'Students Of Color' At NY College Stage Sit-In, Hurl 9-Page List Of Demands, Target Conservative Professor | The Daily Wire
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‘Students Of Color’ At NY College Stage Sit-In, Hurl 9-Page List Of Demands, Target Conservative Professor

By  Hank Berrien

On Monday, students at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York, who referred to themselves as “students of color,” staged a large sit-in and presented the university with a laundry list of demands, one of which was for a “tenure review” of a professor whose op-ed in The New York Times offended them because of his supposed “anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry.”

Professor Samuel Abrams had published an op-ed in The New York Times last October 16 in which he wrote that he had received an email from a senior staff member in the Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement at Sarah Lawrence soliciting ideas from the Sarah Lawrence community for a conference titled “Our Liberation Summit.” Abrams wrote, “The conference would touch on such progressive topics as liberation spaces on campus, Black Lives Matter and justice for women as well as for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and allied people.”

Abrams then noted the politically one-sided nature of the conference, writing, “As a conservative-leaning professor who has long promoted a diversity of viewpoints among my (very liberal) faculty colleagues and in my classes, I was taken aback by the college’s sponsorship of such a politically lopsided event. The email also piqued my interest in what sorts of other nonacademic events were being organized by the school’s administrative staff members.”

He added, “I soon learned that the Office of Student Affairs, which oversees a wide array of issues including student diversity and residence life, was organizing many overtly progressive events — programs with names like ‘Stay Healthy, Stay Woke,’ ‘Microaggressions’ and ‘Understanding White Privilege’ — without offering any programming that offered a meaningful ideological alternative. These events were conducted outside the classroom, in the students’ social and recreational spaces.”

Abrams cited a “nationally representative sample of roughly 900 ‘student-facing’ administrators” and found “liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-to-one. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal.” He commented, “It’s no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided … It appears that a fairly liberal student body is being taught by a very liberal professoriate — and socialized by an incredibly liberal group of administrators.”

Abrams concluded, “This warped ideological distribution among college administrators should give our students and their families pause. To students who are in their first semester at school, I urge you not to accept unthinkingly what your campus administrators are telling you. Their ideological imbalance, coupled with their agenda-setting power, threatens the free and open exchange of ideas, which is precisely what we need to protect in higher education in these politically polarized times.”

In November, within hours of the publication of his op-ed, Abrams was harshly targeted by leftists; he wrote:

Within hours, my office door and surrounding corridor was vandalized. Pictures of my family were taken and bumper stickers that I had placed on the door to create a welcoming environment for students were stripped off. The vandals covered my door and surrounding hallway area with hateful paraphernalia intended to intimidate me into leaving the school. I received subsequent threats, and an alumna I have never met claims to be actively working on ways to “ruin my life” while many others are demanding that my tenure be stripped all because I wrote a relatively tame article with which they disagree.

He added, “Following the defacement of my door, I was disappointed by the lack of a clear stand against violence and intimidation, and the lack of support for academic freedom and diversity of thought I expected from the College administrators. In fact, a note I received from a College official described the act as ‘alleged vandalism.’”

The op-ed triggered this rant from the students with the list of demands on Monday: “Abrams’ derision of the Black Lives Matter, queer liberation, and women’s rights movements displays not only ignorance but outright hostility towards the essential efforts to dismantle white supremacy and other systems of oppression. This threatens the safety and wellbeing of marginalized people within the Sarah Lawrence community by demonstrating that our lives and identities are viewed as “opinions” that we can have a difference in dialogue’ about, as if we haven’t been forced to debate our very existences for our entire lives. We demand that Samuel Abrams’ position at the College be put up to tenure review to a panel of the Diaspora Coalition and at least three faculty members of color.”

But even that wasn’t enough to satiate the student group: “In addition, the College must issue a statement condemning the harm that Abrams has caused to the college community, specifically queer, Black, and female students, whilst apologizing for its refusal to protect marginalized students wounded by his op-ed and the ignorant dialogue that followed. Abrams must issue a public apology to the broader SLC community and cease to target Black people, queer people, and women.”

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