to turn the tables of oppression.
This idea that the reigning far-left dogma has similarities to a religion is something I’ve written about before. The comparisons are more than superficial. That’s not to say intersectionality is viewed as a religion by its adherents, but it often does seem to function as one, giving them purpose, a conversion experience, a sense of right and wrong, even the original sin of privilege.
In professor Weinstein’s prepared remarks he also offered a warning which is cut from the video below: “Weaponized ‘equity’ is a means to an unacceptable and dangerous end, and it is already spreading from college campuses to other institutions—it happened on college campuses first because colleges are soft targets.” He added, “The emergence of this mentality, and this style of argument, at the highest levels of the tech sector and the press should alarm us greatly. The courts will not be far behind.”
Obviously, that’s contrary to progressives who routinely mock the idea that bad behavior on a few, far left college campuses represents a significant threat to anyone. But if Weinstein is correct, what we’re seeing now is the first wave of a cult-like phenomenon which will continue to grow and spread unless it is successfully opposed. Here’s the edited together video of his testimony. His prepared remarks are about five minutes followed by ten minutes of questions.