All in all, I’m most impressed with the bearing and peacemaking of TW. After reviewing the video, he looks like both the strongest and most gracious person in the room. When too many of his fellow students absorbed the CARE Now speakers’ verbal abuse without comment, TW stood up to these bigots. Maud Mandel should give him some sort of award.
Start – 51:18
TW: When you were sitting here and you were in discussion, I observed the regular order and I gave you a certain parliamentary respect that we do, and I would just ask in your conversation with me that you preserve that same respect. Now, the first thing…the first thing, when you referred to what I was writing. What I was writing down was in reference to what you were saying…it was a note of sort. And, you mentioned that why isn’t black previews called minority previews? And that was something that was said in here. That was something that I found problematic. It was, it was, it was never suggested in here that black previews be called minority previews. I think that’s where, kind of…
SO: This is on?! You’all wanna to run it back? Actually how many people remember me?
WH: I’ll respond to that. I, I was the person who said that.
SO: Oh. You have the minutes?
WH: I can respond. I was the person who said that. That was just a comment about the inclusive nature. I think that what you said and what other people in this room said resolved my, all of my concerns about the inclusive nature of your event.
SO: How long did that take? How long did that take? Very f***ing long. For you. For you, your problems to get resolved. I had to f***ing sit here. I had practice at 8:00 o’clock. I did not have time for ya n***ers.
IB: Have you eaten today?
SO: I have not f***ing eaten today! BECAUSE YA DUMB ASS N***ERS WANTA F***ING TALK! Inclusion. Inclusion. FUCK YOUR INCLUSION! (HITS TABLE) BECAUSE I’M F***ING EXCLUDED. How many people look like you in this f***ing room right now?! How many people?!
This was the only, mercifully comic moment in the video. You cannot deny the sheer logic of WH’s surprising response. After all, he doesn’t have a twin brother in the room. I think the culture of open antagonism at Williams would improve if more white students showed this sort of quick thinking and courage.
Next, one of the things that strikes me as extremely odd about this bigoted tirade is the way the black student activists repeatedly address the white student representatives as n***ers. I have never seen that before. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that this is another way that black activist students lord their power over their vulnerable liberal white peers. Since white students are socially prohibited from using the word “n***ers,” the black students are taunting them with the fact that only they can use this offensive language. I wonder if conversations about race at Williams might be improved if there was a new social compact where a white person can call a black person a n***er, but only if the black person called the white person a n***er first?
SO: What the…? ARE YOU BLIND, MY N***ER? WHAT DO YOU MEAN ONE?! YOU’RE A WHITE MAN! I can count f***ing how many? Literally this f***ing row. They look like you! Who is the black woman who look like me?
IB: You look like her?
IB: Oh, okay. What the hell!
SO: Great. At least you know something. Now I know why you got to Williams.
At this point, I would think the students representatives would begin to wonder about the inclusiveness of the black preview event being planned by CARE Now. If this is how CARE Now leaders treat elected student representatives, then how much more vile might they be to a white man who stops by to get a taste of the free fried chicken? A week later, at the April 16 College Council meeting, many of the white men who were verbally abused by these CARE Now leaders decided not to show up. It was so bad the College Council struggled to attract the minimum number of representatives needed to start the meeting and conduct their business.
If student leaders like TW or WH feel unwelcome at the College Council meetings, then I think it is time to rethink those meetings. The campus needs more people like them, not less.