By Jon Dougherty
In May 2017, shortly after POTUS Donald Trump took office, a racial battle Royale erupted in an unsuspecting place — a small college in Washington state.
Still triggered and angry over the president’s ‘surprise’ election victory, Left-wing activists at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., held an event in which they kicked white people off campus for a day to show just how racist they are…or something like that.
For a number of days, student activists essentially seized control of the campus, even going so far as to search cars and buildings looking for the errant white person who didn’t get the message to leave.
One white professor of biology, Bret Weinstein, objected to the overtly racist act. In an email opposing the “Day of Absence & Day of Presence” demonstration, he said, “On a college campus, one’s right to speak — or to be — should never be based on skin color.”
That, of course, only inflamed the already inflamed radical Leftists. It got so bad for Weinstein that campus police actually told him to hold his classes off-campus because it wasn’t safe for him to do so on campus.
The Leftist (and racist) mob then surrounded him at one point and demanded that he be kicked off campus permanently. Here’s a clip of the incident. (Content warning: Strong language):
In July 2017, Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying — also an Evergreen State professor, filed a Tort Claim form against the school for $3,850,000, according to documents obtained at the time by Campus Reform.
The case has now borne legal fruit, so to speak, as The Blaze noted:
Evergreen State College in Washington State announced in a faculty email Friday they recently settled a tort claim brought by professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, professor Heather Heying, for $500,000.
According to the College Fix, as part of the college’s agreement with the pair, they have resigned their positions as biology instructors at the school.
“They have resigned from their faculty positions at Evergreen, effective today. The college will pay them a total of $450,000 and contribute an additional $50,000 toward their attorney fees. In making this agreement, the college admits no liability, and rejects the allegations made in the tort claim,” the email says.
According to the original tort claim, the couple sued alleging the school “permitted, cultivated and perpetuated a racially hostile and retaliatory work environment” in wake of the campus-wide event racist “Day of Absence,” which called for the expulsion of all white people from the university for a day so non-whites could have a ‘safe space to talk about oppression.’
Not even kidding. That really was the premise behind the event…that the school’s cowardly administrators allowed.
Weinstein wasn’t having any of it and by his refusal to leave, he was summarily subjected to hostility and ridicule by students and his colleagues. At one point, as police noted, even his safety was in danger as students blocked entrance to his classroom, leading police to ‘ask’ him to hold class in a parking lot.
— The college “sent the unmistakable message that the school will tolerate (and even endorse) egregious violations (and even crimes) purportedly to advance racial social goals, diminishing the collegiate experience for all, and fostering a racially hostile work and retaliatory environment for faculty and staff.”
— “Through a series of decisions made at the highest levels, including to officially support a day of racial segregation, the college has refused to protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence.”
And again, students literally took over the school at one point, demanding that professors not penalize them for missing class and failing to turn in assignments.
For allowing this nonsense, Evergreen State College suffered a seismic drop in enrollment (and income), as Fox News reported in September:
Evergreen State College enrollment plummeted after fallout from the controversial “Day of Absence” in May 2017 when all white people were asked to leave the campus.
The publicly funded college – committed to social justice – became the poster child of a campus overrun by hyper-political correctness when students shut down the campus and shouted down then-evolutionary biology professor Bret Weinstein for merely questioning the event kicking white people off campus.
Weinstein, who describes himself as “deeply progressive,” ultimately lost his job and was labeled a “racist” and “white supremacist.”
Although just estimates, a representative from Evergreen said they expect around 350 freshman this fall, with a total of 3,000-3,100 total enrollment, both of which “do represent significant decreases as compared to before the 2017 unrest.”
“It’s a catastrophic drop, but I’m hoping we’ll recover,” Evergreen Professor Mike Paros told Fox News.
“Advocacy and activism rather than the pursuit of truth and knowledge is being promoted as a way of recruiting desperately needed new students,” Paros wrote. “Bringing in new faculty or guest speakers with conservative or centrist political perspectives is considered risky and out of the question at the moment. Fear and self-censorship is pervasive among Evergreen faculty, especially under the existing budget crisis.”
Did you catch that Weinstein is “deeply progressive?” And yet, not ‘deeply progressive’ enough for hyper-Marxism.
Worse, from the sound of it, Evergreen’s administrators remain as defiant in their settlement as they are tone-deaf to the political cancer enveloping their institution.
In an editorial for the Washington Examiner in December 2017, the couple wrote of their experience at length. But here is a relevant passage:
For today’s social justice warriors, only one narrative shall be allowed. It is unquestionable. Those who dissent are guilty. The “equity and inclusion” movement, cloaked in words that sound benevolent and honorable, is a bludgeon. To the outside world, Evergreen’s implosion looked like a student-motivated response to conditions on the inside. But the terrible conditions don’t really exist, and the real power dynamics, between administrators and faculty, were obscured by a narrative constructed to make resistance impossible.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10