As we have detailed numerous times, student protesters have effectively been in control of Evergreen State University for about a month now, forcing the school to hold its commencement ceremonies at an alternative venue 40 miles from campus. The protests – and the school administration’s decision to acquiesce to the students instead of trying to hold them accountable for their actions – have prompted some in the Washington State legislature to try and pull state funding from the school.
HBO and Vice published a documentary about the protesters' relentless efforts to shut down all dissent on campus. In it, biology professor Bret Weinstein, who students have demanded be fired and is at the center of the unrest, has gained some notoriety in conservative circles after publishing an editorial in the Wall Street Journal about the situation at Evergreen.
The documentary explores how the Evergreen administration’s handling of the demonstrations only served to inflame the situation further, as university president George Bridges acquiesced to student demands – including a request for all staff to undergo sensitivity training, while promising that no students would be held accountable for their actions during the demonstrations.
In video of the initial confrontation between Weinstein and the protesters, Weinstein can be heard pleading with students to listen to him, only to be repeatedly shut down. In the interview with Vice, he seems harried - like he's been worn down by the attention and students' exhausting demands.
“Would you like to hear the answer or not? No no no!"
“This is not a discussion. You’ve lost.”
Weinstein claims he's not a racist, and that he considers himself an ally to minorities and
By virtue of the way they constructed this, you were making a statement by being on campus that you were not an ally and I feel I am an ally of people of color in their attempt to gain equity.
I feel I am an ally to people of color in their attempt to gain equity. Well, they think I’m a racist. If you stand up against one of these things, if you think it’s ill-considered, you will be branded as a racist.
One of the protest leaders interviewed by Vice accused the school of mismanaging the situation, arguing that Weinstein has “validated” white supremacists and Nazis even though there’s no record of Weinstein saying anything remotely hateful.
Vice News correspondent (and former Reasoner/current Fifth Columnist) Michael Moynihan visited the embattled campus to query the antagonists in the controversy, and the results are stunning, infuriating, bananas...
"We just wanted to be like until you’re held accountable for these actions you don’t get to teach students at evergreen. You don’t get to spread this problematic rhetoric and instill it in students. At this point we’d like Bret to be fired, but that isn’t happening, the administration isn’t choosing to take action, they’re choosing to protect this white cis professor instead of its students."
They students are also blaming Weinstein for inciting violent threats against them because he appeared on Fox News. As one student admits...
“Although Bret has not personally said go out and attack these students go out and threaten these students, that has been the result of his actions. He has validated white supremacists in our community and in the nation and I don’t think that should be protected by free speech.”
Meanwhile, the faculty and administration aren’t the only ones who feel threatened by the protesters. One student, who asked not to be identified because she was fearful of being targeted by the protesters, said that she no longer feels comfortable expressing her “nuanced” opinions.
“I feel like I don’t have the ability to speak if I disagree with the methods used in the protest. I'm afraid that my opinions, and myself, will be stigmatized.”
In perhaps the most shocking scene, video footage shows students holding President George Bridges hostage by trying to prevent him from leaving to use the bathroom. In the video, a student can be heard telling the university president to “hold it.”
Bridges claims he felt safe during that encounter, and that the students wouldn’t have been able to stop him from going to the bathroom unescorted, but one telling exchange between him and the Vice reporter belies his characterization of events as peaceful.
Why did they want to escort you to the bathroom?
I don’t know.
Did you ask them?
Of course not.
In another clip, one protester expresses open hostility to the concept of free speech, arguing that the “safety” of minorities and LGBTQ people is more important than free expression, without explaining the disconnect.
“Fuck Free Speech. When we’re dead when people die and you’re sitting here saying at least they got to have their free speech."
The protests erupted after Biology Professor Bret Weinstein objected to a planned “day of absence” demonstration where white students and faculty were “invited” to leave campus for a day. Weinstein argued that one group asking another to leave a shared public space is tantamount to oppression, regardless of the respective parties’ skin color. Students responded by crowding into his classroom, shouting obscenities at him, and demanding that he resign…for the crime of disagreeing with their far-left PC agenda.
The problem at the core of the protest movement is that the students only see extremes. A professor is either an ally, or a horrible racist. The irony is that worldview is just as reductive as the hateful racist ideologies they claim to oppose. Furthermore, by relentlessly hounding Weinstein and the school’s administration, they’ve effectively become the oppressors in this scenario. The worst part is that students attend Evergreen to learn, and not to protest, are the ones who’re being hurt most by the situation. Classes at Evergreen – a school that doesn’t give grades, instead favoring a “wholistic” approach to education – have faced frequent disruptions for more than half of a semester as the protests blossomed into a full-on occupation.