Dartmouth College’s vice provost for student affairs is attempting to comfort the raucous “Black Lives Matter” activists who unleashed a disruptive, hostile, obscenity-strewn tirade on students studying in the school’s library.
“There’s a whole conservative world out there that’s not being very nice,” vice-provost Inge-Lise Ameer said, according to The Dartmouth campus newspaper.
Ameer also tried to excuse the library invasion by pointing to the school’s press release on Monday, which says that administrators received “no complaints of physical violence.”
The failure to condemn the library invasion came in response to national media criticism – including from Breitbart News – of the protest, which included attempted racial slurs against the students in the library.
The Dartmouth Review reported that last Thursday, some 150 “black-clad” Black Lives Matter protesters pushed and shoved students and hurled racial epithets (i.e., “F*** you, you filthy white f***s!” “F*** you and your comfort!” “F*** you, you racist s***!”) in the college’s library.
The college’s release indicates the school denies any physical violence occurred during the protest – which was organized by Dartmouth’s chapter of the NAACP – and it blamed prior vandalism of a Black Lives Matter art exhibit for causing the protest:
In response to the vandalization of a Black Lives Matter art installation in Collis Center, Dartmouth students organized a large, peaceful meeting on the night of November 12 in support of the national Black Lives Matter movement. Following the demonstration, a smaller group moved to the Baker-Berry library, where they launched a political protest.
The College is and will continue to follow up on any complaints related to the protest. As of today, no complaints of physical violence have been made.
Dartmouth is committed to the principles of free speech, public protest, and inclusivity and understands that these ideals may sometimes conflict with one another; however, the safety, well-being, and support of all Dartmouth students remain our highest priorities.
Hans Bader, a Washington lawyer who practiced education law and previously was on staff at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, tells Breitbart News:
As a lawyer, I am disgusted that confronted with published, credible reports of racial harassment committed by protesters, Dartmouth’s administration would apologize to those responsible for the protest (effectively condoning harassment, including invasive and threatening behavior), rather than warning against acts of racial harassment. It is not remotely acceptable behavior to disrupt someone’s studies by physically menacing them, and saying “f**k your white asses” or “filthy white b****.”
According to The Dartmouth, campus police officers who monitored the Black Lives Matter protest also denied witnessing any acts of assault or violence. The report continues:
Several students interviewed by The Dartmouth reported witnessing chants including expletives, such as “F**k your white privilege” and “F**k your comfort.” Several students also said they witnessed a group of women crying on First Floor Berry in response to the demonstration.
Two students reported that demonstrators entered their private study rooms and blocked the doorway, while others said that demonstrators singled out some students by name and circled around others’ desks while chanting. No students reported witnessing or experiencing any sort of physical violence, though some expressed that they felt uncomfortable or intimidated by the protest.
NAACP president Jonathan Diakanwa ’16 said there were incidents of close verbal confrontations between individuals, and that although these students could have been uncomfortable or scared, there was no physical violence of any kind.
NAACP vice president Tsion Abera ’17 also said that there is no truth to the allegations of violence.
“These allegations of physical assault are lies to make white students look like the victims and students of color to look like the perpetrators,” Abera said. “The protest was meant to shut down the library. Whatever discomfort that many white students felt in that library is a fraction of the discomfort that many Natives, blacks, Latina and LGBTQ people feel frequently.”
The Dartmouth also reports, “Many students who witnessed the actions of the protesters approached by The Dartmouth declined to comment for this article.”
The college newspaper, nevertheless, provides the following account:
On First Floor Berry, many demonstrators spoke about their struggles at Dartmouth as a [sic] students of color and challenged and yelled at students who were sitting on the other side of the library to stand up and support the movement.
Many of the demonstrators then approached the sitting students and chanted “F**k your white privilege” and “F**k your white asses,” demonstrator Dan Korff-Korn ’19 said.
“It was important to point out that the students sitting there in the library at the computers represented this greater degree of ignorance, apathy and privilege that you see at Dartmouth, but the way it was done by personally attacking people was counterproductive,” Korff-Korn said.
David Tramonte ’18, who was not involved in or present at the library during the demonstration, said he heard from some students in the library that students were verbally assaulted and that some cried in response to this treatment.
“While I don’t think the protest should happen again to the extent where people are being yelled at and making people cry, I think the invasion of space needed to be done,” Tramonte said, reportedly adding that “many white students were angered by the protest and the language used, but the protest should not be labeled as a hate crime or racist.
Diakanwa, as reported by The Dartmouth, said “comments such ‘F*** your white privilege’ were not personal or racist attacks on individual white persons in the library,” but apparently instead “meant to target the legacy of white supremacy that many students have benefited from and students of color are fighting against.”
Dartmouth College president Phil Hanlon reportedly sent a campus-wide email following the protest and the national media attention. The Dartmouth report states, in his email, Hanlon discusses the benefits of “free expression and the open exchange of ideas,” while acknowledging the importance of inclusion and safety on campus.
Despite the apology from Ameer to the Black Lives Matter activists, apparently the Dartmouth NAACP was not impressed with Hanlon’s email response to their protest. Abera reportedly said his response demonstrated that people of color were not supported by the administration. NAACP chapter secretary Abbeygale Anderson called Hanlon’s words “political rhetoric and fluff.”
“Dartmouth’s administration is manifesting deliberate indifference to racial harassment by expressing a retaliatory animus towards those documenting it in published press reports, so it would not be a surprise if it has received few reports of violence from the victims – discourage complaints, and you won’t get many,” said Bader, who also posted his comments on The Dartmouth website. “Apologies are due the victims of racial harassment — not those who effectively condoned or committed it in the course of their protest.”
As Breitbart News reported in February, Dartmouth’s geography and African and African-American studies programs began offering a new course during the 2015 spring term titled “10 Weeks, 10 Professors: #BlackLivesMatter.” The class was purported to cover issues of race, inequality, and violence both historically and in the present day.
Abigail Neely, a Dartmouth geography professor, said the idea for the class originated in a workshop in which faculty were encouraged to incorporate the 2014 events in Ferguson, Missouri — including the fact that Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the shooting of strong-arm robbery suspect Michael Brown — into their courses.
“We just thought that it might be interesting and innovative and exciting to have a course that’s dedicated to this, whereas lots of other people are incorporating it into other courses,” Neely said.