The ordeal of Bret Weinstein

The Wall Street Journal calls on Evergreen State College biology professor Bret Weinstein to explain the ordeal in which he is engulfed. Professor Weinstein provides the back story in the column “The campus mob came for me–and you, professor, could be next.” Professor Weinstein observes forthrightly: “Evergreen has slipped into madness. You don’t need the news to tell you that—the protesters’ own videos will do.” Professor Weinstein has the rest of the story, starring the college president.

Tucker Carlson looked in on the story last week in the segment below.

Legal Insurrection has been following the story. Bill Jacobson’s most recent post looks back on “The campus inquisition at Evergreen State College.” The site Simple Justice commented “Bret Weinstein meets the downward spiral of social justice.”

College Fix updates the story in “NEW VIDEO: Madness reigns at Evergreen State College as students ‘take over.’” At Storify, John-Paul Pagano also looks at the “Evergreen State College town hall meeting.”

In the category of self-help, Heterodox Academy’s Jonathan Haidt outlines “The blasphemy case against Bret Weinstein, and its four lessons for professors.” Taking account of events at Yale, Duke and now Evergreen, Professor Haidt draws these four lessons (footnote and links omitted):

There are several lessons that American professors can draw from these three events:

1) Never object to a diversity policy publicly. It is no longer permitted. You may voice concerns in a private conversation, but if you do it in a public way, you are inviting a visit from a mob or punishment from an administrator.

2) Do not assume that being politically progressive will protect you (as Weinstein and the Christakises found out). Whatever your politics, you are eventually going to say or do something that will be interpreted incorrectly and ungenerously. Your intentions don’t matter (as Dean Spellman found out at CMC.) This is especially true if your university offers students training in the detection of microaggressions.

3) If a mob comes for you, there is a good chance that the president of your university will side with the mob and validate its narrative (as the presidents at Yale and Evergreen have done, although the presidents at Middlebury and Claremont McKenna did not).

4) If a mob comes for you, the great majority of its members will be non-violent. However, given the new standard operating procedure (which I described in a recent Chronicle article entitled “Intimidation is the New Normal”) you must assume that one or more of its members is willing to use violence against you, and you can assume that many members of the mob believe that violence against you is morally justifiable.

Read the whole thing here.

There is more to be said about this affair — angles including the supremacy of race, the fascist modus operandi, the power plays inside the asylum, the burgeoning academic dystopia — but these materials should help us think it through.

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