Is this the most ridiculous all-student e-mail by a Williams administrator in a decade or an EphBlog spoof?

From: Sarah Bolton <sbolton@williams.edu>
Date: Mon Nov 24 2014 at 9:34:50 PM
Subject: Tonight
To: <WILLIAMS-STUDENTS@williams.edu>

Dear Students,

Tonight the grand jury announced that there would be no indictment in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. No one will be held legally responsible for his death, and yet he was killed, and terribly so. Tonight communities across the country stand together in solidarity, seeking justice and an end to racism, so that all people can be safe from harm in their communities.

I write tonight in support of all who are thinking of Ferguson and of Michael Brown’s family, whether in gatherings or alone. And, I write in hope that all in the Williams community will continue to work to end racism in all of its forms — with all that we have.

Dean Bolton

1) EphBlog has a long history of parodying administration communication. If we just showed you this e-mail without commentary, would you think it real or fake?

2) It is real! Let’s examine the e-mail that Dean Bolton did not send:

From: Sarah Bolton <sbolton@williams.edu>
Date: Dec 1 2014 at 9:34:50 PM
Subject: Tonight
To: <WILLIAMS-STUDENTS@williams.edu>

Dear Students,

Tonight police charged a third person in connection with the brutal murder of Zemir Begic. Tonight communities across the country stand together in solidarity, seeking justice and an end to racism, so that all people can be safe from harm in their communities.

I write tonight in support of all who are thinking of St. Louis and of Zemir Begic’s family, whether in gatherings or alone. And, I write in hope that all in the Williams community will continue to work to end racism in all of its forms — with all that we have.

Dean Bolton

Background reading from CNN here. Why does Dean Bolton write all students about the death of a black man but not the death of a white man? Because the central rule of public morality at Williams is that black deaths matter but white deaths don’t.

3) Just a service to our readers, here is Michael Brown robbing a convenience store minutes before his encounter with officer Wilson.

Of course, robbery (especially of short, brown, immigrant shop keepers?) does not merit getting shot by police, but Bolton seems blind to the complexities of this case, to the fact that lots of people — probably including a majority of Americans — think that “justice” was, in fact, served by the grand jury’s decision to not indict Wilson.

4) A better Williams Dean would not send out this e-mail in the first place. Instead of worrying about events in far-away Missouri, she would worry about events on campus, events that she is responsible for and might even have some control over.

5) A better college would, instead of e-mailing students vacuous calls “end to racism,” organize a campus conversation, or even debate, about the Brown shooting, would challenge all sides in the dispute to re-examine their assumptions and conclusions. Is Williams that sort of college? I don’t know.

Facebooktwitter
Print  •  Email