Silent Green

The Dartmouth Review provides the sequence of events, starting with the Dartmouth College Republican club using its bulletin board to display “Blue Lives Matter” for National Police Week.

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On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine a display more deliberately provocative than this, both because of the adoption of the Black Lives Matter slogan and because Dartmouth is a hotbed of inane protest, where students risk paper cuts to protest their cause.

But speech that’s politically provocative is free speech. It’s often mistakenly expressed as the speech worthy of greatest protection, mistakenly because it suggests there are degrees of protected speech. And unsurprisingly, this bulletin board soon became the battleground, as its content was removed and replaced by Black Lives Matters materials, while students guarded the board so that the College Republicans couldn’t remove the protest materials and restore their speech.

Dartmouth, naturally, wanted only to avoid confrontation and hard feelings.

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Setting a watch in front of the bulletin board

The students who waited, stood guard, to assure that their Black Lives Matters flyers wouldn’t be removed, explained with the usual unduly lengthy way of the self-righteous why their speech pre-empted the Republicans’ speech.

Today, Friday May 13th the Dartmouth College Republicans reserved a central bulletin board in Collis Atrium. On this board the Dartmouth College Republicans posted the slogan “Blue Lives Matter” FOUR times. By co-opting a movement intended to protect the livelihood of Black people, Blue Lives Matter” & #AllLivesMatter facilitates the erasure of black lives. This slogan denies that black bodies are subjected to disproportionate state violence. This has nothing to do with individual police officers.

Over the past several terms, in Collis the black lives matter installation was defaced, and the signs outside of the gender inclusive bathroom were ripped off of the walls. On our campus a native woman and man were egged after a silent protest, countless women of color have been assaulted, people of color have been called racial slurs, physically threatened, and aggressively approached in public, private, and over social media.

The #blacklivesmatter protest in the fall affirmed black existence, humanity, and resilience in light of the oppressive reality here at Dartmouth. This is our reality; we are the voices of ALL people of color in classes. It is inescapable as social media, especially yik-yak, is saturated with racial slurs. This morning the bulletin boards in “The Center for Student Involvement” informed the campus this space is NOT for us . Collis is intended to be a home base for all student activities, however is a site of violence.

This campus is toxic.

Our goal is to illuminate the severity of the violence people of color face on this campus. In not challenging this oppression against our bodies, instead reproducing this narrative is actively partaking in this violence. Silencing our narratives. If we didn’t take down the display we would be reproducing a violent narrative that works to silence us in masses.

People are tired. People of color are tired of being made inferior to their peers. We are tired of conservative rhetoric reproducing the same racial stereotypes that have positioned our bodies in a violent, inhumane fashion since slavery.

We have reclaimed the board. We are reclaiming our space, in Collis, in Class, and on this Campus. We have proclaimed “Black Lives Matter”—we do in fact matter, and we are here.

Fuck your comfort, there is no such thing as neutral existence. Sitting in the library with your headphones in, intensifies this violence against people of color, muting the voices of the movement, the cries of your peers, and the history of inequality. Posting Blue Lives Matter reproduces the idea that All lives matter, again intensifying the violence against people of color. Invalidating individual realities.

We occupy this space, in front of the bulletin board, to guarantee our presence at this institution. Reposting Blue Lives Matter reproduces this violent narrative against people of color, by silencing us. We will not be silenced.

We have cried, but we will persevere regardless of the complacent conservative faction on campus, we will be okay. We need to be okay, so we can graduate from this institution with a Dartmouth degree.
Face it that’s why we came here, and at the end of the day we still are here—at Dartmouth, in the Ivy League, in college, in this nation. We aren’t going anywhere.

It is your turn, stand in solidarity with us. Do not allow the cries of your peers, your friends be silenced.
ACT. #blacklivesmatter

Peace, Love, Solidarity,

Existence is Resistance

All of which amounts to “we’re right, they’re wrong, therefore our rights are better than their rights.”  As Turley succinctly states, the contention is “absurd.” But you already realize this, so there’s no reason to beat this to death.

But while it seems so utterly obvious in this situation that the argument that one side is entitled to silence the other because it claims the other silences it is absurd, this is hardly the first time, or the first battle, where this absurd and irrational argument has been used. And yet, it’s been accepted as sound in other battles.

Like what, you ask?  Like the cyber civil rights argument, that men’s voices silence women’s voices such that women should be entitled to censor men because their mean speech hurts women’s feelings so much that they are reluctant to speak.  Just as the contention is unsound here, it’s always been unsound and will always be unsound.  It’s no more rational when it’s your identitarian group at stake than when it’s some Dartmouth students.

And yet, the argument that a self-proclaimed marginalized group is entitled to censor, to silence, speech with which is disagrees not only persists, but enjoys widespread support in certain quarters.  Whether it’s students at an elite Ivy League college, or women on the internet, the argument is the same. And fails for the same reason. Even if you think it’s different when it’s your hurt feelings involved rather than some other group’s hurt feelings.

33 thoughts on “Silent Green

  1. wilbur

    “Sitting in the library with your headphones in, intensifies this violence against people of color, muting the voices of the movement, the cries of your peers, and the history of inequality.”

    Which I take to mean: So not only do you have to allow us speak however and wherever we want, and allow us the power to silence others, but if you choose not to listen to us you are intensifying the violence towards us.

    The Crazy Train has left the station.

      1. B. McLeod

        I noted the article in the news yesterday in which the Texas “pastor” who had complained about “anti-gay slurs” on a cake sold by Whole Foods admitted he had made the entire thing up, and placed the “slur” on the cake himself in order to support the false accusation (which admission came only because video evidence showed he was lying). A “hoax,” according to the media. I think that description falls a bit short. It does indeed seem that the “politically correct” among us have concluded that their “rights” are “better” than everybody else’s rights, and that anything they do, no matter how corrupt and lacking in integrity, is accordingly (somehow) OK.

        1. SHG Post author

          When you’re on the side that’s “right,” anything you do is justifiable for the greater good.

          1. Neil

            Can we stop with all the stuff about how it’s ok for Cops to lie and break the law in order to catch bad guys? People might get ideas.

  2. Ted Folkman

    Well, the senior administrators of the school, in a campus-wide message, did condemn what had happened and suggested disciplinary action could be forthcoming:

    “The unauthorized removal on Friday of a student display for National Police Week in the Collis Center was an unacceptable violation of freedom of expression on our campus. Vandalism represents a silencing of free exchange, rather than open engagement. This was true of the vandalism of the Black Lives Matter display last November, and equally true of Friday’s action. Any students identified as being involved in such actions will be subject to our disciplinary process.”

    So although you write: “Dartmouth, naturally, wanted only to avoid confrontation and hard feelings,” it may be that the story isn’t over yet.

  3. maz

    I know it’s been ages since anyone took Dartmouth seriously — but can we at least stop pretending to take them seriously, as well?

    1. SHG Post author

      How about an oopsy for starting two threads rather than use reply for an exceptionally lame attempt at humor?

      1. losingtrader

        Ok, oopsy.
        As to the ,”… exceptionally lame attempt at humor” SHGisms
        3) I can’t tell you how much your agreement means to me.
        35) Just like every other narcissistic and unduly sensitive dumbass

  4. Jim Ryan

    Dartmouth, the “Big Green” formerly “Indians” and formerly “The Green” and now Blue Lives matter?
    When did they become SMURFS?

    And my Dartmouth Sweatshirt, Tee shirts and Football Jersey are much bigger than yours, so you shut up.

    1. SHG Post author

      Drat. I’ve been outgreened. But don’t I get any points for the title of the post? I thought it was one of my best.

          1. Jim Tyre

            Nice! Bet you had that ready for as soon as a comment gave you the opening. (As if you need an opening on your own blog post.) Happy to oblige!

      1. Jim Ryan

        SHG, you do get points for the title of the post, but As/If/When you use “Pugilistic Leprechaun” in a title you win the game.

    2. Jim Tyre

      Mine are all Indians stuff, because Dartmouth was still the Indians when I went there. I hardly recognize the school these days. (No comment on relative size, I don’t know you.)

      1. Jim Ryan

        Hey Jim, you saw me play, Indians to Big Green occurred in 1972 season (Players on the 1972 FB team got to keep the old Indian jerseys). This was part of my “off” year, squeezing 4 years of undergraduate education into 5.

  5. albeed

    After I read your blog I go over and read the C&C blog as a kind of penance. I could not help but note that a certain Associate Law Prof from Georgetown covered the same topic. His feelz appears to be more deeply affected as he stated:

    “I won’t go into the fact that the police have done vastly more to save black lives than all the Dartmouth strongarms put together. I will simply note that, if we want a glimpse at how fascism gets started, BLM is doing us a favor.”

    Obviously, to really prevent fascism, the only appropriate response would appear to be to send in the SWAT team. We cannot simply ignore such childishness and point out the self-evident hypocrisy.

    btw, did the Georgetown law prof lose the argument based on Godwin’s Law? I will not hazard a guess because IANAL. I will note that he appears to be incapable of looking at himself in a mirror.

    1. SHG Post author

      It scares me to no end to think that the Georgetown lawprof and I share any common ground. Fortunately, even when there appears to be overlap, he’ll say something to remind me to thank god I’m not him and I never will be. Even when we’re not exactly antagonistic, we’re still very different.

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