Albion College President: ‘Privileged’ People Should Be Made Uncomfortable

Protesters rally at Teachers College at Columbia University October 10, 2007, in New York
Mario Tama/Getty Images

The President of Albion College turned some heads last month when he said that privileged people should be made to feel “uncomfortable” from time to time.

Albion College President Mauri Ditzler came under fire this week after old comments surfaced via an audio tape acquired by the Free Beacon. In a conversation with a student whose girlfriend was physically and verbally harassed by anti-racism protesters during a demonstration on campus, Ditlzer says it’s “appropriate that all of us of privilege feel uncomfortable from time to time.”

“Are you aware of this harassment and what are you going to do about this?” the student asked Ditzler during the conversation. “Obviously, on a busy day, lots of protests, on a hot day, lots of things happening, people are going to make statements they regret,” Ditzler responded. Ditzler conceded that the demonstration got out of hand.

Speaking to the College Fix earlier in October, Ditzler refuted the claim that he justified the harassment of the student’s girlfriend on the basis of her privilege. “I noted that peaceful demonstrations were designed to make us feel uncomfortable,” he said. “Many of those demonstrating report feeling uncomfortable every day. Those made uncomfortable by the demonstration experienced that for a day.”

“I went on to say that I was not uncomfortable walking past the protest, but my reaction was an example of how privilege (mine in this example) causes all of us to view events differently when we are in a privileged position,” Ditzler continued. “Reports of physical altercations may be accurate, [but] reports that I endorsed those actions or that I said that they were deserved are false.”

“As a campus community, we will continue to discuss issues of diversity and inclusion—and we will focus that discussion on our students, faculty and staff,” the representative added. “Our paramount responsibility is to provide a safe, respectful learning and living environment for all of our students,” he finished.

Ditzler has faced criticism on social media.


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