Do you believe there’s an objective truth? Well, you’re a white supremacist then, at least according to a small number of black Pomona College students.
In a letter that strings together words the students no doubt learned in their Blank-Studies classes in what almost appears to be social justice Mad Libs (the word “marginalized” appears seven times in the one-page document), the students claim inviting a speaker critical of Black Lives Matter and supportive of police amounts to oppression.
Further, the three authors of the letter—freshmen Dray Denson, Avery Jonas, and sophomore Shanaya Stephenson—explain that “the Truth” is a concept rooted in racism.
“The idea that there is a single truth–’the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain,” the students wrote. “This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples” (emphasis added).
Notice the list of social justice buzzwords: white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, and capitalism. I’m surprised they didn’t include authoritarianism and Donald Trump.
The letter is a response to an email sent by Pomona College president David Oxtoby, who on April 7 criticized those who protested the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald. Mac Donald was invited to speak by the Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College, Pomona’s sister school, about her book, “The War on Cops.” Some students called her a “notorious white supremacist fascist,” and proceeded to chant “Black Lives Matter” while banging on the windows of the building where Mac Donald was scheduled to speak.
Disagreeing With Me Makes You a White Supremacist
Oxtoby wrote in his email to students that Pomona opposes “preventing others from engaging with an invited speaker.” He further stated that Pomona’s “mission is founded upon the discovery of truth, the collaborative development of knowledge and the betterment of society.”
Denson, Jonas and Stephenson took offense to Oxtoby’s defense of the truth.
“The idea that the search for this truth involves entertaining Heather Mac Donald’s hate speech is illogical,” the students wrote. “If engaged, Heather Mac Donald would not be debating on mere difference of opinion, but the right of Black people to exist. Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live.”
Where do they get the idea that Mac Donald doesn’t think black people have the right to exist? Defending good cops and criticizing the bad tactics of a politically correct group (that not all black people have decided to join) doesn’t mean she believes black people don’t have a right to exist. Also, again notice the string of social-justice-warrior buzzwords to describe Mac Donald.
Mac Donald wasn’t the only target of the students’ ire. They also wanted the school to “take action” against the Claremont Independent, a right-leaning campus publication. The three students, along with nearly a dozen others, signed their names to the letter, then said if the Independent publishes those names and they “receive threats and hate mail,” then Pomona should “take legal action against members of the Claremont Independent involved with the editing and publication process as well as disciplinary action, such as expulsion on the grounds of endangering the wellbeing of others.”
Get that? They signed their names, but if they receive any backlash for their actions they want other students expelled and sued. How progressive.
Mac Donald Responds: ‘A Major Embarassment’
In a statement to The Federalist, Mac Donald called the letter “a major embarrassment to the Pomona and Claremont faculty.” She cited instances of poor writing and grammar, but lambasted the content as well.
“The students appear to argue that the ideal of free speech is based on a mystifying and oppressive concept of unitary truth, and that such a concept solidifies white supremacy … [yet] They are fully confident that they possess the truth about me and about their oppressed plight at Pomona and Claremont,” Mac Donald said.
Mac Donald also defended her work, saying the students have misread it.
“My entire argument about the necessity of proactive policing is based on the value of black lives,” she said. “I have decried the loss of black life to drive-by shootings and other forms of street violence. I have argued that the fact that blacks die of homicide at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined is a civil rights abomination. And I have tried to give voice to the thousands of law-abiding residents of high-crime areas who are desperate for more police protection so that they can enjoy the same freedom from fear as people in more wealthy areas take for granted.”
Do What We Want Or Else We’ll Say You’re Racists
The students have also demanded that Oxtoby respond to them by Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. and send a revised email by Thursday, “apologizing for the previous patronizing statement, enforcing that Pomona College does not tolerate hate speech and speech that projects violence onto the bodies of its marginalized students and oppressed peoples, especially Black students who straddle the intersection of marginalized identities, and explaining the steps the institution will take and the resources it will allocate to protect the aforementioned students.”
So. Many. Buzzwords.
The social justice warrior problem on college campuses appears to be escalating. The protests are becoming more violent, and the demands are becoming more absurd. Just last week, the editorial staff of the Wellesley College student newspaper wrote: “If people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.”
The phrase “hate speech” has lost all meaning on campuses, as it now refers simply to speech liberal students don’t agree with. They claim it is bigoted, dangerous, and “violent,” making it acceptable—in their minds—to respond with physical violence.
I’d honestly believe this letter was a hoax, like that ridiculous article on the Huffington Post demanding we take away all white men’s voting rights, which was taken down because the author was fake—except you can actually find these students in the campus directory.