The Trustees of Evergreen State College of Washington State listened to testimony from faculty and students this week about the raucous student protests that made the Olympia WA campus a focus of national attention. Protests in May were sparked when Professor Bret Weinstein, a Democrat, objected to an event in which white people were banned campus-wide for a day.
Weinstein had to be removed from the campus during the protests for his own safety. At the hearing, he asked the trustees if they knew how bad the situation on the campus had become. In his testimony before the trustees, Weinstein said, “Do you know that the college descended into literal anarchy? For days the campus was not under control of the state; it was under the control of protesters. There were assaults. There were batteries. There was pressure not to report crimes to the police. People were, by the legal definition I believe, kidnapped and imprisoned. That included faculty members and administrators. Others were hunted on the campus.”
Weinstein went on to say, “Lawless bands roamed the campus unimpeded. Police were physically and intentionally blocked by protesters. Police were cruelly, systematically and personally taunted. They were humiliated and forced to stand down by the president. Students that held different opinions were, by the protesters’ own analysis, stalked, harassed.” He added that their names, photos, addresses and telephone numbers were distributed online.
Referring to the college’s president, George S. Bridges, who bowed to protesters’ demands by relieving them of their responsibility to turn in assignments, Weinstein said, “Do you know that although the code of conduct is supposed to protect all of us, that Dr. Bridges decided to selectively suspend it, giving some students license to threaten others?”
Also a female student, identified as MacKenzie, offered a statement in which she expressed fears that white people are being targeted by radicalized students. She told the trustees, “If you offer any sort of alternative viewpoint, which I do have, and you’re kind of the enemy.” Referring to how university administrators handled the protests, MacKenzie said, “This behavior has actually been encouraged and because of this I feel like people are becoming more violent and the campus is becoming more of an unsafe place.” She said that at some meetings where she attempted to speak, “I’ve been told several times that I’m not allowed to speak because I’m white.”
Referring to the environment she encounters at the college, MacKenzie said, “This school seems to focus so much on race that it is actually becoming more racist in a different sort of way. And because I say that—because I choose not to focus on race I have actually been labeled a racist and a white supremacist. If anyone took the time to actually know me, it’s not true at all.”