OLYMPIA, WA — A college in Washington State is facing growing backlash after announcing its plans for a “white people free” day on campus.
According to a report published by The Olympian (http://www.theolympian.com/news/local/education/article152491379.html), organizers at The Evergreen State College called for a day free of Caucasians at the school in an effort to protest “white privilege”.
Things backfired, however, when a white professor on campus spoke out against the plan, saying he no longer feels safe on campus due to the color of his skin.
Calling the planned day “an act of oppression in and of itself,” Professor Bret Weinstein said he planned to show up on campus to spite the demonstration. “If there was interest in a public presentation and discussion of race through a scientific/revolutionary lens, I would be quite willing to organize such an event,” Weinstein wrote in an email to Director of First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services Rashida Love (http://college.usatoday.com/2017/05/30/protests-erupt-over-racism-at-evergreen-state-college/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatoday-newstopstories).
In response to Weinstein’s rebellion, students quickly began calling for the professor to be fired and on Wednesday, May 23, approximately 50 students confronted Weinstein outside his classroom. The demonstration grew and at one point nearly 200 students flooded into the instructor’s classroom.
“Hey-hey, ho-ho, these racist teachers have got to go,” the students chanted in a video which was uploaded to social media.
The video quickly went viral and students at the school claimed they were the targets of “conservatives and white supremacists”.
“We demand that the video created for Day of Absence and Day of Presence that was stolen by white supremacists and edited to expose and ridicule the students and staff be taken down by the administration by this Friday,” the students who had organized the event said in a statement to the College Fix (https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32824/).
In light of the protests, Weinstein now says he no longer feels safe on campus due to the color of his skin. “I have been told by the Chief of Police it’s not safe for me to be on campus,” he told Seattle’s KING news (http://www.king5.com/news/local/olympia/professor-told-hes-not-safe-on-campus-after-college-protests/443098670).
Speaking out against the protest also in no way makes him a racist, added Weinstein.
“When one opposes these proposals, what happens is one is stigmatized as ‘anti-equity’ and because I am light-skinned the narrative suggests I’m a person who has benefited from privilege and that I’m trying to preserve that privilege in the face of a legitimate challenge,” he said.
The students say they will continue to protest what they call “racist policies” at the college.