Students at Pomona College in California have written to the outgoing college president, David Oxtoby, to take back his stance on free speech and admit that ‘objectivity is a white supremacist myth.’
The letter called out the president for committing to the First Amendment and freedom of speech and demanded that the school take action against journalists at the school’s on-campus newspaper. This open letter came after an email from President Oxtoby emailed the college believes in “the exercise of free speech and academic freedom”. The college shutdown a protest of Black Lives Matter critic Heather Mac Donald speaking at a neighboring campus.
“Protest has a legitimate and celebrated place on college campuses,” President Oxtoby wrote in the email. “What we cannot support is the act of preventing others from engaging with an invited speaker. Our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth, the collaborative development of knowledge and the betterment of society.”
The liberal students harshly disagreed and claimed that if Mac Donald was allowed to speak, it would be more than just differing opinions, but a debate on “the right of Black people to exist.
Then the trashing of the speaker began:
“Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live.”
The offended students went on to complain, but then ended with a list of demands:
“[An]apology from the president of the college for standing up for free speech on campus and the release of a new statement saying that the college “does not tolerate hate speech and speech that projects violence onto the bodies of its marginalized students and oppressed peoples.”
The students also demand that the college “takes action” — including expulsion from the college — against the staff of the student newspaper for perpetuating “hate speech, anti-Blackness, and intimidation toward students of marginalized backgrounds.”
Isn’t protecting the freedom of speech normally a point of pride? Well, in this case, it is not. Better watch out college presidents. For the full letter, go here.