Why I Oppose the Strike

Why I Oppose the Strike

By Publius

An article was submitted by a Haverford student going by the pseudonym “Publius” to the Clerk and Bi-Co News over the weekend, which made an argument against the current strike on Haverford’s campus. The Bi-Co News stated that they were unwilling to publish the article for the duration of the strike. The Clerk, while willing to agree to the article’s publication provided the author reveal their identity, claimed that much of the argument expressed was “problematic” and would have to be edited out. Since Haverford’s publications are placing limits on the free speech of campus, we have been forced to take matters into our own hands. This is one of many opinions being silenced on campus, not just by the press but in social, academic, and extracurricular circles. We hope that this will offer Haverford students, faculty, and administration the opportunity to hear from a variety of voices, and not just those curated by biased journalistic campus institutions. We hope that the student body will have a fair chance to read this material and will not be again denied the opportunity to judge all opinions of the strike on a level playing field.

It’s okay if you don’t agree with all or any of the points of the article. That’s the essence of honest discussion and debate. You do not need to oppose the demands or the spirit of the strike to recognize the problematic atmosphere of silence and exclusion it has caused. But please, as you read this article, amidst the overwhelming flow of voices expressing why the strike is necessary to respond to harm that has been done to students on campus, take a moment to consider those who are being deeply damaged by the intensity of repression taking place in the last few days. And though it may be hard in an environment such as the one we find ourselves in today — witness the fact that we had to physically drop paper all over the school in order for these perspectives to be shared at all — it makes a huge difference to allow some space for those voices. We as the student body have the capacity for disagreement, for conversation, for an open-minded and generous conversation, held in good faith of all speakers no matter their beliefs. This was written by a group of students who care deeply about this college and every student in it; we, much like those organizing and participating in the strike, hope our efforts will bring about a positive change on campus.

A Concerned Group of Haverford Students

============================================================

When I first decided to come to Haverford during my senior year of high school, it was because of Haverford’s commitment to the values of trust, concern, and respect. Trust, to me, meant assuming the best of intentions among your fellow community members, and believing in their inherent goodwill. Concern meant being cognizant of those around you, and being considerate of their emotions and well-being. Respect meant a sense of reverence for every member of our community and their inherent value, regardless of their views or characteristics. These values, I believed, were not enforced by a higher authority, but agreed upon by each member of the community, indicative of our care for one another.

This view of Haverford, as an idealistic utopia, was shaken for me early in my time at this college, and has now been completely crushed. It was destroyed by my horror at the rhetoric and actions over the course of the current strike, a strike that, while it claims to be in support of ending police brutality and protecting people of color, has done more to divide our campus and vilify members of our community than anything I have witnessed during my time at the college. While I stand against police brutality and racial injustice, I feel that the current strike makes these points secondary to forcing other students to agree with all of their conceptions, actions, and demands without objection.

Allow me to be frank: I, and many people like me who are too afraid to speak out, are shocked and hurt. This strike has put into sharp relief many of the issues that accompany divisive rhetoric and moralizing opinions on this campus. I will outline, step by step, the harm that has been done to our college by the actions of the strikers, the demands that have been made, and their individual interactions.

First, I believe that criticisms of President Raymond and Dean Bylander have been blown completely out of proportion. Reading over their email to the student body, I see why some would have found the message hurtful or counterproductive. However, I think the overwhelming intention of the message is quite clear; our school administrators are concerned about the spread of coronavirus on campus if students engage in protests in Philadelphia, as well as having fears for students’ physical safety given the violence that occurred at protests the preceding nights. Indeed, Haverford students were arrested at these protests, as was reported in the Clerk. Therefore, while students might resent the administration moralizing to them, or find Raymond and Bylander’s reference to the finality of Mr. Wallace’s death problematic, I believe their overall intention of protecting our community from harm is clear. Therefore, I was alarmed to learn that the statement by the administrators was being read as “a continuation of a long tradition of anti-Blackness and the erasure of marginalized voices.” To the contrary, I think that President Raymond and Dean Bylander have consistently voiced their commitment to the principle of racial justice on our campus, and taken tangible steps to support progress on this front, all while fielding attacks on their character. I think the statement made by the administration is emblematic of their concern for our community. People, including Soha Saghir in her open letter, have criticized the email for primarily focusing upon Haverford students after a paragraph on Mr. Wallace’s tragic death. President Raymond and Dean Bylander focused upon Haverford because it is their job to be concerned with the well-being of the college. Rather than showing a lack of care regarding the wider situation, I think the email demonstrated their willingness to engage with large, difficult questions and apply them to our college and its students. To be sure, while I think the wording of the email could have been more elegant, I stand by the administrators and their clear concern for the well-being of all members of the Haverford community.

Furthermore, I was greatly disturbed by the lack of social distancing at the march conducted after the vigil on Wednesday night. While advertisements for the vigil stressed the importance of social distancing, the reality at the march featured hundreds of students packed together. This signifies a complete disregard of safety from some of those participating in this strike. In order to protect our community from a coronavirus outbreak, we must all remain committed to making wise choices when it comes to controlling and minimizing disease transmission. The march on Wednesday seemed to disregard this imperative, putting at-risk students, faculty, and staff in harm’s way. 

At the march that commenced the strike, students also reportedly chanted “no good cops in a racist system” at members of our local law enforcement. I find this a sickening disregard for the individuality of police officers. Indeed, some officers may have malicious motives and commit heinous acts. I myself have had a negative and frightening encounter with the police. However, this does not justify the casting of all officers as bad people. Like any large group of people, I believe police officers display a wide range of traits and characteristics; some will be good, and others will be bad. Painting these individuals as inherently malevolent due to their profession is unconscionable. It feeds into the worst human instincts of judging and discriminating against people due to a single characteristic that is extrapolated upon to build a general sense of disdain.

As for the list of demands drafted by the strikers, I believe they advocate for unequal treatment, and dare I say discrimination, against certain members of the community based upon the color of their skin. The strikers demand “academic leniency for BIPOC and/or FGLI students who are traumatized by the effects of COVID and constant police violence in their communities.” As an academic institution, Haverford can and should not provide “leniency” to some students over others based upon their race. We should pride ourselves in our fair and balanced grading, which should seek to judge students solely based on the quality of their work rather than any part of their identity. Furthermore, the strikers demand that “POC staff, especially in the Dining Center, Facilities, and the Coop, should be paid overtime for the duration of the strike.” While I completely agree that the staff in general should be paid for the extra work they are being asked to take on, I feel it is completely antithetical to the idea of equality that POC staff should be paid extra while their white co-workers should not. All members of our staff deserve to be credited and compensated for the extra effort that is being required of them at this time. Only advocating for POC staff seems to again advocate for the differential treatment of people based upon their race. I think this concept is dangerous, and sets a precedent where racial discrimination is not only allowed, but encouraged as a framework towards achieving justice.

Furthermore, the rhetoric surrounding the strike seems to inherently silence and squelch dissent, making students and faculty afraid to publicly question any of the tenets the strikers are propounding. This is why I decided to publish this article anonymously; while I am proud of my views and would have no qualms about voicing them openly, I fear the backlash and hostility that would meet me if my identity were released publicly. Campus organizations have also directly challenged the morality of those who do not follow the strike, threatening them with social repercussions. One striking campus group sent an email stating “Your participation, or the lack thereof, will not be left unnoticed and it represents your support towards the Haverford and larger Black community. You make your stance clear with your actions.” This statement completely paints over the nuance of the situation at hand. It conflates the demands of the strikers with the well-being of the black community at large, not leaving open the possibility that a student could oppose police brutality and racism but not agree with the tactics or messaging of the strikers. This moralizing rhetoric seeks to erase any argument against the strike like the one I articulate above, addressing this situation as non-complex and simply a matter of supporting the black community. These are exactly the conceptions that make students and faculty terrified to voice opposition to the strike in any way. The organizers have made clear that any opposition will be characterized as racist and the people who voice dissent will be socially ostracized. This manifests itself not only on a mass level but in the scope of individual interactions. While I cannot mention specifics, I can confirm that strike organizers used foul words and language suggestive of physical violence towards members of a club they object to. Additionally, on an individual basis, people have shamed others, not only for voicing opposition to the strike, but for saying anything they disagree with. I have heard anecdotal examples of individuals told to “think of the space they take up” and not share their opinions simply because they are white. The concept of judging someone’s right to speak, or the relevance of their argument, simply by demographic factors harkens back to an era when racism was viewed as acceptable within society. In their quest for racial equality, the organizers have inadvertently created a social dynamic that propounds the exclusionary, judgmental, racialized rhetoric that they claim to stand against.

Those involved in this strike often claim that they are standing up for those who have been hurt and marginalized in the Haverford community. This begs the question: is the harm which has been inflicted on this community by the strike, which I outline above, then justified? What if the strike is creating more negativity than it is fixing? I believe the rhetoric and tactics that have been used have done just that, sowing division, conflict, and condescension rather than fixing the problems of racial inequality and a broken criminal justice system that we see in our country.

To finish, to those of you who have felt hesitancy to endorse every aspect of this strike, whether you agree with me on every point I make or not, I hear you, and you are not alone. The repressive environment that the strikers have tried to impose upon our campus only works if we let it. You all have the power to speak up. It is not easy, but it is important. If you want to go to class, do not be afraid to tell your professors. Do not refrain from going to your clubs because you are afraid of being judged. The tactics of the strikers to end dissent and squelch opposition through moralistic pronouncements depends upon the silence of those of us being told to not speak. Do not let their rhetoric weigh you down and make you feel silenced anymore. If you need someone to talk to about everything going on, feel free to reach out to me by email at publiusathaverford@gmail.com. We will all get through this difficult time together.

47 thoughts on “Why I Oppose the Strike

  1. Wow!! Congratulations! You’ve published one of the most pretentious, repulsive, and ignorant articles I’ve ever read. I hope you’re proud of yourself. Maybe the fact that campus publications refused to publish this article due to its offensiveness should have raised some alarms. I guess your arrogance blinds you from understanding the concept of systemic racism, within and beyond this institution. I hope that you never find work in politics.

  2. For once white people are not the protagonist and you get hurt!?! This is not about you jthis is about the BIPOC students who have been silenced since forever. Please take a moment to reflect on your privilege and don’t be so inconsiderate. Where is the trust, respect and concern for your fellow Bipoc??

  3. This is perhaps one of the most ignorant pieces I have ever seen allowed to be published. It is very apparant to me the ways in which this “Plubius” completely disregards any of the strike’s goals and only wishes to complain about the methods in which they choose to go about it. Respectability politics to a tee. I have never been SO PROUD of our student newspapers who refused to publish this garbage, and I have never been more concerned for the department that thinks that openness of debate means platforming people who use academic jargon to hide the fact that they do not like to be challenged. Social backlash to a rightly unpopular opinon is not a silencing of the student voices. Once again, this piece really just displays the ways in which academia can mask people’s racism. The use of faux academic language doesn’t hide the fact that this person wishes to police the ways in which these students are striving for better working and learning enviornments for themselves and their peers. This person erroneously crediting the strike solely to the email reflects how disconnected “Plubius” is to the student body because there have been multiple protests and student organizing for BIPOC students in previous years that have fed into the current strike. I sincerely hope this person learns how their use of respectability and tone policing completely fails to acknowledge the real issues that these students are fighting for.

  4. Publius? More like pee pee poo pee us because you’re spewing straight shit lmao.

  5. I find it quite concerning that you think this article is just a point of view. It screams if reverse-racisme and all lives matter rethoric, that I would expect a professor like you to understand the proboem with these arguments.

  6. The caucasity has truly gotten out of control. You are arguing that there is a lack of options for people who are in agreement that police brutality and racism are heinous, but that those same people are allowed to disagree with the “message” behind the strike. The fact that you fail to realize that the message of the strike IS that police brutality and racism are heinous and that people need to be held accountable for doing the reformative work that they’ve sworn to do, shows your incompetence. Are you sure that you fully read and comprehended the statements made by BIPOC in their letters? Or did you skim it and quit it after realizing that it placed complicit white people on the side of the oppressors rather than the oppressed? Just say you want to be oppressed too and move on. You’re all for equality until it comes at the expense of your own comforts. In any other situation you would be all for connecting people to their actions rather than their words. It’s clear that your intentions here were to incite unrest, as you took it upon yourself to insert your uncultured perspectives onto a POC issue, unprompted. It’s okay to say that you just wanted to protect your frail, cis-male, white egos—it’s not news to anyone.

  7. boo hoo hoo are you sad because the attention isn’t on you for once? because mommy and daddy always said you were a special boy? and now it turns out that in the real world you’re expected to care about other people? oh that must be SOOOO hard for you

    1. Sorry to butt in here … I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well. Irregardless, please do allow me to assist you in writing that better, Better, & “bettre” article of yours which you are hopeful to author “just to clown [Publius].”

      Please consider reading the following commentaries or articles or essays or proposals or writs or missives or memoranda or communiqués or announcements … in *”that” particular order*.

      1) On fake meritocracy, co-authored by a college student and a professor
      (https://damagemag.com/2020/08/31/meritocracy-agonistes/)

      2) Again, on the fake meritocracies, this time from the perspective of a former “overachiever”
      (https://bit.ly/3mIBa6q)

      3) On the college bubble and the idea of mimetic contagion (first articulated by Prof. René Girard who briefly taught at Bryn Mawr in the 50s; http://danwang.co/college-girardian-terror/)

      4) On certain ****annoying, Annoying**** aspects of bourgeois procedural liberalism (https://www.tabletmag.com/…/articles/woke-language-privilege)

      5) “Moral Cruelty and the Left” (https://www.tabletmag.com/…/…/judith-shklar-politics-of-fear)

      6) “Sympathy for the Masochists: On ‘White Fragility’ and the psychology behind the critical reception to anti-racist reading lists” (https://bit.ly/3oG6fJQ)

      7) “The Half-Formed Thought and the Beginning of Wisdom” (https://www.athwart.org/the-half-formed-thought-and-the-be…/)

      8) My own articulation of some serious stuff, which is tenth-rate (either that or second-rate, I suppose) by all means (https://medium.com/…/a-pronouncement-2-those-who-care-8d4e6…)

      9) “Tryhard Latecomers” (https://bit.ly/3kNClRF; a hard-hitting critique undoubtedly)

      10) “Moments of Interruption,” a short video featuring Dr. Cornel West who briefly taught at Haverford in late 80s (https://bit.ly/34Mu9vr, which contains a unifying message)

      Until next time … Coo coo ca-choo!

      Kind regards,

      Your Most Peculiar Comrade Sir Dandy Bugbear

  8. So the writer of this article is the one with the problem? You guys at HC are batshit insane! Really? Striking and expecting to get paid?! Go back to your coloring books and crayons children. Higher education is not for you. You are wasting space and people’s time.

    1. The same with the Bryn Mawr students I know. My favourite quote so far is “not to be ignorant, but what is this strike about? obviously I’m in full support of it, but I just don’t know what’s going on.” Really shows how they can think for themselves. It makes me ashamed to say I go to BMC.

      1. Lots of virtue signaling. I’ve read the demands and I even saw the zoom calls. Absolutely appaling and shows what group think does to people’s minds. Seriously, they don’t even want people to study for their classes! They do, however, expect people to read about hiw everyone and everything is racist. Those writing can, a best, be described as juvenile drivel.

  9. In your criticism of the strike, you imply that the response to President Raymond’s email was an “overreaction” but this sentiment alone reveals your fundamentally limited vision of the strike and its mission. You do not understand that the strike is more than simply a response to a single email, but the consequence of long standing frustration, anger, and pain experienced by many members of the BIPOC community across campus and beyond. Worse, though you claim to support racial justice initiatives, you conspicuously fail to mention the continued existence of the inherently, if not intentionally, racist policy pursued by the college, policy that has been perpetuated by a state of indifference among the student body and faculty. Failure to mention this state of affairs undercuts your proclaimed commitment to fight racism and undermines your credibility when speaking on these issues. Furthermore, the lack of willingness to provide any tangible actions to fight systemic racism in the piece further weakens the strength of your commitment to anti-racist action.

  10. Thank you for this. It is refreshing to hear other students with common sense and reason. It is surprising to come to college and see how little logic is respected compared to an angry mob with false accusations.

  11. “Systemic racism”, along with “White Privilege ” are complete and utter nonsense! Therefore, the strike is unjustifiable. Ultimately, this whole thing is happening because some people got the “feelz” over some perceived B.S.

  12. I do not agree with all of the arguments in this piece, but I strongly agree that the current climate on campus is unacceptable, and the righteous indignation that follows any expression of dissent with the strike deeply disturbs me. I am particularly embarrassed by my fellow students’ celebration of the censorship of this piece; their certainty that their movement should be completely insulated from criticism and that no one could disagree for legitimate reasons greatly worries me.

  13. You really think being asked to think about the space you take up is censorship? If you removed your head from your ass long enough to form one well-reasoned thought you might realize that it’s just part of holding a conversation. But I won’t get my hopes up. Anyway, good cops don’t exist and neither does reverse racism. Take some time to educate yourself about real anti-racist action instead of meaningless platitudes, and learn that you aren’t entitled to a platform for your racist drivel.

  14. Please consider reading the following commentaries or articles or essays or proposals or writs or missives or memoranda or communiqués or announcements … in *that particular order*.

    1) On fake meritocracy, co-authored by a college student and a professor
    (https://damagemag.com/2020/08/31/meritocracy-agonistes/)

    2) Again, on the fake meritocracies, this time from the perspective of a former “overachiever”
    (https://bit.ly/3mIBa6q)

    3) On the college bubble and the idea of mimetic contagion (first articulated by Prof. René Girard who briefly taught at Bryn Mawr in the 50s; http://danwang.co/college-girardian-terror/)

    4) On certain ****annoying, Annoying**** aspects of bourgeois procedural liberalism (https://www.tabletmag.com/…/articles/woke-language-privilege)

    5) “Moral Cruelty and the Left” (https://www.tabletmag.com/…/…/judith-shklar-politics-of-fear)

    6) “Sympathy for the Masochists: On ‘White Fragility’ and the psychology behind the critical reception to anti-racist reading lists” (https://bit.ly/3oG6fJQ)

    7) “The Half-Formed Thought and the Beginning of Wisdom” (https://www.athwart.org/the-half-formed-thought-and-the-be…/)

    8) My own articulation of some serious stuff, which is tenth-rate (either that or second-rate, I suppose) by all means (https://medium.com/…/a-pronouncement-2-those-who-care-8d4e6…)

    9) “Tryhard Latecomers” (https://bit.ly/3kNClRF; a hard-hitting critique undoubtedly)

    10) “Moments of Interruption,” a short video featuring Dr. Cornel West who briefly taught at Haverford in late 80s (https://bit.ly/34Mu9vr, which contains a unifying message)

    Until next time … Coo coo ca-choo!

    Kind regards,

    Your Most Peculiar Comrade Sir Dandy Bugbear

  15. Reposting ~~ (apropos of nought, Poli Phi >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Poli Sci)

    FWIW,

    1) On fake meritocracy, co-authored by a college student and a professor
    (https://damagemag.com/2020/08/31/meritocracy-agonistes/)

    2) Again, on the fake meritocracies, this time from the perspective of a former “overachiever”
    (https://bit.ly/3mIBa6q)

    3) On the college bubble and the idea of mimetic contagion (first articulated by Prof. René Girard who briefly taught at Bryn Mawr in the 50s; http://danwang.co/college-girardian-terror/)

    4) On certain ****annoying, Annoying**** aspects of bourgeois procedural liberalism (https://www.tabletmag.com/…/articles/woke-language-privilege)

    5) “Moral Cruelty and the Left” (https://www.tabletmag.com/…/…/judith-shklar-politics-of-fear)

    6) “Sympathy for the Masochists: On ‘White Fragility’ and the psychology behind the critical reception to anti-racist reading lists” (https://bit.ly/3oG6fJQ)

    7) “The Half-Formed Thought and the Beginning of Wisdom” (https://www.athwart.org/the-half-formed-thought-and-the-be…/)

    8) My own articulation of some serious stuff, which is tenth-rate (either that or second-rate, I suppose) by all means (https://medium.com/…/a-pronouncement-2-those-who-care-8d4e6…)

    9) “Tryhard Latecomers” (https://bit.ly/3kNClRF; a hard-hitting critique undoubtedly)

    10) “Moments of Interruption,” a short video featuring Dr. Cornel West who briefly taught at Haverford in late 80s (https://bit.ly/34Mu9vr, which contains a unifying message)

    Until next time … Coo coo ca-choo!

    Kind regards,

    Your Most Peculiar Comrade Sir Dandy Bugbear

  16. Hey Publius – you did a great job describing the feelings of the silent majority on the campus. Don’t let these stupid arrogant remarks prevent you from moving your own cause further. People have the right to voice their opinion and vent their anger on both sides. Keep up the good work Publius. There are many that stand behind you. They just prefer to avoid confrontation with the mob mentality. Nothing wrong with that.

    1. Silent majority? You sound like Trump.
      Around 700 students on Haverford’s campus came to a three hour protest and march with only a few hours protest. In the days following, more than 700 students signed the striking document. You are not the majority. The majority seeks racial justice, and we won’t be discouraged by the few people who are too blinded by their privilege or fragility to help us.

  17. Thank you for sharing your perspective and opening a door for discussion from which we can all learn from each other and grow. I’m sorry some of these comments are posted without thought and consideration.

  18. Hello Publius. You have not paid enough attention to the history of racism both at Haverford and in America in general. This strike is about much more than just the inappropriate remarks in Raymond’s and Bylander’s email. This is in large part about a longer history of Black students not being treated fairly and disenfranchised by educational systems (including and particularly with regards to Haverford), and Black lives being dismissed.

    There is so much I could say about this appalling letter, but since I don’t have all day to deconstruct every horrifying thing you’ve said here, I’d like to address just a few of your many extremely faulty (and often downright disgusting) sentiments in particular:

    “First, I believe that criticisms of President Raymond and Dean Bylander have been blown completely out of proportion.”
    This opinion represents a lack of attention to the longer history of racism at this college. The strike was catalyzed by the email and the insensitive, inappropriate statements within it, but is not solely based on it. The strike organizers have outlined some of that history, and you can check it out within the letters and emails they have been sending out, or in their Instagram posts.

    “Allow me to be frank: I, and many people like me who are too afraid to speak out, are shocked and hurt.”
    If you’re shocked and hurt by a disruption to a system with a longstanding tradition of racism and disenfranchisement, take a minute and imagine how POC students–against whom that racism and disenfranchisement work to suppress, oppress, and subdue–at this college have felt shocked and hurt for decades. Their shock and pain is far greater and has lasted far longer than yours.

    “Like any large group of people, I believe police officers display a wide range of traits and characteristics; some will be good, and others will be bad.”
    All police officers in this country participate in an inherently racist system, which was founded on the desire to protect white interests and not Black lives. Those who participate in a malevolent and racist system are wrong for doing so. Police across the country use unacceptable and brutal violence, especially against Black and POC people, and kill Black people 2.5 times more than they kill white people (https://thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu/2020/06/why-all-cops-are-bad). I do not care what they do in their personal lives, or if they’re so-called “good cops:” their participation in the system is wrong and if they want to do better they should quit the force.

    “These values [of trust, concern, and respect], I believed, were not enforced by a higher authority, but agreed upon by each member of the community, indicative of our care for one another. This view of Haverford, as an idealistic utopia, was shaken for me early in my time at this college, and has now been completely crushed.”
    This strike seeks to achieve all three of these values. Students are embodying a trust in this system by striking. They believe that this institution can make changes, and are trying to reach a point where they can trust in the administration to make tangible resolutions to improve the wellbeing of Black and POC students and the role of Haverford in the community at large. They embody concern, too: they are concerned for not only themselves, but also for the Black students who will come after them; a number of the organizers and strikers are upperclassmen who want to pave a smoother road for those who will walk in their footsteps. They are concerned about justice and racism at Haverford. Last but not least, they are seeking to achieve respect for the Black and POC students of this college. A respectful institution means respect for all–genuine, real respect, with structures in place to end the disenfranchisement minorities face here.

    Do you think that Haverford students are striking on a whim? Do you think we’re disrupting the system because our ever-so-fragile feelings were oh-so-hurt by a single email? Do you feel like a sad little victim because some people want to be treated with fairness and respect?

    Think harder about this, Publius. Your arguments are not logical and thoughtful like you think they are. This strike is not about you. Our actions are not for your comfort. You don’t get to ignore what is just and right and then expect everyone to fall in line while being hurt by this institution. Get away from your safe anonymous computer and go reflect on what we’re all saying here.

    1. Hello. I hope you and and loved ones are keeping well. Irregardless, I have got a reading assignment that you (and I) may find helpful. Respectfully yours,

      * Mr. Bruce A. Dixon (activist; thinker; former Black Panther Party member) “Intersectionality is a Hole. Afro-Pessimism is a Shovel. We Need to Stop Digging.”
      (https://www.blackagendareport.com/intersectionality-hole-afro-pessimism-shovel-we-need-stop-digging-part-1-3)

      * The Bellows Conversation with Adolph Reed Jr. and Walter Benn Michaels (https://youtu.be/6SRSmufe-I4)
      – 1. The Crisis of Labour and the Left in the United States (https://socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/22109)
      – 2. “Driven from New Orleans: How ****Nonprofits**** Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatisation” https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/driven-from-new-orleans
      – 3. “Labor Party Time? Not Yet.” http://www.thelaborparty.org/d_lp_time.htm

      * Kelefa Sanneh’s thorough fisking of both Kendi and DiAngelo (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/19/the-fight-to-redefine-racism)

      * Thomas Chatterton Williams on Ibram X. Kendi’s work (https://twitter.com/thomaschattwill/status/1271797793896742912?s=20)

      * A moving, nuanced, provocative conversation with Thomas Chatterton Williams on unlearning race, the politics and poetics of belonging, resilience, & victimhood, the complexities of the Self, and relating to different *and* universally human worlds through literature (https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-singular-power-of-writing-a-conversation-with-thomas-chatterton-williams/)

      * Jesse McCarthy and Jon Baskin. “On Integration”
      (https://thepointmag.com/letter/on-integration/)

      * Matthew McKnight writes about Albert Murray’s ‘The Omni-Americans’(https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/the-omni-americans)

      * Simone de Beauvoir The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947)
      (https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/ethics/de-beauvoir/ambiguity/)

      * Chloé Simone Valdary. “Whiteness is Blackness, and Blackness is Whiteness” (https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/chloe-simone-valdary/whiteness-blackness-blackness-whiteness/)

      * Adolph Reed Jr. “Socialism and the Argument against Race Reductionism”
      (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1095796020913869?journalCode=nlfa)

      * Matt Taibbi. “The American Press is Destroying Itself”

      (https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-news-media-is-destroying-itself)

      * Glenn Loury’s “When Black Lives Matter: On the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America,” lecture at Brown University’s International Advanced Research Institutes
      (https://youtu.be/8IEsCnsSnxg)

      * Wesley Yang
      1. on certain aspects and consequences of “cultural entrepreneurship”(https://twitter.com/wesyang/status/1271482801850847234?s=20)
      2. on some certain controversy at Conde Nast (https://twitter.com/wesyang/status/1272070458628767749?s=20)

  19. Dear Publius,

    Thank you for this article. I find it appalling that neither school newspapers would publish it, but not surprising. I graduated from Haverford and I find many aspects of the strike to be ridiculous. I have read every article and outline published by all student groups involved and I additionally find some (but not all) of the goals and demands made to be outrageous, offensive, and hypocritical. The more I talk to my fellow alumni and read the instagram updates, the more I see the strike as a ploy for students to victimize themselves. Additionally, I am saddened to see the students of Haverford make a horrific tragedy in Philadelphia about themselves — because it is clear that they no longer care at all about the Wallace shooting and are just striking so they can feel like they’re “taking on the man” and “disrupting the status quo”.

    Publius, I support you and although I doubt we would agree on all opinions, I support your right to share those opinions without fear of retribution. I am sorry for what Haverford has become and I am glad that I am no longer on that campus.

    Oh, and before I get a bunch of people calling me out for not understanding the strike and the needs of the BIPOC students, I’ll say that I am BIPOC and I am FGLI, and I’ve experienced racism both on and off that campus. So all the white knights that love to tell other white people that they’re racist, hold your tongue. Because I support BLM and I support reevaluating the police budget, but I definitely don’t need some white privileged SJW to try and lecture me on racism and not understanding my own peoples’ needs while they feel like they’re doing something that “matters” by downplaying the actual injustices that happen in my community as something that’s equal to what Haverford student’s face.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I am BIPOC and LGBTQ+ and cannot agree more with your final paragraph. I am so sick of white SJWs making horrific injustices that happen to actually distressed people about themselves while claiming that other people are doing so. I hope they enjoy getting high on moral supremacy and drunk on power by calling BIPOC people racists (I do not doubt they would call you that if you did not state your identity).

  20. Hello all, I am the ghost of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. As you know, I have ample experience with corruption, and let me tell you something. Something is rotten in the state of Haverford College.

    Most particularly, lies lies lies. Commenters claim the strike is about protecting BIPOC against police brutality and systemic injustice. Oh really? Where were you when Joe Biden nominated Kamala Harris as his VP? Where were you when MegaCorps exploited Chinese and South Asian children for their labor in order to drive down commodity prices? Where were you when undocumented Mexican immigrants were being paid slave wages and becoming an underclass in American society? Why do none of you know that gentrification in Harlem was started by the black upper-middle class? Some of you no doubt had the decency to protest kids in cages, that’s good, but otherwise you all talk the talk but don’t seem to walk the walk.

    So many people claim that Publius is using academic jargon in order to obscure an innate vapidity. Very well. What do you call the entire woke lexicography that seems designed to exclude people from discussion unless they are in “the know”? It is an arcane set of academic jargons that nobody can understand unless they have a degree in the Humanities. Fortunately, some of us are well-read enough to see right through the deception. What do you call all of the comments here prattling on about “systemic racism” and “traumas” and “positionality” and “privilege” and “histories of marginalization” and appealing to history, that oft-mistreated maiden. Indeed, your claims and demands are incoherent unless one is inducted into your system of thinking. Orwell is especailly helpful here: “There are some ideas so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.”

    Meanwhile, for all your compassion, you fail to look at realities of power on the ground right now. The student strike at HC is nothing more than the extension of woke power. Hundreds of students are striking. You are no underclass.

    Mostly, how dare you lie. You are all lying. Lying that systemic racism at Haverford College is some kind of literal warzone where your lives are at constant risk due to the specter of racism. Last I checked, we have 3 Customs People devoted to protecting marginalized identities, almost a dozen affinity groups, several Deans of diversity, and numerous programs and posters plastered all around campus in favor of diversity, inclusion, etc. You even have the administration conducting false confessions reminiscent of the old Soviet Union. “Yes, we are racist, yes, I am white, yes, we have not done enough.” More cowardice, more lies.

    And lying that the ostracism experienced by people who disagree with the protests is not real. Lying that this is done in the name of racial equality alone, and that your conduct is anything short of soft terrorism against those infidels who fail to agree. Lying that the people in the surrounding townships are with you! They are not! The proletariat is not with you! In fact, they despise you.

    Let those who read these comments bear witness! People making vicious attacks! People making jokes about feces in order to shame Publius! Good people of Haverford, I ask you, kindly: what the fuck?

    Your lies have created a regime of terror on Haverford’s campus far greater than the oppression you claim to experience. Robespierre would be proud. So, so proud. Your strike has harms. Real harms. Against your peers. Your actions have harms. And you are all. . .

    Lying cowards.

    Am I wrong? Prove me wrong. Give me examples of times you’ve experienced racism at HC. I’m, waiting.

    My dear Publius,

    Our enemies claim to care about human flourishing. They claim to espouse the values of compassion and love. They do not. Otherwise they would have looked in the mirror and realize the terror they inflict with personal attacks, social ostracism, and mob intimidation.

    Do not be fooled.

    Oh, and for those who wish to accuse me of privilege, I am not white, I am neurodiverse, and I have a disability.

    1. Friends … Possibly of interest ~~

      1. Cornel West and Adolph Reed Jr Speak on Higher Education (https://youtu.be/5fEa1QCaYkU)

      2. “Race and Class in the Age of Obama” Adolph Reed Jr’s lecture at Villanova (https://youtu.be/iF6ruCDHxuU)

      3. Thomas Frank on Anti-Populism, Plus Biden’s Most-Stoned Moment Ever (https://youtu.be/v5mIKZZrNoo)

      4. Crashing the Party: From the Bernie Sanders Campaign to a Progressive Movement (https://youtu.be/CCGuCGh_8MI)

  21. Thank you for your courage in writing this article, Publius. I may not agree with everything you had to say, and I think some of your arguments could have been worded a tiny bit better, but I immensely admire the thoughtful work you have put in here. I find this to be a well-intentioned attempt at establishing a dialogue to start rebuilding the mutual trust, concern, and respect that have clearly been lost in Haverford’s community. You are not alone in your concerns for Haverford’s community. All my best

  22. Ahhh, the impatience of youth soaked in the hubris of uninformed righteousness. History doth repeats, as it always does. The counterculture movement of the 60’s is in charge, yet they are now the purveyor’s of institutional racism and a plethora of other injustices. Who woulda thunk? In forty years, these students will be the evil old guard.

    Haverford is a woke community of bullies. So certain in their beliefs that they convince themselves that they are exempt from their profound hypocrisy.

    Kids, it’s a college. Stop your gang style beat down of a small, effete liberal arts campus with a timid administration that actually agrees with you. This is pathetic.

    Let me give you a a graduate course in effecting positive change. It takes time, perseverance, patience, a strong sense of purpose, integrity, morality, and courage. Revolutionary change rarely works, since it is not organically sown in the culture. A society needs to grow together. A sudden transformation is rare, and just about always fails with the potential for ominous consequences. Understand history and human nature, then grab a mirror.

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