Say hello to yesterday’s demands from the new totalitarians in the Amherst student body.
Amherst was once known as an elite place for the expansion of the intellect and critical thinking abilities. The student have just devalued that degree. (My high school friend Peter, who often comments here, lately to assail me for not supporting Donald Trump, is a proud graduate of the institution. He has my deep sympathies.) No critical thinking could produce this. I’ve bolded my favorite parts:
Amherst Uprising – What We Stand For
Submitted by Amherst Uprising – a collective of students on campus who came together as a result of the sit-In organized in Frost Library on 11/12/15.
We, Students of Amherst College, refuse to accept the negative social climate created towards our peers of color and other marginalized groups. We have begun this movement, Amherst Uprising, in an effort to change the status quo for a more just and inclusive environment within our campus. We demand that Amherst become a leader in the fight to promote a better social climate towards individuals who have been systematically oppressed. Student leaders acknowledge and support the demands previously stated and currently being presented. Furthermore, we demand the College acknowledge its ethical and moral responsibilities as an institution and community of our world. Amherst College should not be complicit in oppressive organizations and systems, no less.
We as a compassionate student body have gathered to address the legacy of oppression on campus. If these goals are not initiated within the next 24 to 48 hours, and completed by November 18th, we will organize and respond in a radical manner, through civil disobedience. If there is a continued failure to meet our demands, it will result in an escalation of our response.
1. President Martin must issue a statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism. Also include that marginalized communities and their allies should feel safe at Amherst College.
2. We demand Cullen Murphy ‘74, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to issue a statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration, and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism
3. Amherst College Police Department must issue a statement of protection and defense from any form of violence, threats, or retaliation of any kind resulting from this movement.
4. President Martin must issue a statement of apology to faculty, staff and administrators of color as well as their allies, neither of whom were provided a safe space for them to thrive while at Amherst College.
5. President Martin must issue a statement to the Amherst College community at large that states we do not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the “All Lives Matter” posters, and the “Free Speech” posters that stated that “in memoriam of the true victim of the Missouri Protests: Free Speech.” Also let the student body know that it was racially insensitive to the students of color on our college campus and beyond who are victim to racial harassment and death threats; alert them that Student Affairs may require them to go through the Disciplinary Process if a formal complaint is filed, and that they will be required to attend extensive training for racial and cultural competency.
6. President Martin must issue a statement of support for the revision of the Honor Code to reflect a zero-tolerance policy for racial insensitivity and hate speech.
7. President Martin must release a statement by Friday, November 13th, 2015 by 5:00pm that condemns the inherent racist nature of the unofficial mascot, the Lord Jeff, and circulate it to the student body, faculty, alumni, and Board of Trustees. This will be followed up by the encouraged removal of all imagery including but not limited to apparel, memorabilia, facilities, etc. for Amherst College and all of its affiliates via a phasing out process within the next year.
8. Dean Epstein must ask faculty to excuse all students from all 5 College classes, work shifts, and assignments from November 12th, 2015 to November 13th, 2015 given their organization of and attendance at the Sit-In.
9. Do not threaten the jobs of the faculty, staff, or administrators that support our list of demands. Such threats will result in an escalation of our response.
10. The Office of Alumni and Parent Programs must send former students an email of current events on campus including a statement that Amherst College does not condone any racist or culturally insensitive reactions to this information.
11. Dean Epstein must encourage faculty to provide a space for students to discuss this week’s events during class time.
Please acknowledge that all of these statements of apology are not the end all – that they are only a part of short-term healing and by no means achieve all of the goals we will set forth. We are in the process of finalizing long-term goals which we hope to collaborate on regularly with all members of the community.
By no means does this start/stop with the administration.
[Signed] Students from over 40 organizations.
I. If Amherst capitulates to this masterpiece of un-American, arrogant student activist grandstanding, Amherst might as well shut down for good. It will no longer be a respectable institution or one any parent could entrust with the mind of a young adult.
2. Apologies elicited by threats are not apologies, but coerced statements.If President Martin capitulates to this demand, he ought to be fired immediately. It will demonstrate cowardice, fecklessness, and his lack of responsibility.
3. The “legacy of oppression” jargon is boilerplate cant, stated in generic terms to avoid rebuttal and to maintain the illusion of grandeur. It deserves neither respect nor response.
4. The demand for a statement promising that there will be no negative consequences for an effort to install a repressive totalitarian regime in what was supposed to be a bastion of liberal education must not only be condemned and defied, but specifically contradicted. The effort to constrain speech and free thought at Amherst is an existential attack. A competent administration must give the “movement” a deadline to withdraw its demands, or to see the charter of every single signatory group revoked.
5. “President Martin must issue a statement to the Amherst College community at large that states we do not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the “All Lives Matter” posters, and the “Free Speech” posters that stated that “in memoriam of the true victim of the Missouri Protests: Free Speech” is a direct assault on academic freedom, free speech, core American values and the right to dissent. While dissent does not create a hostile educational environment, such a demand, combined with an effort to use the power of the mob to demonize the mere expression of opinions not supportive of the “movement’s” totalitarian beliefs, should be unequivocally condemned and rejected by university authorities.
6. The demands should also be aggressively defied by the Amherst students who have managed to retain their ethical compasses and an understanding of civic responsibilities at an institution that has obviously failed miserably to teach them. There should be ten times the number of “All Lives Matter” and “Free Speech” posters on walls around campus tomorrow. Any student who does not actively defend free speech and open discourse against these bullies is aiding and abetting an attempted assassination of democracy.
7. “President Martin must issue a statement of support for the revision of the Honor Code to reflect a zero-tolerance policy for racial insensitivity and hate speech” constitutes an endorsement of indoctrination and the suppression for free speech.
8. Any faculty member who supports Amherst Uprising is by definition unfit to teach at an institution of higher learning, and cannot be trusted to do so. Far from being inoculated from the consequences of joining forces with enemies of free thought and debate, such a faculty member should be, must be, punished.
9. Along with the non-totalitarian students, alumni must rally to preserve democratic values at Amherst by immediately announcing a cessation of financial assistance unless the school’s leadership reassures them that Amherst has the will and the determination to stand for traditional educational values, and not embrace the suppression of speech and the punishment of dissent.
10. If and how Amherst’s administrators will be able to respond effectively to this power play is much in doubt. Obviously, the Amherst culture, like so many other campuses, nurtured the distorted view of rights, politics and history that is producing this disgraceful protest and others. The lack of ideological diversity in U.S. universities has finally sparked a full-blown crisis of values, as many critics predicted it would. Amherst, Yale, the University of Missouri and the rest deserve to inherit the wind here, but our culture does not.
It is tempting to vent our anger like conservative blogger Jonah Goldberg, who wrote in part,
…[T]he line I have in mind is pretty short: “You stupid f**k, look at you now.”
I’ve been saying words to that effect all week, watching higher ed go into full meltdown. Because this “crisis” is 100 percent liberalism’s fault. Sure, sure, you can divvy up the slices of blame in different ways, but those guys tailgating in the parking lot drinking beers and eating bratwurst? Those are the conservatives and libertarians enjoying a day off, because they don’t have to wait in line for even a morsel of blame.
I almost feel sorry for those decent, sincere career liberals standing there in the quad as the little Maoists scream in their faces and strip off the suede elbow patches on their tweedy jackets like a lieutenant being busted down to a private…With the Left given total control of these oases of tolerance and citadels of progressivism, what do we get? We get pampered and coddled students screaming that these institutions are hotbeds of racism, homophobia, sexism, and the rest of the 31 Flavors of Oppression.
…And it is fitting. It is just. It’s almost frick’n Biblical in its justness. You see, there is precious little bigotry and prejudice on college campuses. But the bulk of what does exist is aimed almost entirely at the guys and gals chilling at the tailgate party. Pro-life Christians, Israel-supporting Jews, libertarian professors, conservative scholars, climate-change skeptics, traditionalists of every stripe including classical liberals, and, of course, people who can take a joke: These make up the bulk of the victims of campus bigotry and prejudice. I can’t tell you how many professors I’ve met who have to keep their conservatism secret, at least until tenure, if not forever. I’ve never met or heard of a faculty member who had to keep her Marxism on the down-low….
Funny stuff, but conservatives should not be gloating. They were at least equally responsible for losing influence in academia and proving impotent at recovering it. Now a potent strain of totalitarianism is emerging from the next generation, which has been taught to extol the methods and the values of Marxists and fascists.Conservatives have an ethical obligation to help liberals try to fix the problem doctrinaire progressive indoctrination created, because if they can’t, we are all in trouble.