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Admit Your Privilege, 3

Associate Professor of Biology Luana Maroja‘s report about the state of free speech at Williams is the most important statement from a member of the faculty in years. Let’s go through it. Day 3.

Maroja provides a detailed report, which I hope the Record will verify and expand on:

However, trouble started after a professor opposed to free speech shared the petition with students, who wrongly assumed that we were voting on the issue on November 15. While I did reach out to these students to let them know that no vote was taking place and that this was a faculty forum to discuss ideas, these efforts were in vain. A group of about 15 students waving posters stating “free speech harms” came to our discussion on November 15. The professor leading the meeting was extremely nice, welcoming the students in the room and reading their response aloud.

Who was this professor? Gerrard?

Reading aloud the student petition was, I think, a tactical mistake. Give these activists an inch and they will take a mile. Did he really read the whole thing aloud? It is not . . . uh . . . concise. At most, I would have paused the meeting for a few minutes to allow folks to read it silently to themselves.

But many of the students were disruptive throughout, finally asking white male professors to sit down and admit their “privilege”. They pointed out how horrible the college is in welcoming and including them, but then stated that they want to be protected by the president! They equated free speech with “hate speech” and with the desire of professors to invite John Derbyshire back (Derbyshire a figure within the alt-right movement, was invited by a student group and disinvited by president Falk a couple years ago).

Holy turning over The Log! Did that really happen?Did Williams students really ask (or did they tell? or demand?) that white male professors “sit down and admit their ‘privilege’?” The mind boggles.

I am having a pleasing time imagining what the Williams professors of another era — James MacGregor Burns ’39, Mark Taylor, R. G. L. Waite — would have responded if a similar demand was put to them . . .

Has the Chinese Cultural Revolution finally come to Williams? Let the struggle sessions commence!

the victim of a struggle session was forced to admit various crimes before a crowd of people who would verbally and physically abuse the victim until he or she confessed. Struggle sessions were often held at the workplace of the accused

Admit your privilege, you nasty white men!

Perhaps “Admit your privilege” is a good name for this controversy?

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#1 Comment By Williams Ex Pat On December 5, 2018 @ 8:57 am

#2 Comment By anon On December 5, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

In this vein, a comic was just shut off at Columbia during his performance.

Seems to be the most recent documented example of censorship on college campuses.

There are now so many documented cases of this- not sure if anyone is keeping track? Those who apologize for this kind of censorship often state that it is not common, or isolated, or rationalized…


As a general rule, when someone is invited to perform, they should be allowed to finish their act.

The college newspaper is covering it. So is the right wing media.

Have not seen anything from MSM, which is interesting. Perhaps it is so common now, that is not unique enough to report on?

Still, one would think the MSM would be interested in this and report regularly on speech rights at a place as prominent as Columbia.

#3 Comment By anon On December 5, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

It should be noted what a fine job the Columbia student and author of the above article does writing about the censorship of Nimesh Patel.

Are we sure that students wrote the Williams College “student” petition?

It reads like the Williams student petition against free speech may have been (largely) created/ drafted/ edited by faculty?

Students using race and gender to belittle and silence other students and faculty…?

That does not sound like inclusion.

#4 Comment By Williamstown Resident On December 5, 2018 @ 1:01 pm

The most important question the college needs to ask itself is this: Are these budding SJWs showing up at Williams spouting the white privilege/patriarchy nonsense or are they learning it on campus? If it’s being taught on campus, it needs to be rooted out and expunged before it ruins this amazing institution.

As a hiring manager at a Fortune 100 company I can assure you I’m already filtering our resumes from Williams, Amherst, Oberlin, Berkeley, etc. Why would I want to import this PC over everything and diversity for diversity’s sake nonsense into my company? If you can’t handle listening to Ben Shapiro or Candace Owens without being “triggered”, how are you going to deal with real adversity in the work place? Intersectionality is a cancer. Figure it out and soon.

#5 Comment By Williams Ex Pat On December 5, 2018 @ 1:06 pm

The Columbia Spectator has always done an excellent job of covering campus politics. It’s a top notch school newspaper.

Faculty authorship of the student petition is a very scary idea. If faculty played a role, then Williams surely has gone to hell in a handbasket. In which case, the motto at the college should be “Free speech and association for me — not for thee.”

#6 Comment By abl On December 5, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

Anyone who thinks that Williams is exceptional when it comes to sensitivity to speech, relative to any other elite (and many other non-elite) universities, is fooling themselves. Also, I expect that few of the Williams candidates applying to Fortune 100 companies are among the students who those on this forum so (misunderstand and) dislike.

Are there reasons to think that some of the more radical students at Williams (and all other elite and many other non-elite schools) would struggle in a corporate environment? Absolutely, although I don’t know that the fault there lies with the student rather than the environment. But such students, from Williams or elsewhere, are not generally going to seek out such positions, so by screening resumes, you’re almost certainly just losing out on candidates who will fit well with your culture (who will presumably be mostly white, male, and wealthy–a population that, ironically, is over-represented at Williams even relative to other elite schools).

#7 Comment By PTC On December 5, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

Now we have the college paper rationalizing censorship. Amazing.

How many times can you say “straw man?”

.. Freedom of expression is central to our work at the Record and at the College; valuing such freedom, however, is far more complex than endorsing an outside set of guidelines entrenched in inflammatory debate. We ought to take advantage of the College’s immense resources and talent to foster an intentional dialogue about the many facets of this issue within our community…


Very interesting times. Contrary to the opinion of the Williams College newspaper- free speech is not coopted by the alt right. It is something that liberals fight for as well.

Why yield this point so easily to the alt right? Why submit to their adoption (or perhaps your delusions) of this “free speech is racism” narrative?

There are tens of millions of people of these United States who get up every day under an oath support, defend, and bear true faith and elegance to free speech and other constitutional principles.


“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Congress oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Each justice or federal judge of the United States:

“I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

In MA for lawyers.

The official process of becoming an attorney begins by calling the court to order. The swearing in is an official court proceeding. Associate Justice Frank Gaziano of the Supreme Judicial Court entered the room to preside over the proceedings. A member of the Board of Bar Examiners then made a motion to the Judge to have us admitted to the Bar, at that point the Clerk had the candidates rise to take 3 oaths:

1) To uphold the Constitution of Massachusetts

2) To uphold the Constitution of the United States

3) The Attorney’s Oath (apparently the oldest in the country, of course)

Oath of enlistment The United States military.

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Common oath of State Police

“I, _______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of State X not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as _______________, so help me God.”


“I [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

People argue about the nuances of such principles… but the “right wing” does not control this narrative- nor does anyone else.

People of every stripe we can imagine, take these principles of free expression seriously enough to swear an oath to them. There are many people who want to live here because of this liberty. Many organizations who defend rights. What about the ACLU? Is the ACLU “alt right” now?

People honestly and faithfully care about your rights, my rights, and rights of others.

Is Williams College for the basic right of free speech, or not? No matter how much those against free speech attempt to confuse the issue, it is a binary concept and you have to pick a side.

#8 Comment By Snowed In On December 5, 2018 @ 5:24 pm

PTC, it is important to recognize that, according to the radical black students at Williams associated with CARE Now, alt-right and liberal are merely two wings of the same camp. The students don’t recognize any substantive difference between the two.

These radical students are caught in a purity spiral. They can tolerate no dissenters to their ever-growing left. This of course alienates liberals, of which the overwhelming majority of the Williams faculty signatories on the Chicago Statement are proof. But the students of CARE Now don’t show any evidence that they care about politics. They care about ‘being righteous’.

#9 Comment By PTC On December 5, 2018 @ 6:43 pm


Notice how these censorship arguments are self obsessed and narcissistic?

Free speech is bigger than we, or me, or them, or you, or- pick your pronoun.