Last May, police at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, told one of their professors, Bret Weinstein, that they could not guarantee his safety at the school — so he had to hold his class off-campus.
“I have been told by the chief of police it’s not safe for me to be on campus.” Instead, Weinstein gathered with his biology students in a downtown Olympia park.
Well, not only is this issue worth revisiting in light of the continuing campus violence across the country, but also, Professor Weinstein is back in the news, as the college recently announced a half-million-dollar settlement paid to Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, a fellow Evergreen professor. Sadly, even this Evergreen farce wasn’t enough to stem the national tide of leftist “resistance” to respectful academic and political discourse.
Can you imagine that in the United States of America, police had to warn a college professor they could not guarantee he’d be safe [from students and faculty] to teach his class on the campus of a college that hired him to do just that? And yet, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Jillian Kay Melchior, the college asserted that it “took reasonable and appropriate steps to … keep the campus safe.”
Then why did the police chief feel he had to warn the professor to stay away from campus?
So why did students and fellow faculty hold such vicious animus for the professor? What horrible “crime” had he committed? Weinstein, a self-described man of the Left, had the audacity to make comments against racial segregation. It seems the good professor believes discrimination is wrong even if it’s only for one day. What a villain.
Student groups were preparing for a “Day of Absence,” which is officially sanctioned by the college. This event prompted student minority groups to ostensibly ask but tacitly demand white students not to come to campus on that day. How dare this “racist” professor oppose such, well, blatant racism? Evergreen continues to endorse this annual celebration of identity politics.
This threatening and violent behavior doesn’t set up these neo-segregationists simply as political opponents; it sets them up as the enemies of liberty. The far Left has turned up the heat in rewriting ethical standards in higher education. And these new principles do not allow for any views, Left or Right, that oppose the radical, far-leftist doctrine they seek to inflict on society— change the economic system, change the culture, change the Constitution.
This violent far Left deems any unsanctioned utterance to be hate speech — and brands any utterer a racist, bigot, or some sort of “phobe.”
The Daily Caller reported, “The [Weinstein] lawsuit claimed that the university’s failure to keep things under control ‘sent the unmistakable message that the school will tolerate (and even endorse) egregious violations (and even crimes) purportedly to advance racial social goals, diminishing the collegiate experience for all, and fostering a racially hostile work and retaliatory environment for faculty and staff.'”
In furtherance of their radical goals, many of the current crop of leftist agitators believes it is not only OK, but also their duty to use violence to counter speech with which they disagree. I cannot imagine working as a police officer in such a culturally and ethically corrupt environment. It’s hard to imagine, but contained within its little leftist petri dish of academic perversion, it must be even worse than working as a cop in Seattle.
The Weinsteins were not the only faculty to complain about their fears on campus. In her Journal article, Melchior provides strong evidence that Evergreen, rather than protecting the professors, placed the couple at risk. Melchior got hundreds of college emails through Washington State’s Public Records Act.
One email, written by Richard Davis, Evergreen’s facilities engineer, reacted to the aftermath of what he termed “a mob” occupying the library. Davis wrote, “The students are testing how much lawlessness will be tolerated … They have not found a boundary yet.” (Davis has since retired.) Anyone else believe Evergreen administrators likely ordered the cops to “tolerate” the lawlessness? John Hurley, Evergreen’s vice president for finance and administration, wrote that people were harassed when trying to leave campus, while others felt like hostages in their own offices.
Finally, five-foot-one-inch professor Nancy Koppelman wrote of being unnerved and physically shaking after being “followed by white students who yelled and cursed at me … and claimed that if I did care [about black and brown people] I would follow their orders.” She also noted feeling intimidated about sharing her thoughts publicly on campus, fearing student and faculty radicals would label her a racist.
Sadly, over the past eight years, the great champion of individual liberty known as America, with the assistance of many liberal institutions of higher learning, has devolved into a PC state, with much of one party dedicated to instituting far leftist ideology and much of the other party more afraid of losing its standing in the D.C. political establishment than fighting for the average American. In this toxic environment, how can the Left not gain ground in its rabid effort to deconstruct what has taken some 240 years to build?
Having condoned or justified such violence on America’s college and university campuses committed by groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, many leaders of the Democrat party no longer stand as loyal opposition but as a party dedicated to some amorphous resistance aimed at a duly elected president and to tear down the national traditions that bind us together as Americans.
Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor and retired Seattle police officer. He has served as a field training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. This OpsLens piece is used by permission.
(photo credit, homepage image: wahousegop, Flickr)