Oh, how familiar. Via Stephanie – at Dartmouth,
some students at Dartmouth College interrupted an evening of entertainment for prospective students with a brief protest against racism, homophobia, sexism, and rape culture on campus. This protest was met by additional racism, homophobia, sexism, and rape culture in comments posted online. The college cancelled classes for a day to address the problem.
And how are they addressing the problem? By blaming both parties – the people making anonymous threats and racist sexist comments, and the people protesting that kind of thing.
Sy Mukherjee, who graduated from Dartmouth in 2012, explains.
In a campus-wide email sent out on Friday, Dartmouth College’s Board of Trustees Chair Steve Mandel appeared to equate the actions of sexual assault protesters with the subsequent death and rape threats made against them by several other Dartmouth students on anonymous online forums and message boards.
Familiar. So, very, familiar.
Although the email was likely distributed to quell tensions, its blanket language lumping the actions of student protesters with those making threats of physical harm against them as equivalent “declines in civility” are more likely to inflame them. The missive also glosses over the relevant detail that many of the protesters weren’t just speaking out against “what they say” are incidents of sexual assault, racism, and homophobia on campus — they are actually victims of those very crimes and social ills. The website Real Talk Dartmouth has chronicled the events that inspired the initial protest, as well as the hateful comments that some Dartmouth students have made in its aftermath.
And – oh how sad for Dartmouth’s administration – at least some of those prospective students are thinking Dartmouth doesn’t sound like such a nice place after all.
The message boards, and the generally hateful comments posted on the student newspaper’s website, have highlighted sentiments that previously bubbled below the surface. One prospective student at the school found this particularly illustrative, as he or she highlighted in the newspaper’s comments section:
I was a prospective student who witnessed the protest. Though a little stunned at first, I found the demonstration to be interesting but in no way influential at the time to my impression of Dartmouth. If anything, it added a realistic layer to a seemingly perfect campus. However, reading these comments has had a far greater impact on my impression of Dartmouth. The reaction to the protests has given me reason to reconsider my enrollment. The comments here depict the very perspectives that the protesters sought to reveal (but that most of us prospective students assumed was being exaggerated). You folks are mean and intolerant. I’m really glad I saw these comments before deciding where to spend my next four years. It won’t be Dartmouth.
Imagine going off to university, all eager for the treat, and finding it full of the same kind of shits who made your high school hell.