An attempted follow-up to last week’s chaos on U.S. campuses ended in failure after the Black Justice League at Princeton’s call for a day of “national walkouts” failed to gather steam.
At Princeton, student activists from the Black Justice League staged a walkout demanding that the college’s Woodrow Wilson School be renamed. Their justification? Wilson was a racist. Of course. The students also demanded “cultural competency training” for all staff members and “a cultural space on campus dedicated specifically to black students.”
Unlike protests at Yale and Missouri, however, the faculty refused to back down and rejected the Black Justice League’s list of demands. Christopher Eisgruber, the President of Princeton University, gave the protesters a platitude instead: “I appreciate where those demands are coming from. I agree with you, Woodrow Wilson was a racist… In some people, you have good in great measure and evil in great measure.”
In a Facebook post announcing their walkout, the Black Justice League claimed they would be joined by “hundreds of university students across the world” in a “national walkout day.” This has not occurred. Nor did the walkouts receive the kind of media coverage lavished on student protests last week.
The Black Justice League’s failure comes amidst a backlash against campus crazies. The L.A. Times reports a growing counter-movement at Claremont McKenna College, where enraged campus activists recently forced the Dean, Mary Spellman, to resign. An open letter signed by over 300 students called her forced resignation “extremely inappropraite” and attacked campus activists for “cyberbullying” students who wore allegedly offensive costumes at Halloween. The letter also castigated student activists for filing a federal civil rights complaint against the college and for their behaviour towards the college president.
Never have we been more divided as a community. never have we been more humiliated on national television with profanities being yelled at the only college president who will come out and let you berate him for 7 hours. Never did we think we would regret the day we became “BuzzFeed famous.” Never did we think the day would come where we were scared to speak our minds where fear of our fellow students’ rage silenced us.
Professors, too, are becoming more vocal in their condemnation of student activists. In a widely-shared op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Claremont politics professor Charles R. Kesler attacked students for undermining the historic diversity of opinion at the college. He also criticised college staff and faculty for their spinelessness in challenging student demands:
The problem on campuses is that the elder members of the old New Left, and their spiritual descendants, are finding it impossible to object to the demands of the new New Left.
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz has also laid into protesters on The Kelly File, calling them “liberal fascists” who only wanted “superficial” diversity of gender and colour, without diversity of ideas.
Typically, it seems that short attention spans will get the best of the campus crazies. Having had their week of good vibes, campus activists have realised that they actually have to get back to studying if they want to avoid working behind the McDonalds counter.
Meanwhile, the political mainstream of both the left and the right is virtually united in its condemnation of the campus crazies. They have no friends left. Even President Obama — yes President Obama — has condemned “political correctness” on campus in the aftermath of last week’s protests, calling it a “recipe for dogmatism.”