There’s a professor at Sarah Lawrence, the extremely effete, extremely expensive, extremely progressive, northeast liberal arts college, who, according to students there who have joined together to call themselves the Diaspora Coalition, “attacks black and brown bodies.”
They will not stand for it.
“When black and brown bodies are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Approaching 6th hour of sit-in with over 120 students occupying Westlands. pic.twitter.com/JkTOW58Afl
— The Phoenix (@SLCPhoenix) March 11, 2019
The professor is named Samuel Abrams. He teaches politics. His weapon is ideas, put into words. His words were like knives cutting out their hearts, their souls, their right to never be required to let unorthodox ideas make them confront the possibility that they weren’t entitled.
Having long been a supporter of diversity, not because of the unfair sadness of it all, but because it brought together views and experiences that, when mixed vigorously, would create better ideas and solution, I’ve taken my licks.
But when diverse students not only fail to contribute thought, but rise up to kill it, their “marginalized” involvement detracts from the whole. When inclusion not only fails to improve thought for everyone, but makes everyone stupider, then its justification fails. It becomes a harm rather than a benefit.
The students of this Diaspora Coalition have made demands of the administration of Sarah Lawrence College to make every student there dumber in the service of diversity.
On October 16, 2018, politics professor Samuel Abrams published an op-ed entitled “Think Professors Are Liberal? Try School Administrators” in The New York Times. The article revealed the anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry of Abrams. The article specifically targeted programs such as the Our Liberation Summit, which Abrams did not attend, facilitated by the Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement. The Sarah Lawrence community deserves an administration that strives for an inclusive education that reflects the diversity of our community. Abrams’ derision of the Black Lives Matter, queer liberation, and women’s rights movements displays not only ignorance but outright hostility towards the essential efforts to dismantle white supremacy and other systems of oppression. This threatens the safety and wellbeing of marginalized people within the Sarah Lawrence community by demonstrating that our lives and identities are viewed as “opinions” that we can have a “difference in dialogue” about, as if we haven’t been forced to debate our very existences for our entire lives. We demand that Samuel Abrams’ position at the College be put up to tenure review to a panel of the Diaspora Coalition and at least three faculty members of color. In addition, the College must issue a statement condemning the harm that Abrams has caused to the college community, specifically queer, Black, and female students, whilst apologizing for its refusal to protect marginalized students wounded by his op-ed and the ignorant dialogue that followed. Abrams must issue a public apology to the broader SLC community and cease to target Black people, queer people, and women. (Emphasis in original.)
It would appear that they contribute some vapid jargon to their very prestigious college, but there isn’t an actual thought to be found. Indeed, these words reflect the failure of diversity, that these students have enjoyed the most elite of colleges, of educations, of opportunity, and are coming away with the lesson that their college victimizes them?
They make demands, always a fascinating concept given that they have no leverage to demand anything except the willingness of supine administrators to appease the screamers, lest they too be subject to “tenure review” by the Diaspora Coalition. They demand apologies, by the administration for “its refusal to protect marginalized students” from ideas. They demand an apology from Abrams for the violence his words perpetrated on the oppressed of Sarah Lawrence. And they demand the authority to strip him of tenure and send him packing.
When diversity ceases to contribute to the education of all, and demands that every student be deprived of thought as a consequence of their presence, it fails. It’s not that anyone murdered diversity and inclusion, but that these students have committed diversity suicide by demanding that everyone suffer the detriment of their presence.
Has the justification for diversity proven untenable? Do the “oppressed” students get to dictate to the college that every student must leave Sarah Lawrence College dumber for their having been welcomed there? Should Sarah Lawrence be the hill diversity dies on? Or are the students entitled to demand that they never hear an idea, a thought, that hurts their feelings, and anyone uttering such heresy must suffer their inclusive wrath?
*Tuesday Talk rules apply.