In March 2017, a college professor at Evergreen State College, Brett Weinstein wrote a letter to his faculty in which he objected to a change in the college’s decades-old tradition of observing a “Day of Absence”, during which ethnic minority students would voluntarily stay away from campus to highlight their contributions to the college. The organisers instead asked white participants to stay off-campus and to attend a program on race issues, while the on-campus program was designated only for people of colour.
Weinstein questioned the idea stating that this might establish a dangerous precedent. What followed would ruin Brett’s and his wife Heather’s academic careers and marks the epoch of what would become violent political protests throughout the United States, and perhaps even the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Weinstein, who describes himself as “deeply progressive,” ultimately lost his job and was labeled a “racist” and “white supremacist.”
The chain of events that followed perfectly illustrates the cost to society when racism is allowed to be redefined by bad actors without checks and balances.
Interview with Professor Brett Weinstein.
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