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BLM vs. GWP (Guilty White People)

At several open-to-the-public fora this week in Collis, senior administrators from the College attempted to tell the world how they were moving heaven and earth to make Dartmouth a more inclusive and diverse place. My word, you should have heard the handwringing and Marxist-Leninist self-criticism from our leaders as results from the Campus Climate Survey were discussed, the names of phalanxes of committees were trotted out, and assurances were given that this time around the administration was really, really committed to making the College welcoming for underrepresented minorities.

Of course, at each meeting, right on schedule, activists from the BLM movement were on hand during the Q&A to let the President, Provost, EVP Finance et al. know that the administration is working hand in glove with the oppressor, or even is the oppressor itself. They asked repeatedly why the administration wasn’t stopping “the death threats, the rape threats” and the unrelenting acts of microaggression that make people of color’s lives a living hell in ever-so-white Hanover, New Hampshire.

No student was more virulent than Kevin Bui ‘17, who let rip with multiple rapid-fire harangues that may make the grade as impassioned oratory, but which come not close to being classifiable as serious arguments based in fact. Herewith Kevin’s verbatim excoriation of President Hanlon:

Kevin Bui.jpgHi. So. I think that there is something that we need to talk about. Dartmouth is racist. The Dartmouth administration is racist, and Dartmouth is built on racism. You are presenting this study about statistics, about diversity and inclusion, but people of color are not statistics. We are people and our voices should be heard. But our voices are not being heard.

We are… In your office hours we tried several times to speak to you. We are constantly dismissed. President Hanlon asked a black woman “to educate him,” and I think that’s a job of the institution not of the student, and, so, my question is, when will Dartmouth start valuing students of color, faculty of color, staff of color for their voices, for their experiences, for their livelihood, and for their presence at Dartmouth and what they bring to the Dartmouth community besides a statistic on a diversity and inclusion working excellence group.

You created these working groups to respond to the findings of the survey, but I will say, out of all three working groups, there is no Asian American student representation. We make up 20% of the student body, and not a single student was represented, and I know students were nominated, who nominated themselves to be on the groups, so how come they were systematically devalued by the administration, how come Asian American faculty, Asian American Studies is systematically devalued by the administration? How come the administration does not value the voice of student of color, faculty of color or staff of color, and when will we become more than a statistic and actually become people in your eyes?

The amazing thing is that Hanlon and Dever and crew just sat there and took their whuppin’.

Collis Presentation May 24, 2016.jpg

No defense of the College — which at budget time can seem more devoted to a left-wing social justice agenda than to educating students — no recitation of the unlimited treasure devoted to our endlessy aggrieved protesters and their causes. As I wrote in a post a while back about another theatrically agitated student, perhaps our highly paid administrators could have suggested to Kevin that he talk to:

… someone in the College’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity; or with Assistant Dean and Advisor to Black Students Kari Cooke in the Black Student Advising Office; or Assistant Dean and Advisor for Sexuality, Women, and Gender Michelle Kermond; or staffers in the Center for Gender and Student Engagement; or faculty members in the African and African American Studies Program; or faculty members in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; or faculty members in the E.E. Just STEM Scholars Program; or the faculty advisor, Shabazz Center fellow, undergraduate advisor, and staff advisor to Cutter-Shabazz Hall (“The mission of the Shabazz Center for Intellectual Inquiry is to enhance the intellectual and cultural milieu of the Dartmouth College campus with particular regard to those issues which pertain to the historical and contemporary experiences of people of African descent.”); or people in any one of the numerous ”Black Campus Resources” organized and funded by the Office of Pluralism and Leadership.

Just why is it that at an institution ostensibly devoted to learning, nobody from President Hanlon on down is willing to debate the charges thrown at the College. What a sorry, cowed bunch of leaders we have. But they are more than cowed; in point of fact, they are condescending to students of color in not engaging them in any kind of principled debate about the merits of the charges that they hurl at Dartmouth. Does the administration think that these kids are too stupid, too uneducated, too fragile, to withstand an argument that puts forward disagreement with their narrative of Concentration Camp Dartmouth?

Whatever the reason, the morality play going on right now in Hanover is hardly an edifying one, though we can be sure that it is expensive. On Friday the administration will announce yet another set of measure that improve diversity and inclusivity in Hanover.

Addendum: What do you bet that the total spend on Friday will add up to more money than it would take to raise faculty compensation to a level where we can compete with other schools in attracting the best faculty to the College.

Addendum: Kevin Bui has a very visible online presence: he is featured on Facebook’s What Dartmouth Doesn’t Teach Me page, which has been reported on widely.


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