The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Diversity’ Debacle at Dartmouth: ‘Transformative Justice,’ Really?

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.

The “marginalized communities” rant continues:

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.)




171 Responses to “‘Diversity’ Debacle at Dartmouth: ‘Transformative Justice,’ Really?”

  1. bridget
    April 9th, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    Art Deco, although I am the graduate of two highly-selective universities, I refuse to engage in the complete snobbery that a school is not “excellent” unless it is skimming off the cream of the crop.

  2. Paul H. Lemmen
    April 9th, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

    Both. Alternating sentences.

  3. AMartel
    April 9th, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

    Possible relation to why were all the 9/11 (and other) terrorists the sons of middle class parents? Common thread: exposure to “higher education.”

  4. Paul H. Lemmen
    April 9th, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

    That didn’t stop her. BTW, @anemoneblooming is Anamika.

  5. Dana
    April 9th, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

    I believe it’s properly called the Chair Force.

  6. Dana
    April 9th, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

    Are you kidding? Most of ’em couldn’t even stand up wearing full battle rattle.

  7. Dana
    April 9th, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    I denounce you, too, though not for the reason you thought. In English grammar, properly understood, the masculine pronouns subsume the feminine when the sex of the individual is unknown. The proper form would have been:

    Were I a parent of one of these cretins, I would immediately cut him off from all financial support,

    That structure does not in any way imply that the cretin in question is male; it is the influence of small-thinkers like the cretins in question who have inferred what is not implied, in sufficient numbers to have raped our language. Please make a note of it.

  8. Dana
    April 9th, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

    They’d have to live in the woods, completely naked, with no tools or food.

  9. Paul H. Lemmen
    April 9th, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    Yep. Chairborne Rangers … Cappuccino in one hand and a jelly donut in the other.

  10. Cal Quelus
    April 9th, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

    This is going to be a long fight. IMO, it is a war of attrition within the confines and context of modern civilization.

    My advice: Learn to like to fight. Embrace the psychology of conflict.

  11. » This gets an #FFF
    April 9th, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

    […] Robert Stacy McCain questions that “no better place” bit: […]

  12. M. Thompson
    April 9th, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    A claymore would be much closer in function. FRONT TOWARD ENEMY.

  13. Anamika
    April 10th, 2014 @ 6:54 pm


    Did you post something as proof? If so, i cannot see it.

  14. Anamika
    April 10th, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    Let me repeat I’m not @anemoneblooming

    But thanks to you folks, I have been contacted….

  15. But, but, but, multiculturalism! | The First Street Journal.
    April 11th, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

    […] am reminded of Robert Stacey Stacy McCain’s article about the Concerned Asian, Black, Latina, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled […]

  16. Jeanette Victoria
    April 11th, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

    LOL the authorities always take reports from people who are too cowardly to reveal their names.

    Simply put, this an other attempt at shutuppery and intimidation Clue here; some of us have backbones and don’t intimidate easily. In short you pathetic cowardly anonymous loser, go pound sand. Your posturing is underwhelming.

  17. Jeanette Victoria
    April 11th, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    In fact some of the trolls post are incomprehensible

  18. Jeanette Victoria
    April 11th, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    In fact some of the trolls post are incomprehensible

  19. Jeanette Victoria
    April 11th, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

    Not by this Rican

  20. Jeanette Victoria
    April 11th, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

    ROTFLOL a cowardly anonymous stalker claims to have contacted law enforcement…sort of like she has claimed to have contacted the local law enforcement before (she didn’t but they are now aware of her stalking). Or like when she claimed to come to NC to “expose” me and have me “monitored” . Funny how no one she has claimed have contacted have never head of her or anyone else asking for information about me. Not my bother, my Mother-in-law, or my cousins. No one in my diocese either.

    Nicole is an cowardly phony and liar who is just trying to make herself look important and manipulate other to do her dirty work

    Really are you THAT stupid?

  21. Jeanette Victoria
    April 11th, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    Heh I can do it in three languages When I live in a convent in Kiev it was a French order we prayer in English, Russian, French the sister also prayed in Ukrainian and Punjabi which I could not learn