Evergreen State College film: The Hunted Individual

It has been nearly two years since the campus erupted at Evergreen State College and there are still reverberations from those events happening now. Later today, the Board of Trustees will meet to discuss President George Bridges’ tenure at the school.

This reconsideration of Bridges is long overdue. He, more than any other person, was responsible for allowing a group of Social Justice Warriors to take over the campus and ruin the school’s reputation, creating a significant impact on the school’s enrollment and budget. But he was far from alone. As you’ll see for yourself in part three of this film about Evergreen, many of the professors on campus immediately surrendered themselves to the protesters, allowing themselves to be told where to go and what to do on the grounds that doing anything else would be inexcusable and possibly racist.

I posted the first two parts of this film, by Mike Nayna, last month. In part one we get a sense of what was happening at the school prior to the takeover of the campus, i.e. the push for equity which included a requirement that faculty reflect on their own racism as a part of their annual job evaluations. Professor Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying thought this was a bad idea and tried to have it discussed. That was seen as evidence they were not on board with the school’s goals.

Part two of the film focuses on Professor Naima Lowe who was teaching many of the students who took over the campus. According to Bret Weinstein, Lowe was the person who was pushing the idea that the extremely liberal school was a hotbed of white supremacy. When asked for examples of this in action, Lowe reportedly said, “To ask for evidence of racism is racism with a capital R.” That particular line was aimed directly at Weinstein during a staff meeting in front of other professors and president George Bridges. When Weinstein objected to being characterized as a racist, he was told that a staff meeting was not the place to defend himself from such accusations. He said that was fine and asked where the proper place was. Naima Lowe replied that he shouldn’t expect there to be any place to dispute her accusation. And everyone in the room, including George Bridges, said nothing.

Part three of this film is titled “The Hunted Individual” and it shows some of what happened on the day students took over the campus and, at one point, were stopping cars going in and out of the campus, apparently looking for Bret Weinstein. When he rode his bike to campus to teach that day, he was told he wasn’t safe on or off campus and that, at a minimum, he should go home and get in his car (because at least the car could protect him if the mob caught up to him).

At this point, his wife says he returned home more upset than she had ever seen him in his life. Weinstein reflects on the experience of being a “hunted civilian” something which he struggled to comprehend even as it was happening.

But in retrospect, Weinstein does believe he understands what happened and that it was much worse than even most Evergreen critics realize. “I keep being invited to talk about free speech on college campuses and every time I’m invited I make the same point…this isn’t about free speech and this is only tangentially about college campuses,” Weinstein said. He continued, “This is about a breakdown in the basic logic of civilization and it’s spreading. College campuses may be the first dramatic battle but of course, this is going to find its way to the courts. It’s already found its way into the tech sector. It’s going to find its way to the highest levels of governance if we’re not careful. And it actually does jeopardize the ability of civilization to continue to function.”

Finally, one of the people who has chronicled this story more closely than almost anyone else is Benjamin Boyce. Last week he released this primer on what is happening behind the scenes at Evergreen that (finally) threatens Bridges’ job. His most recent video “The Case Against George Bridges” is also worth a look.