04/20/2017

Pomona College Students Say There’s No Such Thing As Truth, 'Truth' Is A Tool Of White Supremacy

Robby Soave, Reason

A coalition of marginalized students at Pomona College are demanding that the president of Pomona (one of the Claremont Colleges) take disciplinary action against student-journalists who write for The Claremont Independent, a conservative paper.

That's not all. The students' letter to the president also stridently rejects the very mission of a liberal arts college. The search for truth is little more than an attempt to silence marginalized people, in the view of these students. Accordingly, the campus administration must revise its commitment to free speech such that no one who espouses hateful views—as defined, in incredibly broad terms, by the offended parties themselves—is allowed to speak at Claremont.

"Free speech, a right many freedom movements have fought for, has recently become a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions," the students wrote in their letter. "It has not just empowered students from marginalized backgrounds to voice their qualms and criticize aspects of the institution, but it has given those who seek to perpetuate systems of domination a platform to project their bigotry."

The students refer specifically to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald's recent visit to campus. MacDonald, a conservative critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, was prevented from speaking by student protesters. The students surrounded the doors of the building and denied entry to other students who wanted to hear from her. Multiple news outlets, including Reason and The Claremont Independent, wrote critically about the students involved in the incident, and Claremont President Chiram Hodash expressed dismay about the censorship.

The students' letter demands that MacDonald—falsely labelled a "white supremacist"—never be allowed back on campus. In fact, all hate speech should be proactively banned from Claremont.

"The idea that we must subject ourselves routinely to the hate speech of fascists who want for us not to exist plays on the same Eurocentric constructs that believed Black people to be impervious to pain and apathetic to the brutal and violent conditions of white supremacy," wrote the students, who apparently believe, mistakenly, that MacDonald is a white supremacist.

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