Posted on | April 8, 2014 | 171 Comments
Dartmouth radicals after their protest last week.
To understand what is wrong with America’s elite institutions of higher education, we need look no further than the manifesto issued by radical students at Dartmouth College:
The Plan for Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget:
Items for Transformative Justice at Dartmouth
The document, sent to 13 Dartmouth administrators on Feb. 24, lists demands that seek to eliminate systems of oppression including racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and ableism. . . .
We, the Concerned Asian, Black, Latina, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students at Dartmouth College, seek to eradicate systems of oppression as they affect marginalized communities on this campus. These systems — which include racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism — are deployed at Dartmouth and beyond as forms of institutional violence. We demand that Dartmouth challenge these systems by redistributing power and resources in a way that is radically equitable. We believe that dialogue and resistance are both legitimate and necessary ways of disturbing the status quo and forcing parties to deal with the roots of the issues. . . .
Simple question: Where did these Dartmouth students learn to write such turgid and lifeless jargon? Even if one were sympathetic to these petulant brats, isn’t their rhetoric kind of tedious?
If Dartmouth has failed at nothing else, it has certainly failed to teach its students effective techniques of persuasive prose. The minute any responsible adult sees a phrase like “Transformative Justice,” the skeptical eye-roll reaction is reflexive.
This Freedom Budget focused on redistributing power and restoring justice for communities who suffered economic oppression at the hands of rich, white power structures. This budget was not a proposal for better interpersonal interactions, but a proposal to transform oppressive structures. Dartmouth epitomizes power being isolated to rich, white males. As such, there is no better place than this campus to campaign for a Freedom Budget that will address the consequences of white male patriarchy today.
OK, let me intrude a few helpful points here:
- As for “rich, white power structures,” exactly who the hell do these kids think built Dartmouth College and is currently footing the bill for their Ivy League education? Permit me to suggest that these “marginalized” students research who are the top 100 donors to the Dartmouth alumni fund in the past decade. If it weren’t for “rich, white males,” these kids wouldn’t even have a college to complain about.
- These punks whine about “oppression” — did somebody kidnap them at gunpoint and force them to attend Dartmouth? No, they were among many thousands who applied to attend this elite school, and were fortunate enough to be accepted. Rather than being grateful for the opportunity thus afforded them, however, the miserable ingrates expect Dartmouth to throw them a pity party because of how they’re victims of “oppressive structures.”
- Why are these kids so obsessed with white people? First, it’s “rich, white power structures,” then it’s “rich, white males” and “white male patriarchy” — white! white! white! The repetition conveys the intensity of their fixation, but why? Let’s see: Dartmouth College is in Hanover, N.H., and the census says New Hampshire is 94.4% white. So if you have a problem with white people, maybe Dartmouth isn’t the place you want to be, but since you decided to go to Dartmouth, whose problem is this? It’s as if you moved to Tijuana and then started complaining, “Hey, why are there so many Mexicans around here?”
Anyway, you can go read the whole list of silly “demands” issued by the Dartmouth radicals, but last week a few dozen of the aggrieved students “occupied” the administration building:
A group of about 35 students from a range of campus communities entered College President Phil Hanlon’s office during his open office hours on [April 1], stating their dissatisfaction to the administration’s March 6 reaction to the “Freedom Budget.” They demanded a point-by-point response to each of the student-authored document’s 70-plus demands for change regarding issues of diversity and inclusivity.
Equipped with poster paper, sleeping bags and pizza, many students displayed the intention of spending the night. As of press time, about eight students planned to remain in Hanlon’s personal office overnight and about seven others intended to stay in the outer atrium of Parkhurst Hall.
As students filed in to Hanlon’s outer office around 4 p.m., they were greeted by administrative assistants, who noted that they had been expecting them. Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson then told the students that she and Hanlon would be available to talk in a few minutes.
When Johnson asked why the group was there, Dondei Dean ’17 spoke first.
“We’re here to see President Hanlon. You probably know most of us already, but, just to sum up, we are extremely dissatisfied with the response that he issued,” Dean said. “It was not on our terms. We are here to see him and demand a point-by-point response, and we are not going to leave until we get one.”
Approximately 10 minutes later, the entire group was invited into Hanlon’s office. Dean, acting as primary spokesperson, told the president that the students were “deeply enraged” by Hanlon’s response to the “Freedom Budget,” stating dissatisfaction with both the length of the administration’s press release, which they said encompassed only three points, and their choice not to respond through The Dartmouth.
Uh, “Dondei Dean ’17″? This kid’s just a freshman. He only arrived at Dartmouth in September, and already he’s issuing demands? The Wall Street Journal took notice, and the Dartmouth Review editorializes:
If there is any lesson to be learned from the sit-in, it is that the Freedom Budgeters are dead set on an approach that is not friendly to collaboration and compromise. Their hostile response to overtures of reason from President Hanlon, Dean Johnson, and their fellow classmates has made that abundantly clear. Instead, they intend to maintain their “struggle” by any and all means necessary, even if it takes them beyond the limits of civil discourse expected of Dartmouth undergraduates.
Expel these brats. Let ‘em be “oppressed” somewhere else.
In other words: Fetch My Latte.
(Hat-tip: American Power.)