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Great Awokening, 4

Williams Political Science Professor Darel Paul writes about “Listening at the Great Awokening.” This is a brilliant article, worth reading in full. Relevant controversies at Williams include The Taco Six, Self-CARE Now, UL/Derbyshire, Green/Love Black Joy, and White Male Vigilantes. Alas, I don’t fully trust our busy readership to find the time to do so! So, we will spend two weeks going through the entire article. Day 4.

The Evidence of Racist Violence

Charges of violence are the most serious that can be leveled against an institution and a community. Therefore they should be supported by the most clear and compelling evidence possible. It is precisely here that anti-racist campus activists fall woefully short. Former Evergreen State College biologist Heather Heying observes “we keep on hearing that we are an incredibly racist institution and we have yet to hear any credible evidence for racism here on campus.” This gulf between personal experience and publicly available evidence is at the heart of the disagreements over racism on campus today.

This is a recurring theme at EphBlog. A large percentage of the “racists” incidents at Williams over the last 20 years — perhaps even a majority — have been “hate hoaxes,” incidents in which an Eph sympathetic to leftwing and anti-racists views stages an attack to appear to have been committed by a racist. The most dramatic of these was the 2011 “All Niggers Must Die” graffiti in Prospect House by African-American/Hispanic student Jess Torres ’12. The Record has never reported on this fraud and the College, to this day, continues to insist that this was an actual hate crime.

Adam Falk’s pathetic response to that nonsense was the first clear evidence that he was dramatically out of his depth as Williams president.

Part of the communication problem is rooted in anti-racist discourse. Activists often speak in emotionally charged generalizations: “we want to dismantle anti-blackness campus-wide” (Evergreen); “injustices [are] imposed on people of color by this institution on a daily basis” (Sarah Lawrence); “We, however, simply ask that our existences not be invalidated on campus” (Yale); “We charge this man with the destruction of black existence on this campus” (Williams). When asked what evidence supports these judgments, an increasingly popular response is to rule such questions out of bounds on the grounds of racism: “To ask marginalized students to throw away their enjoyment of a holiday, in order to expend emotional, mental, and physical energy to explain why something is offensive, is — offensive” (Yale); “We hold the truth of discursive and institutional violence to be self-evident.” (Williams); “accept the grievances of faculty of color without question” (Williams). According to former Evergreen State College biology professor Bret Weinstein, he was told by one of the most radical faculty of color at the college “to ask for evidence of racism is racism with a capital R.” Why? “We must stop asking them because we are inflicting harm on them asking for evidence.” Philosopher Nora Berenstain has invented a name for such evidentiary requests: “epistemic exploitation.” From such a perspective, blind faith is the only acceptable response.

Exactly right.

Darel Paul is the most prominent critic of this trend on the Williams faculty. Who are its most prominent/eloquent proponents? Which faculty members should we be reading to get the other side of the debate?

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3 Comments To "Great Awokening, 4"

#1 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On June 6, 2019 @ 9:59 am

A large percentage of the “racists” incidents at Williams over the last 20 years — perhaps even a majority — have been “hate hoaxes,” incidents in which an Eph sympathetic to leftwing and anti-racists views stages an attack to appear to have been committed by a racist.

I don’t know about the numbers or percentages, but while what you said here might be true with regards to the “big ticket” racist incidents, I am certain that many on campus would argue that there are many, many, many racist incidents on campus every day that go unreported, at least in a meaningful way. There is obviously room to disagree over what consitutues a racist act, but from a perception standpoint, I don’t think its fair to say that hate hoaxes constitute a large percentage of racist incidents.

#2 Comment By John Drew On June 6, 2019 @ 11:01 am

The whole idea that there are racist incidents at Williams College is absurd. If we define racism as hatred of others based on race, then it is perfectly clear that there is no racism at all.

In contrast, there is hatred of conservatives. The reality of daily and institutional discrimination against conservatives at Williams College is the most obvious and most pressing problem at the school. The fact that the courageous Darel Paul is the only professor speaking out against identity politics and critical race theory is compelling evidence of this mistreatment and discrimination. On a campus that did not discriminate against conservatives, we would expect that at least 35% of the professors should be conservatives, a percentage reflecting the the number of conservatives in the general population.

Closely following this contempt for conservatives is the vicious hatred of white people which is highly visible at Williams. One of the most recent examples of anti-white hate was the way two CARE Now leaders berated white students in a vile, lengthy verbally abusive attack which took place with the apparent consent and encouragement of College Council members.

As you may recall, video of the event showed a black female student who told the white representatives, “I have not f***ing eaten today! BECAUSE YA DUMB ASS N***ERS WANTA F***ING TALK!”

I don’t think there has been anything recorded on campus over the last decade that comes close to this sort of racist, humiliating verbal abuse. As DDF has pointed out, if there is a so-called racist incident on campus, there is an alarmingly good chance it was the action of a so-called anti-racist.

To be sure, this problem is not isolated to Williams College. Across the nation, conservative students have been subject to repeated violence and harassment. See,

Rap Sheet: 76 Acts of Violence and Harassment Against Conservatives on Campus

The failure of professors like Dr. G and Dr. Love to provide any substantial evidence of violence against them should be recognized for what it is…decisive evidence that there was no violence perpetuated against them. Meanwhile, there is plenty of evidence of long-standing institutional discrimination and genuine violence against conservatives at Williams College.

As the vile hatred expressed by CARE Now leaders illustrates, white students are the ones most likely to be intimidated, harassed, and physically threatened for reasons of race. The administration should be focused on making the campus safe for the white students (and Jewish students) who are the most frequent targets of open, unrepentant hatred and discrimination.

#3 Comment By fendertweed On June 6, 2019 @ 11:52 am

John Boy —

Actually … The idea that there are NO racist incidents at Williams is absurd.

Have you any clue how ridiculous your statement is? Rhetorical question …