This story first surfaced over at Campus Reform and what’s probably just as depressing as the subject matter is the fact that it’s becoming so common that we may stop paying attention. Gustavus Adolphus College is a small liberal arts school in Minnesota and earlier this month they attracted national attention when they ran into a “hate speech” problem. Some Trump loving, racist, Hispanophobic (is that a word yet?) scoundrel had gone and peppered the campus with some not very subtle literature. It informed all and sundry that America is a “white nation” and it’s every white person’s duty to report illegal immigrants when they see them. It’s a very colorful and provocative flyer, don’t you think?
Everyone was, of course, immediately up in arms. Alumni were threatening to pull their donations to the colleges generous, $144M endowment and students were sent scurrying for their safe spaces. That is to say, at least they were until the actual culprits were identified. As CR reports, the flyers were posted by the same diversity groups who were supposedly working to make sure things like this didn’t happen.
The “Diversity Leadership Council” at Gustavus Adolphus College has admitted to posting racially offensive posters around campus after the school’s Bias Response Team received multiple reports on the matter.
The signs, which are now being labeled a social experiment, notified “all white Americans” to report “any and all illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement” because “they are criminals.”…
But the following day, March 21, that same alumna took to Facebook again to explain that a friend of hers, who had also filed a complaint with the school’s Bias Response Team, had received a response from Dean of Students Jones VanHecke explaining that the offensive flyers were actually “part of a series of educational ‘invisible theater’ events taking place this week that have been planned by I Am We Are theater troupe, the Diversity Leadership Team, and the Bystander Intervention Committee.”
Did you say, “educational invisible theater events?” The “Diversity Leadership Council” is claiming that they wanted to put an end to bias-related incidents, presumably through this brilliant educational initiative. So the way to end “bias-related incidents” is to create a fake, bias related incident? Katherine Timpf, writing at National Review, sounded as skeptical as I was.
Hey, kids? If you want to “help put an end to bias-related incidents that happen on our campus,” how about you address those incidents instead of distracting from them by making up a fake one? Seriously — just what is bringing awareness to a fake issue going to solve? It’s not going to help solve that issue, because — and sorry if I’m blowing your mind here — a problem has to actually exist in order for you to be able to solve it.
Now, I am not sure exactly what kinds of “bias-related incidents” are happening on that campus, but I do know that there being people on campus who felt so strongly that only white people should live in America that they were running around posting “AMERICA IS A WHITE NATION” flyers to help achieve that would be a serious one indeed. Presumably, this fake incident is on a completely different level from anything that is actually happening on that campus, which means that any “dialogues” related to it are on a completely different level, too.
Here’s the glaring bit of irony in all of this. The so-called diversity council wound up plastering the campus with posters which actually provided, in part, accurate information. The problem is that it’s not just white people who are supposed to report crime when they see it… it’s every law abiding citizen’s job, along with those who are aspiring to someday become law abiding citizens. But by plastering all the “white nation” nonsense on there to gin up the fear factory, the underlying message was immediately lost while simultaneously being conflated with racism. If that’s what they were actually trying to do with their “educational initiative” then I suppose congratulations are in order. Mission accomplished.
In closing, as is my usual practice when covering such stories, I’ll just leave a note here for any parents who are currently sending their special snowflakes off to Gustavus Adolphus College. The total undergraduate cost for tuition and fees is currently $40,400 annually. Are you getting your money’s worth?
(Original article edited to correct the location of the college.)