Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, has gone from a physical to verbal stand off between black students and a white professor who refuses to set one foot back on campus after claims of threats.
The school essentially shut down for four days earlier this month as students rose up to demand the end of white supremacy, the firing of the campus police chief, and the firing of Bret Weinstein, a biology professor who refused to leave campus on what the school called “Day of Absence.” He wrote an email to his colleagues imploring them not to leave.
Independent Journal Review described the day this way:
While most years are commemorated with people of color leaving campus and white students and faculty members attending anti-racism workshops, this year the school decided to do something different. ... White students and faculty members were asked to leave campus in an effort to “give space” to people of color.
While the day was supposedly a voluntary day to show alliance with black students and other students of color, it turns out it wasn’t.
Now, Weinstein says he’s been threatened.
As previously reported, the temporary takeover of the college president’s office and subsequent firings were all recorded and put online, much to the anger of the students. Why? Because it made them look bad.
The Weekly Standard sums up what happened:
[I]nvading a professor's class to taunt him with charges of racism; occupying the library and the college president's office while the campus police, ordered to stand down, barricade themselves in their headquarters; delivering F-bombs, derision, and assorted demands—firing the police chief, confiscating the guns of the rest of the police, setting up mandatory race-oriented “cultural competency” training for the faculty, excusing the protesters from their end-of-term assignments, and providing free gumbo for a radical potluck—to the cornered president, George Bridges; and creating such a threatening atmosphere for the professor in question, evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein (another target of the firing demands), that he had to hold his class on May 25 in a public park in downtown Olympia.
Less charitable people would say that the inmates have taken over the asylum, but that may do injustice to the people who really have no control over themselves. These college-educated students do, and Weinstein said they now have taken to openly threatening the professor:
He claims they threatened him through a “fake Facebook page”:
Evergreen has always been an ‘alt’ school. It offers no grades, includes what sounds like environmental studies of every permutation and even things as niche as Sanskrit and Greek dance as part of the “Somatic Studies” department.
The evolutionary biology professor says that he still “has obligations” to the school, but told Fox News's Tucker Carlson that he’s moved his family for their safety and doesn’t believe it’s safe for him to return:
The college has never acknowledged the danger that they put us in and therefore there’s no way of knowing whether it’s safe for me to return. Their assurances that it is safe don’t mean anything, not that they’ve offered them.
He says his colleagues seem afraid to speak out in his behalf:
I’ve received tremendous support outside of the college, and I've received quite a bit of support privately from within the college. Publicly, only one other professor has come forward to say he supports my position.
For its part, on a webpage devoted to the campus unrest, Evergreen says the campus safety is its “top priority”:
Safety for all is a top priority. Evergreen Police Services are present and are on duty 24 hours a day ...'
The school also described Bret Weinstein as a current employee who will not be fired as students demanded:
Bret Weinstein remains a member of Evergreen’s faculty. Weinstein’s right to speak out has never been threatened and his position at the college is not in jeopardy. The college does not and will not terminate the employment of any faculty member in response to a request. We will continue to support freedom of speech for all members of the Evergreen community.
Weinstein says his family lives in hiding, and it sounds as if there’s a stand off between not only him and students, but between him and the administration which he claims is “so invested in demonizing me."
He told Carlson that the school administration now is blaming his appearances on Carlson’s show for the unrest on campus.