Evergreen State College professor Bret Weinstein, who was berated by a shrieking student mob demanding his resignation for opposing an event asking white people to leave campus for a day, has been told not to set a foot on university due to safety concerns.
“I have been told by the Chief of Police it’s not safe for me to be on campus,” Weinstein told King5.com, prompting him to hold his Thursday class in a park.
A university administrator confirmed the police department recommended the professor stay away from campus, claiming it “might be best to stay off campus for a day or so.”
Students protested Weinstein because he opposed “A Day of Absence” event asking white people to leave campus for a day, breaking from the tradition in which people of color leave campus while white students and faculty members attend anti-racism workshops.
“There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under appreciated roles … and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away,” Weinstein wrote in the controversial email, prompting accusations of racism.
“I would encourage others to put phenotype aside and reject this new formulation … On a college campus, one’s right to speak—or to be—must never be based on skin color.”
@EvergreenStCol To be clear: the police told me I am not safe on campus. They can not protect me. Students in jeopardy. No contact from admin. George?
— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) May 25, 2017
This led to a mob of students confronting Weinstein, shouting him down and cursing at him while the professor tried to reason with his enraged accusers. “There’s a difference between debate and dialectic,” the professor told the students in a video captured by a student.
“Debate means you are trying to win, dialectic means you are using disagreement to discover what is true. I am not interested in debate. I am only interested in dialectic, which does mean I listen to you, and you listen to me.”
A student shouted at Weinstein: “We don’t care what terms you want to speak on. This is not about you. We are not speaking on terms—on terms of white privilege. This is not a discussion. You have lost that one.”
Weinstein denied student allegations that he’s a racist. “When one opposes these proposals, what happens is one is stigmatized as ‘anti-equity’ and because I am light-skinned the narrative suggests I’m a person who has benefited from privilege and that I’m trying to preserve that privilege in the face of a legitimate challenge,” he told the local media outlet.
The professor held his Thursday class in the park, gathering almost 20 of his students, who expressed support for him and denying that he’s a racist.
“If he feels unsafe or frightened for two days, he can only imagine what black and brown bodies have feared for years,” said one of the protesting students, Marissa Parker, after hearing that Weinstein was urged not to come to campus.