Students at Evergreen State College are outraged after biology professor Bret Weinstein criticized a campus event in which white students and faculty members were asked to leave for the day so that people of color could have some “space.”
Each year, the college supports an annual event called “Day Of Absence.” In years past, people of color leave the campus to show their contribution to the community while white students and faculty members stay behind and attend workshops on anti-racism. But this year there was a push to change the event — this year the colored students wanted the white students and faculty to leave the campus. Weinstein was upset over the change.
Weinstein wrote in an email stating that he saw the event change as an “act of oppression.” He wrote, “There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under appreciated roles… and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. I would encourage others to put phenotype aside and reject this new formulation.”
A group of students confronted Weinstein in person to accuse him of racism and demand that he either resign or be fired.
The student protesters posted a video of their “discussion” with the professor on social media, showing that he was unable to get his point across as he was rudely shouted down and cursed at.
“There’s a difference between debate and dialectic,” the professor told them. “Debate means you are trying to win, dialectic means you are using disagreement to discover what is true. I am not interested in debate. I am only interested in dialectic, which does mean I listen to you, and you listen to me.”
One student shouted back, “We don’t care what terms you want to speak on. This is not about you. We are not speaking on terms—on terms of white privilege. This is not a discussion. You have lost that one.” Others demanded he apologize for his “racist” comments and swore at him when he denied their allegations of racism.
The students eventually tired of berating Weinstein and began chanting “Hey hey! Ho ho! Bret Weinstein has got to go!,” as they walked through the campus.
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