November 13th, 2015

Bravo to some brave voices at Claremont McKenna

In my earlier post today, I used an addendum to discuss this editorial by the student editors at Claremont McKenna College. But I decided it needed a post of its own, in order to spotlight it. Reading it may give you some hope. Make sure you also read the comments there.

Here’s an excerpt from the editorial. But I suggest you read the entire thing:

First, former Dean Mary Spellman. We are sorry that your career had to end this way, as the email in contention was a clear case of good intentions being overlooked because of poor phrasing. However, we are disappointed in you as well. We are disappointed that you allowed a group of angry students to bully you into resignation. We are disappointed that you taught Claremont students that reacting with emotion and anger will force the administration to act. We are disappointed that when two students chose to go on a hunger strike until you resigned, you didn’t simply say, “so what?” If they want to starve themselves, that’s fine—you don’t owe them your job. We are disappointed that you and President Chodosh put up with students yelling and swearing at you for an hour…

Second, President Chodosh. We were disappointed to see you idly stand by and watch students berate, curse at, and attack Dean Spellman for being a “racist.” For someone who preaches about “leadership” and “personal and social responsibility,” your actions are particularly disappointing. You let your colleague, someone who has been helping your administration for the past three years and the college for six years, be publicly mocked and humiliated. Why? Because you were afraid. You were afraid that students would also mock and humiliate you if you defended Dean Spellman, so you let her be thrown under the bus. You were so afraid that it only took you five minutes to flip-flop on their demand for a temporary “safe space” on campus. Your fear-driven action (or lack thereof) only further reinforced the fear among the student body to speak out against this movement. We needed your leadership more than ever this week, and you failed us miserably…

To our fellow Claremont students, we are disappointed in you as well. We are ashamed of you for trying to end someone’s career over a poorly worded email. This is not a political statement––this is a person’s livelihood that you so carelessly sought to destroy. We are disappointed that you chose to scream and swear at your administrators. That is not how adults solve problems, and your behavior reflects poorly on all of us here in Claremont. This is not who we are and this is not how we conduct ourselves, but this is the image of us that has now reached the national stage.

We are disappointed in your demands. If you want to take a class in “ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory,” feel free to take one, but don’t force such an ideologically driven course on all CMC students. If the dearth of such courses at CMC bothers you, maybe you should have chosen a different school.

There’s much more. As I said, I suggest you read the whole thing. It ends this way—and, in the current climate on the campuses around this country, this represents true courage:

Lastly, we are disappointed in students like ourselves, who were scared into silence. We are not racist for having different opinions. We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked.

We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.

The beginning of a backlash? Let us fervently hope so. And will it matter, when the adults in charge lack any sort of spine?

_____________

25 Responses to “Bravo to some brave voices at Claremont McKenna”

  1. London Trader Says:

    Amhert students are joining in with demands of there own. I particularly like the demands for punishment for supporting free speech.

    http://www.amherstsoul.com/post/133122838315/amherst-uprising-what-we-stand-for

    Meanwhile the Onion was ahead of the game – but not by much.

    http://www.theonion.com/article/parents-dedicate-new-college-safe-space-honor-daug-50851

  2. Eric Says:

    Student editors at Claremont McKenna College:
    “Your fear-driven action (or lack thereof) only further reinforced the fear among the student body to speak out against this movement. We needed your leadership more than ever this week”

    It’s an understandable misconception by the students that the president would set the standard, but that’s not how the campus activist game works.

    In the campus activist game, student activists are necessarily the spearhead. Students must play the starring role and set the foundational conditions that enable their faculty and alumni teammates to play their co-starring role.

  3. physicsguy Says:

    Well hooray for the editors at Claremont, but anyone taking odds on how long before the mob turns on them???

    From my perspective inside, the events at Amherst linked by London are the norm; Claremont’s editors are on the 2 sigma side of the bell curve.

  4. Matt_SE Says:

    These people will be crushed with all the force the mob can muster, and will become a warning for all other dissenters.

    The governors need to step in and conduct purges of the various departments.

    PURGES.

  5. Matt_SE Says:

    P.S. Governors for the state universities. The private ones must be dealt with by the trustees, alumni and donors.

  6. carl in atlanta Says:

    Yes! Sorry, I hadn’t seen this when I posted to the prior thread…

  7. vanderleun Says:

    “The beginning of a backlash? Let us fervently hope so.”

    Sadly, the only things that will stop this now will be some combination of expulsions and beat downs.

  8. Eric Says:

    physicsguy: “but anyone taking odds on how long before the mob turns on them???”

    Well yeah. Competition in general, including the campus activist game, normally involves adversarial interaction.

    That produces the winners and losers, which determines how the spoils are apportioned.

    Certainly, the kids risk losing the game by undertaking to play it, and losing does often come with a penalty. Moreover, rookies normally lose to veterans until the rookies become veterans by learning to win through their defeats. Such is normal for competition.

    The bottom line remains that the only way to win the game, and to win the spoils and (more importantly in this case) deny the spoils to the other side, is to play the game.

  9. Paul in Boston Says:

    “The beginning of a backlash? Let us fervently hope so.”

    There won’t be a backlash because the administrators believe the same nonsense as the students participating in these mobs. All those victim study departments and other academic trash wouldn’t exist if the administrators and the faculty pool they are drawn from had any courage or even sense, instead of brains filled with PC mush.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston:

    The backlash students will have to apply counter-pressure. It won’t come from craven administrators.

  11. Janetoo Says:

    Next editorial:

    We apologize for any emotional harm we may have caused our readers. This was not our intenet… we resign as editors, writers of this publication and submit …

  12. Janetoo Says:

    Intent – oops

    The girl Cavuto interviewed who comes from a very middle class family struggling daily while receiving help from multiple public assistance programs went to a high school in Chicago that costs upwards of $34000 a year …

  13. Ann Says:

    The Claremont Independent is a conservative student paper, and is, according to its “Who We Are” page, considered by many on campus to be “a group of crazed right-wingers trying to spread our propaganda”. So, not sure its editorial indicates the “beginning of a backlash”.

    The paper calling itself the “official student newspaper” is The Forum. It seems supportive of the protestors’ aims, yet not way out there in left field.

  14. Eric Says:

    Neo: “The backlash students will have to apply counter-pressure. It won’t come from craven administrators.”

    Right – not at 1st iteration.

    In the recent Ivy League ROTC movement, the faculty advocates explained that they did not and (claim) could not take active part until student activists first established the campaign on campus.

    In other words, student initiation and leadership were structurally necessary, regardless of whether the students may have preferred to defer to adult authorities, like the Claremont McKenna student editors preferred the president to take a stand.

    In fact, in the Ivy League ROTC restoration, it’s notable that the administrators were one of the last groups to come aboard. One imagines their index fingers were quite prunish by then.

    Paul in Boston,

    Don’t assume the administrators “believe the same nonsense” more than they are “craven”.

    Establish as the strong horse in the campus activist game. Then see who stands where.

  15. Lizzy Says:

    What an excellent editorial! Bravo!

    It’s sad that one of the most impressive parts about it is that they use clear, precise, common language instead of the Orwellian progressive-speak that has become so prevalent on college campuses.

  16. Nick Says:

    These colleges are failing their students intellectually and psychologically by not laughing at their demands. And around the country, every worrywart student is going to subconsciously redouble his efforts to find something that he can protest about. These kids are rebels without a cause, who’ve decided to make a cause out of imagined disturbances to their own insulation. Their only bravery comes in defending their own cowardice.

  17. Edward Wagner Says:

    That’s an unusually good editorial. Writing like that has a way of outlasting the screeds and burrowing into the approved narrative. After all, how many copies of the Bloom book have been sold compared to the sentimental memoirs of the radicals of yore? The students who wrote it may pay a heavy price but there will be some who read it who will find, to their, astonishment that they agree with a paper they hitherto regarded as a redoubt of kooks. And so the tektonic plates start to shift…

  18. Lizzy Says:

    Slightly related: Things at Amherst college are similarly heating up, where the protesters have delivered a list of demands. Check out the twitter feed put out by the campus radicals – it reads so much like Iowahawk satire:

    https://twitter.com/amherstuprising

    Complete w/glaring grammatical errors and then complaints that pointing out grammatical errors is hurtful. *snort*

  19. M J R Says:

    I understand Rush Limbaugh put his finger on it yesterday: it’s not about safe space, or about anything else specific [it never is, according to David Horowitz, regardless of the topic or pretext, it’s always about the revolution]. It’s about getting the black/negro component of the Democrat base sufficiently riled up so that they will turn out in big numbers for Hillary! in 2016.

  20. MollyG Says:

    It’s about getting the black/negro component of the Democrat base sufficiently riled up so that they will turn out in big numbers for Hillary! in 2016.

    If that’s the idea, it may well backfire. They’re about to turn on Hillary as the racist old white lady. And just wait for the riots outside the Democratic National Convention next year.

    I hope the backlash against all this BLM-orchestrated diversity fascism will bring the election of the Republican candidate, provided that primary voters nominate one who is capable of attracting some independents and disaffected Democrats, while the BLM idiots stay home and/or rally around a Cuba-based campaign for Assata Shakur. Because those BLM fools really are that dumb.

  21. Orson Says:

    “The beginning of a backlash?”

    One fervently prays for it (and I’m an atheist). But universities and students are simply not plugged into FIRE and other sources of authoritative dissent. Real dissenters lack support. Who knows that the University of Chicago has (re)embraced libertarian First Amendment freedoms for students.

    Unless many more campuses do, no – there isn’t a genuine “backlash” against Left-campus fascism.

  22. GRA Says:

    @ Lizzy: If I’m right, a decent amount of Amherst students are cross-admits to the Ivies. Now that’s amusing.

    I’m just not impressed with these students that come from the most prestigious and most highly ranked universities/colleges in America.

  23. Liberty Wolf Says:

    Hope!!! I am so glad.

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    Imagine some muslims declaring a safe space and then corralling a bunch of 11 year old girls in and denying info on them.

    It’ll be Rot England redux, not a “safe space” at all but the opposite.

  25. Cornflour Says:

    Odd bit of trivia:

    This morning, at Caroline Glick’s Facebook page, she notes that the publisher of “The Claremont Independent” is her nephew Stephen Glick, a junior at Pomona College.

    Small world.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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