SIO48: What’s Really Going On at Evergreen College?

Due to popular demand, I’ve decided to embark on a fact-finding mission regarding the Brett Weinstein/Evergreen College fiasco. It took an incredible amount of digging to find anything beyond the same few talking points that have exploded across conservative media in the past few weeks, but the deeper story is a little more complicated and worthy of our attention. As usual, the easy way out is to filter the facts so they comport to a narrative we want, but I do my best to investigate the facts from a neutral standpoint.

What I found might surprise you! Here are links:

Tucker Carlson InterviewEmail Exchange; Cooper Point Journal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Weinstein View on Equity PolicyDemographics of Professors; Detainment of Black Students; President Letter on Trigger Warnings; President Response to Demands; Letter from 50 FacultyProfessor Solidarity with StudentsProf Setting Record Straight.

Leave Thomas a voicemail! (916) 750-4746, remember short and to the point!

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Charles
Guest

Ick. All I can say is ick. I predict that this tempest will never move past its teapot.

Peter
Guest
Peter

27:00 – first disagreement with your assessment – if you prioritize diversity you necessarily will lower the quality of teaching simply because “quality” of the staff becomes secondary. And it doesn’t matter if you put your prioritization towards hiring whites, blacks, asians, etc… the moment you start putting priority on characteristics that have nothing to do with quality of teaching, you risk lowering the skill of the people hired. I don’t think he means anything in regards of PoC in general being able to teach. It just means that you inevitably will lower the quality when quality is not the… Read more »

Kirk Smith
Guest

Amen. I saw it happen live and in person for multiple decades. When we hired diesel mechanics based on their cupcake decorating acumen, we got fancier cupcakes and marginal diesel maintenance. Who’d a thunk?

kyle
Guest
kyle

I think your objection makes a few assumptions that may not hold up to scrutiny. Firstly, are we able to determine each candidate’s “quality” of teaching to such an extent that we can validly, reliably, and empirically tell the 248th best teacher from the 251st best teacher? Assuming the candidates are screened for basic competency, the variance between candidates in a given group may not be something we can accurately access, nor something that would yield demonstrable results in the classroom. Further still, if you could quantify “teaching quality” in some generalized way, you still may not be finding the… Read more »

Kirk Smith
Guest

We can pick as many nits as we want, but the experiment is over. We know where forty years of our current social engineering practice leads. It leads to Post Truth Trumpistan.

kyle
Guest
kyle

“PC Culture gave us Trump” is the secular version of “gays cause earthquakes.”

Kirk Smith
Guest

Of course PC culture didn’t actively install Trump as president on purpose, but the PC/affirmative-action social engineering policies of the last three or four decades didn’t prevent the Trump administration, either, did they? If you’re instituting corrective social policy and you wind up with Trump, you’ve failed, haven’t you? I was required to attend probably two or three dozen “sexual harassment awareness” training sessions in my career, but what do we get for all of our trying to make the workplace safe and comfortable for people of all genders? We get a president who brags about sexually assaulting women. Does… Read more »

Mike Samsa
Guest
Mike Samsa

” the moment you start putting priority on characteristics that have nothing to do with quality of teaching, you risk lowering the skill of the people hired. ” This is exactly true! It’s also why diversity initiatives are needed. The problem with your assessment is that you’re assuming that without diversity initiatives, decisions to hire are based on merit and not on irrelevant characteristics like race. But they are – right? Undeniably people are disproportionately and unfairly hired based on being white. This means that our current system is letting in more unqualified candidates and passing over qualified candidates (i.e.… Read more »

Donnie Gwinn
Guest
Donnie Gwinn

That’s only true if we start from the premise that diversity has nothing to do with quality of instruction. I’ll go ahead and say that I used to believe that, but I no longer do. An all-male or all-white staff could teach just as well as a diverse faculty in theory, but they have significant disadvantages to struggle against. We know this because that way was normal practice for a long time already.

Fan from Finland
Guest
Fan from Finland

This episode felt like apologetics to me, basically just going out of your way to present the protesters in the most sympathetic light possible, while castigating Weinstein. No mention of police telling Weinstein that it’s not safe for him to be on campus (Unless I missed it, in which case apologies), or of students making caricatures depicting the campus police in KKK uniforms. You’re aggressive in your criticism of Weinstein for sending an e-mail and appearing on talk shows, while extremely timid in criticizing the people telling the college president how to hold his hands, or that he’s not allowed… Read more »

kyle
Guest
kyle

I just wanted to respond to a point you made about Weinstein being a member of a historically oppressed group, and as such, being unable to “white-splain” (i.e., use his privilege to talk over others). I think I see where you’re coming from, but I’m not sure it’s as much of a dichotomy as you seem to be suggesting. With an intersectional perspective, identity becomes a more nuanced thing wherein people occupy multiple mainstream and marginalized identities at the same time. For example, a cisgender, homosexual, black male from an upper-class neighborhood with a physical disability would belong to multiple… Read more »

Derek Dadey
Guest
Derek Dadey

I’d like to quibble with you about whether whites were “demanded ” or forced from campus. I think the implication that he and others are making is that the request for white people to absent themselves from campus for the day ,for anti-racism reasons, necessarily implies that those who stay are racist themselves or at least not fully down with the cause. Whereas the inverse, black students attending school on the previous years day of absence, would have no such implications.

kyle
Guest
kyle

I can’t imagine it would come as a real shock to students of color that some white students aren’t interested in attending optional racial justice activities.

Mike Samsa
Guest
Mike Samsa

“the request for white people to absent themselves from campus for the day ,for anti-racism reasons, necessarily implies that those who stay are racist themselves or at least not fully down with the cause. ” But then why would they only set aside 200 spaces for white people? Do you think they were planning on calling 3000-4000 people racist when they didn’t try to attend an event with a max limit of 200 people? Or do you think it’s more likely that they didn’t expect many people to want to take part and so have only set aside a couple… Read more »

Derek Dadey
Guest
Derek Dadey

I don’ think they expected all the white students to attend the seminars, just to not be on campus that day. It’s not to hard to imagine that it would take only a little social pressure to get college students to skip for a day.

Mike Samsa
Guest
Mike Samsa

It’s the same thing – the request to “leave campus” is a request to take part in activities off campus.

The event isn’t about staying at home. In the email exchange links Thomas gave above the officials even say they only expected around 200 people to take part because that’s the kind of numbers got for previous years.

Really?
Guest
Really?

Given that he is white, I wonder how Weinstein could have ever expressed his disagreement without it being subject to the ‘power dynamics’ associated with his skin color and sex.

Was he supposed to just acquiesce to almost everything like bridges?

kyle
Guest
kyle

“Given that he is white, I wonder how Weinstein could have ever expressed his disagreement without it being subject to the ‘power dynamics’ associated with his skin color and sex.”

He could have tried using respect.

Listener
Guest
Listener

I thought you were trying to get the facts right. It wasn’t a white student who called the campus police about the two black students. It was a non-black person of color. You say you are neutral, but you are selectively changing FACTS to support your position.

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

how is Brett Weinstein supposed to voice his opposition such that he isn’t exploiting the inherent power dynamics related to his white maleness?

kyle
Guest
kyle

I think that the power dynamic is a context in which these conversations happen. It’s not a blanket barrier that should prevent anyone from participating in any discussion, but it is an additional factor that affects the power and meaning of our actions, and people with more mainstream/privileged identities have a responsibility to be aware of how those factors affect conversations. As was mentioned in the episode, Weinstein’s behavior wasn’t just to “voice his opinion,” but to “respond all” to an e-mail, dismiss other people’s experiences and ideas, and present his understanding of the issue (i.e., racial justice) as well… Read more »

Robbb
Guest
Robbb

Thank you for this. I had the exact problem you are talking about. It is really weird that the students have absolutely no voice in mainstream media. Is it because most of them are black? That is a depressing thought. And then there is this stream of racist codes tucked inside most of these “leftist” reviews. Calling a few teenage black students “thugs” has just been just one example of this “reviewing”. When you see someone goes around a campus drawing “Pepe the frog” graffiti and praised by the so-called alt-right media, one should guess that this campus had a… Read more »

Fan from Finland
Guest
Fan from Finland

This is apparently a letter written by some students: http://freepdfhosting.com/840d72d60d.pdf And here’s a video made by an Evergreen student: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoslJvJEnfg Neither of them support the protesters. Almost as if the protesters don’t represent the entirety of the “students” whose voice isn’t being heard in the mainstream media, according to you. Do you really think it would be a good idea to have one of those people wielding baseball bats go on Tucker Carlson, or some other mainstream outlet? What about that one student who said “Whiteness is the most violent system to ever breathe”? Or the professor Naima Lowe, who… Read more »

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

Weinstein was very respectful in both the tone and content of his email. He’s explained that he replied all on the email to staff, faculty, and said that a few students holding staff positions on campus were probably also on that list. He specifically notes a lack of adequate time for discussion in the larger meetings. The idea that he’s ‘injecting himself into the situation’ by simply voicing his disagreement seems like a poorly framed conclusion one comes to when they’re trying to… For the facts into their narrative? Lol. It’s at leads reading into things too much and attempting… Read more »

PsychopompGecko
Guest
PsychopompGecko

You may have noticed the Weinstein lied, which is pretty disrespectful. Rather than bring up the issue to faculty or just the people who planned the event this way this year, he sent out an email to everyone where he lied about what was going on. That’s not something adults do, especially ones who are supposed to be professional. He didn’t have to lie, and he didn’t have to bring up his concerns in front of everyone like someone bringing up a family argument in the middle of a crowded restaurant. It’s like if I said your comment that I’m… Read more »

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

I have literally not doubt that Carlson has tried to get one of the students to come on the show and explain their batshittery, lol.

‘Oh so a guy running from the cops after tearing down some posters punched someone who happened to be grand once? Was it professor Weinstein, and is that why you all are attacking him like so? *makes that tucker face*’

Absolutely unbelievable that this was supposed to be the ‘skeptic’ point of view.

Eli’s habit of framing conversations disingenuously while claiming to be the standard of objectivity is rubbing off on Thomas.

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

Transsexual somehow corrected to ‘grand once’… Idk

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

The students don’t want to defend their ideas on a larger platform because- shocker- they know they would look ridiculous.

Seek out and let is ten to the larger ideas behind community policing.

It’s a complete fucking joke.

‘Community rapid response teams’ wear uniforms, have weapons, and have an oversight committee. It’s almost like they’re normal police, lol.

But I know I know… It cost more to keep someone in jail than it does to send them to Harvard…

Abel Dean
Guest
Abel Dean

Thomas, you claimed that Bret Weinstein misrepresented the Day of Absence event. I read the emails, and I agree with Weinstein. Participation is nominally voluntary, but “encouraging” (Weinstein’s word used in the email) white members to be absent from the campus is a forceful act, as the whites who choose to defy the “encouragement” can be singled out and shamed as racists. That is what is accomplished by reversing the tradition. It is a power play, a way to control the behavior of others. This interpretation is backed up by the stated theme of the Day of Absence: “Revolution is… Read more »

kyle
Guest
kyle

I’m genuinely surprised by the number of commenters whose interpretation of this (and broader advocacy efforts) is that people of color who engage in civil rights activism are out to get white people, as if they just need to trick white people into doing or saying something racist-ish, and then comes the… honestly, I don’t know. Persecution? Violent revolution? PC death panels?

Robbb
Guest
Robbb

Weinstein himself rejects these claims in one of his interviews by explicitly stating that the implication was he would not be seen as an “ally”. Yeah, he went on to FoxNews and other right-wing media denigrating a bunch of teenage kids (they are legally adults, I know) to prove what a great ally he is for colored people. Another thing is how easily allegations of violence is thrown around where there is almost no evidence of it happening in the original video and even in other videos. The administration telling the campus police to stand down is NOT EQUAL with… Read more »

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

I don’t hunk anyone thinks they’re purely ‘out to get white people’ (although as an aside, the ‘hyperbolic example’ of a black person shooting white cops because they are white, has totally happened multiple times) It’s that the game of conversation seems rigged… As I’ve said a couple times above, how could he have phrased things such that his opinion on the matter doesn’t also pollute the convo with the dynamics of white male supremacy? You said he should ‘be respectful’ but, outside of a very uncharitable interpretation of his words, nothing he said is disrespectful in the least. If… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Why on Earth would anybody be afraid of racism? Well, if it’s of no concern with no consequences, then why do people seem to want to protest it so much?

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

‘They’re walking around campus with bats’

‘Don’t tell people who have been shut out of the conversation how to conduct their activism’

Ffs

Balled14
Guest
Balled14

is the story that the guy who was running from the cops just happened to punch a transsexual or did the suspect literally seek out someone who was transsexual in the middle of a police chase?

Robbb
Guest
Robbb

It has been repeated over and over again. It was absurd to ask ALL the white people to leave the campus. And even if it was possible, what would be the result? What were colored people going to do from 9AM to 6PM on that day when they had the campus “all to themselves”? Oh I know. Their evil plan is to tell whites to stay out of campus until 8PM next year and then the next year, they will demand whites to absent themselves for two full days! See what is happening here people? If it goes on like… Read more »