Amherst is descending into the insatiable maw of vicious political correctness. Let’s spend a week mocking them! This is Day 5.

Here is an account of last week’s events from an Amherst parent about the experience of his son at the library sit in.

His main observation of the original sit-in was that people seemed to have enormously negative experiences as persons of color on campus and he found that surprising. He reported that people talked about their life at Amherst as, say, a black female, being a living hell, one that my son found hard to jibe with the general intolerance in the classroom for even an ambiguously racist comment.

Indeed. This is a common reaction among white/Asian students.

One thing my son reported was that there were a lot of threats made against white students who somehow were not present in the library at the sit-in, as if non-presence at an unannounced event was somehow in and of itself racist. The general tone of the discussion was very authoritarian — everyone should be forced to be here, everyone should be forced to take diversity courses, etc.

Correct. We saw the same thing at Williams during Stand With Us in 2008.

A sleepy New England town was not so sleepy late last Wednesday night, as hundreds of students, faculty and staff poured from a packed Baxter Hall into the Williamstown streets, loudly promoting Stand With Us’ message of respect. That the movement — and this rally in particular — has galvanized much of the campus is undeniable. Yet for all the good energy that poured forth on Wednesday, a little bad energy seeped through as well, and threatened to add a tinge of dissatisfaction to an otherwise successful evening.

This dissatisfaction is due in large part to how a few members of the march handled students studying in Schow that night. In several instances those in the library that didn’t join in were yelled at and made to feel uncomfortable. Some who did not immediately stand with the rest of the group were intimidated into doing so.

Funny how these protests move so quickly from complaints about oppression to confrontations with other students.

In any event, we should not be surprised that Amherst, being Amherst, the movement has completely fizzled.up3

The protesters are so lame that they declare victory when their demands are “acknowledged.” Pathetic. And after I offered them some genius advice! Pearls before Jeffs . . .

Below the break is a copy of their most recent letter, an embarrassing climb down from their initial demands. Key section:

As an important note, the movement, both at its inception and now, by no means intends to stifle free speech. Such allegations are misinformed and misguided.

What gibberish! Their web page still demands:

President Martin must issue a statement of support for the revision of the Honor Code to reflect a zero-tolerance policy for racial insensitivity and hate speech.

If you don’t think that honor code requirements to avoid “racial insensitivity” stifle free speech, then you might just be dumb enough to go to Amherst! Here is a concrete example:

At Amherst, the average math + reading SAT scores of male Asian-American students is more than 150 points higher than those of male African-American students.

This isn’t racial sensitive but it is, for good or for ill, the truth. Would Amherst Uprising protest against an Amherst professor who mentioned this fact in class? I bet they would!

Recent letter from Amherst Uprising below the break.

A Letter of Clarification for Amherst Alumni, Family, and Friends

To Amherst alumni, family, and friends:

At this point in time, given the conclusion of the sitin and the current effort to restructure the “Amherst Uprising” movement and its leadership, it is necessary and much overdue to provide some clarifications and updates to supporters and interested parties:

The movement began on Thursday, November 12th, at 1 pm. In light of recent events on campuses nationwide (e.g. Mizzou and Yale), three women of color organized a “sitin” in Frost Library that was only supposed to last one hour. However, as students, faculty, staff, and administrators gathered, it quickly evolved. The sitin developed into a forum in which students began to share their stories and experiences of racism and marginalization on campus. Students spoke for hours, as their peers, classmates, friends, professors, deans, librarians, and counselors listened, and joined with them in tears, laughter, and solemnity at the unpleasant experiences they have gone through while at Amherst and beyond.

While this forum went on, a group of students decided to make a list of “demands” in which they enumerated the changes they wanted the administration to make to ensure a more inclusive environment for minority and marginalized students on campus. A group of at least fifty student leaders and representatives met together to discuss these demands to present to President Martin. President Martin could not attend the sitin initially because she was travelling on business for the College. Upon hearing what was happening, she cancelled her trip, arriving at campus around 9:30 pm. When she arrived, this group of students presented these demands, urging her to consider the systemic problems that isolate students of color, as well as other marginalized groups, and to join us in making changes. At the same time, a group of three students, unrelated to this leadership group, declared they were going on a hunger strike. They have since retracted their strike in agreement that it distracted from the larger movement.

The demands included a timeline for President Martin in which students wanted to see changes initiated. Students decided that until these demands were met or initiated, they would continue their sitin in Frost. However, these students made the list of demands in haste. The group responded with urgency and emotion; they also did not intend this list of demands to be the final list or the end of student efforts to bring about structural and social change on campus. However, this group presented their demands in Frost in a very public way, which gave the impression the demands were final and nonnegotiable. This was not the case.

On Friday, six students met with President Martin. As intended, a conversation began to address the sentiment of the demands in a more realistic way. After reflecting on the demands, students realized their goals would be best met by collaboration with administrators, faculty, and staff over an extended period of time, rather than through immediate action.

On the afternoon of Sunday, November 15, President Martin sent out an email to students, faculty, staff, and alums. Her email offered clarification and hope. Given this response to some of the demands, the sitin ended. That same night, students met to figure out how to restructure the movement in order to create more thoughtful shortterm and longterm goals, and more clearly, more permanent leadership structures. The students want to keep the spirit of the demands, but acknowledge the need for revision and thoughtfulness. As an important note, the movement, both at its inception and now, by no means intends to stifle free speech. Such allegations are misinformed and misguided.

Going forward, the movement is making necessary changes. Students involved in the sitin are grateful for the outpouring of support they have received from professors, faculty, staff, and alums. On campus, the desire for positive change and inclusivity remains. Amherst Uprising strives to make Amherst a safe and supportive space for students from all backgrounds, maintaining an academic culture that enables students to think critically, learn from their mistakes, and further develop as leaders who will proudly represent Amherst well beyond graduation. Please look forward to more information which will be shared on our Facebook page, our website, or our Twitter.

Please see this timeline for a more detailed account of the past week.

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