Patterico's Pontifications


The Claremont Independent Dissents [UPDATED]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:42 am

[guest post by JVW]

Our loyal Harvey Mudd alumnus commenter Kevin M has pointed us to an excellent editorial published today in The Claremont Independent, the campus newspaper conservative publication for the Claremont Colleges. It addresses the kerfuffle on campus over the last few days. Really, it is so excellent, so gratifying to see clear-thinking students with the ability to express themselves cogently, that I am going to append it in full:

The student protests that have swept through Claremont McKenna College (CMC) over the past few days—and the ensuing fallout—have made us disappointed in many of those involved.

First, former Dean Mary Spellman. We are sorry that your career had to end this way, as the email in contention was a clear case of good intentions being overlooked because of poor phrasing. However, we are disappointed in you as well. We are disappointed that you allowed a group of angry students to bully you into resignation. We are disappointed that you taught Claremont students that reacting with emotion and anger will force the administration to act. We are disappointed that when two students chose to go on a hunger strike until you resigned, you didn’t simply say, “so what?” If they want to starve themselves, that’s fine—you don’t owe them your job. We are disappointed that you and President Chodosh put up with students yelling and swearing at you for an hour. You could have made this a productive dialogue, but instead you humored the students and allowed them to get caught up in the furor.

Above all, we are disappointed that you and President Chodosh weren’t brave enough to come to the defense of a student who was told she was “derailing” because her opinions regarding racism didn’t align with those of the mob around her. Nor were you brave enough to point out that these protesters were perfectly happy to use this student to further their own agenda, but turned on her as soon as they realized she wasn’t supporting their narrative. These protesters were asking you to protect your students, but you didn’t even defend the one who needed to be protected right in front of you.

Second, President Chodosh. We were disappointed to see you idly stand by and watch students berate, curse at, and attack Dean Spellman for being a “racist.” For someone who preaches about “leadership” and “personal and social responsibility,” your actions are particularly disappointing. You let your colleague, someone who has been helping your administration for the past three years and the college for six years, be publicly mocked and humiliated. Why? Because you were afraid. You were afraid that students would also mock and humiliate you if you defended Dean Spellman, so you let her be thrown under the bus. You were so afraid that it only took you five minutes to flip-flop on their demand for a temporary “safe space” on campus. Your fear-driven action (or lack thereof) only further reinforced the fear among the student body to speak out against this movement. We needed your leadership more than ever this week, and you failed us miserably.

Third, ASCMC President Will Su. As the representative of CMC’s entire student body, we are disappointed in you for the manner in which you called for the resignation of junior class president Kris Brackmann and for so quickly caving in to the demands of a few students without consulting the student body as a whole. If you truly cared about representing all of CMC’s interests, you would have at the very least solicited opinions from outside of the movement and your Executive Board. You have shut down any room for debate among the student body with your full endorsement of this movement and its demands, failing to give concerned students an opportunity to speak. We are disappointed that you did not allow for any time for reflection before making your quick executive decisions to announce a student-wide endorsement of this movement and to grant these students a temporary “safe space” in the ASCMC offices.

To our fellow Claremont students, we are disappointed in you as well. We are ashamed of you for trying to end someone’s career over a poorly worded email. This is not a political statement––this is a person’s livelihood that you so carelessly sought to destroy. We are disappointed that you chose to scream and swear at your administrators. That is not how adults solve problems, and your behavior reflects poorly on all of us here in Claremont. This is not who we are and this is not how we conduct ourselves, but this is the image of us that has now reached the national stage.

We are disappointed in your demands. If you want to take a class in “ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory,” feel free to take one, but don’t force such an ideologically driven course on all CMC students. If the dearth of such courses at CMC bothers you, maybe you should have chosen a different school. If students chose to attend Caltech and then complained about the lack of literature classes, that’s on them. And though it wouldn’t hurt to have a more diverse faculty, the demand that CMC increase the number of minority faculty members either rests on the assumption that CMC has a history of discriminating against qualified professors of color, or, more realistically, it advocates for the hiring of less qualified faculty based simply on the fact that they belong to marginalized groups. A hiring practice of this sort would not benefit any CMC students, yourselves included.

We are disappointed in the fact that your movement has successfully managed to convince its members that anyone who dissents does so not for intelligent reasons, but due to moral failure or maliciousness. We are disappointed that you’ve used phrases like “silence is violence” to not only demonize those who oppose you, but all who are not actively supporting you. We are most disappointed, however, in the rhetoric surrounding “safe spaces.” College is the last place that should be a safe space. We come here to learn about views that differ from our own, and if we aren’t made to feel uncomfortable by these ideas, then perhaps we aren’t venturing far enough outside of our comfort zone. We would be doing ourselves a disservice to ignore viewpoints solely on the grounds that they may make us uncomfortable, and we would not be preparing ourselves to cope well with adversity in the future. Dealing with ideas that make us uncomfortable is an important part of growing as students and as people, and your ideas will inhibit opportunities for that growth.

We are adults, and we need to be mature enough to take ownership of and responsibility for our feelings, rather than demanding that those around us cater to our individual needs. The hypocrisy of advocating for “safe spaces” while creating an incredibly unsafe space for President Chodosh, former Dean Spellman, the student who was “derailing,” and the news media representatives who were verbally abused unfortunately seemed to soar over many of your heads.

Lastly, we are disappointed in students like ourselves, who were scared into silence. We are not racist for having different opinions. We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked.

We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.

Bravo to these students who will undoubtedly have bright futures ahead of them, free from the sick pathologies of the cry bullies of their generation.

[UPDATE: Commenter Eliot, another Claremont Colleges alum, points out that The Claremont Independent is not in fact the campus newspaper, but the conservative publication for the Claremont schools. I have altered the post accordingly.]


28 Responses to “The Claremont Independent Dissents [UPDATED]”

  1. I was hoping that the school who hosts the Claremont Institute and publishes the outstanding Claremont Review of Books would rise up to the occasion, and they most certainly have.

    JVW (738b08)

  2. And thanks, Kevin M, for finding this.

    JVW (738b08)

  3. We are disappointed that when two students chose to go on a hunger strike until you resigned, you didn’t simply say, “so what?” If they want to starve themselves, that’s fine—you don’t owe them your job.


    nk (dbc370)

  4. President Hiram Chodosh appears to be the tool in the suit standing by impassively in the video that Dana posted.

    JVW (738b08)

  5. Mudd and CMC alum here (for Kevin M’s benefit, yes, I passed E54). Alas, despite the excellence of the editorial here, it is a credit only to some of the students, and emphatically not to the institution. The Claremont Collage is the officially sanctioned newspaper at the 5Cs. The Claremont Independent was founded in Sping of 1997 (while I was there) by conservative CMC students precisely because the Collage wouldn’t run an article like this. Also to clarify, the Claremont Institute is independent of the 5Cs, and is not part of their governance, even though many scholars employed by CMC are affiliated with it.

    President Chodosh sent an email to alumni several days before this latest incident, touting CMC’s capitulation to rape-obsessed feminism. Of course, that’s not how he phrased it, talking instead about a survey which mysteriously found that 100% of sexual assaults on campus involved alcohol (maybe they should try not serving it to underage students? Nah!). Without giving details, he gave credence to the massive under-reporting claim, and promised to ramp up the kangaroo courts (again, not in those words). Through this letter, I learned the school now has a “Chief Civil Rights Officer,” apparently not the same as the “Diversity Officer” they had before. The man is not a leader in any sense of standing for principles, but he is certainly a front-runner to get ahead of the mob.

    It would be nice if the school that employed Kerri Dunn (prof. who committed hoax hate crimes against herself to get “Take Back the Night” efforts going) would finally try standing up to the trend of letting micro-offenses turn into macro-tyranny, but the school has been drifting left for a decade now.

    Eliot (327596)

  6. the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement


    happyfeet (a037ad)

  7. The reason to stand up to the cult of infantilization that is on display Claremont and elsewhere is that most people, including many of the young people attending these schools, are repulsed by it. The same goes for the cult of polymorphous perversity, especially in its Tranny manifestation. This should be issue number one for conservatives.

    I am not, and never have been, a Huckster conservative, but this has become as bizarre as it is repulsive. This is the wedge issue we have been looking for.

    ThOR (a52560)

  8. Well, poo. I should have been clued in by the name “the Independent.” Thanks for setting me straight, Eliot. I’ll update accordingly.

    JVW (738b08)

  9. UPDATE: Commenter Eliot, another Claremont Colleges alum, points out that The Claremont Independent is not in fact the campus newspaper, but the conservative publication for the Claremont schools. I have altered the post accordingly.

    JVW (738b08)

  10. I’ve read that the Pres of the college is standing by in that video of the racially ignorant Asian getting snubbed

    we are already in the revolution and counterrevolution stage, if the Asians and conservatives demand the resignation of the pres

    dueling protests

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  11. I stand corrected — it’s been a LONG time since I was there and I got the “student newspaper” label from another blogger.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  12. I’m pretty sure that the Board cares a lot more about what parents, donors and alumni think that what some disaffected (and perhaps failing) students want. Wonder how THAT will play out

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  13. The Black Lives protests are being funded by progressive donors to maximize minority voter turnout in 2016. They have to create a climate crisis to justify the need for participation in general election to support Hillary “milquetoast” Clinton, now that Obama is not on the ballot.

    We need to attack the underlying strategy more than we need to address the supposed injustices underlying these protests. Simply follow the money and label these protestors as glorified House Negroes doing the bidding of the white Democrat power structure.

    That line of attack will gain far more traction.

    El Gipper (62ddc7)

  14. After thinking some more about this, I was sufficiently stewed to send the following to President Chodosh at his public (read: he won’t see it) address, under the subject “Time to step down.” I have removed one personally identifying sentence, and my name, but it’s otherwise verbatim:

    Dear President Chodosh,

    I was gravely disappointed earlier in the week to receive your email touting a sexual assault survey that appeared designed to conform to the current wave of hysteria that mistakes regret for crime. While you commendably avoided referring to the events in question as “rape,” it is still stunning to me that you could have read a finding that “100% of sexual assaults involved alcohol” and not drawn the obvious conclusion that the claimed causality was in fact backwards. It should be readily apparent that such an exact correlation could only happen when those incidents are considered sexual assault by definition. Given such obvious methodological concerns, it is terrifying to contemplate the establishment of kangaroo courts and other presumption-of-male-guilt policies based on activist pseudoscience.

    I was, however, prepared to give the benefit of the doubt on upcoming changes to the school until the incident of the past 24 hours involving Dean Spellman. Her resignation over events that do not remotely warrant her termination, and the school’s craven capitulation to a bogus hunger strike, are proof that the inmates are running the asylum. Your illustrious predecessor, the great Jack Stark, would have told these students in no uncertain terms that mob rule is not at all tolerated at a school that celebrates the American traditions of free speech and due process. His wife, the fearless Jill Stark, would have been standing astride the entrance to Collins telling the infantile “safe space” crowd that they were at a school dedicated to the free exchange of ideas, that she knew firsthand of far greater terrors than a student dressed in a sombrero, and that they should be ashamed of their conduct. As for the late Donald McKenna, our benefactor who I had the privilege to lunch with at the Athenaeum, I can only give thanks that he is not here to see the spineless men who succeeded his friends.

    Instead of their real leadership and willingness to swim against popular currents, we have you, a man who stood down when an Asian student dared to mention in a “safe space” that not all racism comes from whites, and was castigated for “derailing…losing sight of the movement.” Will your “permanent safe space,” reported in news coverage, really be safe for her, or for conservative students of all races and both genders protesting their demonization? Or will it be a forum only for the further bullying of out-groups by select “protected” classes of individual? We both know the true answer to this, shown in the video of you standing by as an unfavored minority receives her punishment for speaking freely from a favored one.

    The University of Missouri had the decency to refuse the resignation of a tenured professor who was terrified by these same bullies, for the sin of having failed to postpone an exam. In the same spirit, you should refuse Dean Spellman’s resignation and announce her immediate reinstatement. Even if you do that, you should nonetheless resign and make it clear that you are doing so because you have failed the students — just not the ones who are protesting. The protesters of today are the only actual bullies on campus, having wholly inverted the power relationships they claim to suffer under, and it is a disgrace to CMC not to have educated them well enough to understand otherwise.

    Eliot (327596)

  15. Well done, Eliot.

    With respect to Hiram Chodosh, I see on his bio page that he has a law degree and started his career in the prestigious New York law firm of Cleary, Gottleib. He seems to have been there for a year or two, then he left to take a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve School of Law. I wonder though if his departure from Cleary after such a short time was due to the fact that it was made clear to him that he lacked the qualifications for partnership in the firm. If so, does that lend credence to the old saw that academia is for those who can’t hack it in the real world?

    JVW (738b08)

  16. This Politico Article discusses the Progressive Funding sources sustaining the Black Lives Matter agitprop machine.

    Focus on the big picture. This circus is designed to boost young minority turnout in November 2016. Time for Republicans to use these incidents as a way to create fear in the white electorate to boost turnout of their own supporters.

    Why not attack President Obama as the “bigot in chief” for not consoling the parents of Kate Steinle who was murdered by the illegal alien. Ditto for failing to speak out more forcefully against the Black men who murdered cops in cold blood? Let’s put the Left on the defensive. Attack them as racists. Why give up the high ground?

    Then let’s associate Hilary with the Progressive Bigots. Force her into a position where she has to have her own “Sister Souljah” moment.

    El Gipper (62ddc7)

  17. #16 That would require fighting dirty and we all know the Country Club Republicans would rather surrender and grab their ankles.
    Because they secretly enjoy it.

    Rodney King's Spirit (ab8c0d)

  18. Bravo.

    DNF (755a85)

  19. When I was in my early twenties my “safe space” was my aircraft carrier. She was protected by her airwing, a screen of surface ships, on a good day an attack sub on a long leash, and if I and five thousand of my closest friends did our jobs nobody on the planet could sink her.

    As the admiral said, gripping the rails of his flagship tight as he attacked the Confederate fleet at Mobile Bay, “D@mn the microaggressions, full speed ahead!”

    I hope everybody has set up their tree and displayed their holiday lights because it’s time to remember another anniversary.

    Actually, not the Battle of Cape Esperance. That’s just what the html tag says.

    #4. Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
    (November 14-15, 1942)

    Having lost practically every cruiser in the inventory either sunk or damaged, the American forces left to dispute Japan’s ability to reinforce Guadalcanal were running thin. As the damaged survivors of the Battle of Friday the Thirteenth withdrew, the Americans knew that the Japanese were moving another force into the area. The American theatre commander, William Halsey, reacted by detaching the fast battleships of Enterprise’s screen to the constricted waters of the Sound. Under the command of Rear Admiral Willis Lee, the South Dakota and Washington, along with a nominal screen of four destroyers, arrived off of Savo on November 14.

    Down from the north came another Japanese force bent on bombarding Henderson Field. The Kirishima, a survivor of the battle two nights before, along with heavy cruisers Atago and Takao, formed the bulk of the force. In the resulting melee, South Dakota had a bad go of it, repeatedly losing power due to faulty electrical equipment, and was unable to contribute much to the battle. Taken under fire by Kirishima and practically every ship in the Japanese main body, her superstructure was riddled and her radar disabled. However, her watertight integrity was never damaged a whit. And in the meantime, Washington had approached undetected to within 8,400 yards of the Japanese force. Taking Kirishima under fire at 0005, she quickly buried the Japanese battlewagon under an avalanche of 16″ and 5″ fire. By 0012 she was a floating wreck. Washington proceeded to sink Ayanami, and then began a gradual disengagement from the action, avoiding several torpedo attacks in the process. For the Japanese, it was the end of any hope of wresting Guadalcanal from the Americans; in the course of three days of constant fighting in and around the area, they had lost two battleships, one heavy cruiser, three destroyers and eleven combat transports, not to mention 5,000 infantrymen drowned, and several thousand naval casualties. From this point on, the Japanese would never stop retreating in the Pacific…

    The culturally inappropriately nicknamed “Ching” Lee (for his love of serving in the Asian theater before the war) was challenged early on that night. Oddly enough by American PT boats, which sighted him and reported him as a “bear.” A bogey, a potential hostile. He ordered them to stand aside in a manner that, to my eternal regret, I never found an opportunity to emulate in my 20 years of service.

    His screen of four destroyers took what everyone later agreed would have been a devastating torrent of torpedoes had they reached the battleships. Especially South Dakota, which had her torpedo belt armor compromised so her builders could design her to stand toe-to-toe with another heavyweight of her class and slug it out. There being no free lunch, everything is a trade off, all that.

    The South Dakota wasn’t much of a factor in any case. As noted in the excerpt she suffered from electrical outages that took her out of the fight at the critical moments. It was Washington that took the fight to the Japanese. And, boy, howdy, did she!

    Drink to the foam, boys. And hoist one or ten to the Washington and Ching Lee.

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

  20. Steve57, we’ve lost our COUNTRY. Those who actually loved and defended America, have been supplanted by LOSERS.

    GUS (7cc192)

  21. Ching Lee was a mildly interesting cat. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Vera Cruz. He borrowed a rifle, the sat out in the open to draw fire, and killed several snipers. After that, winning gold medals as a member of an Olympic shooting team in the early 1920s was no sweat.

    Unusually for an admiral in WWII, he was something of a technophile. Most of his priesthood dismissed everything that didn’t remind them of their days in four piper destroyers and the Battle of Jutland. But Ching Lee glommed onto RADAR like white onto rice. And, combined with his expertise in riflery he turned the Washington into a shooting effin’ machine.

    An assistant gunnery officer in his battle group noted in his diary how the Washington would score in offset gunnery exercises. The point in an offset gunnery exercise is to NOT hit the friendly ship you’re aiming at. But for the guns to be trained out so the shot to falls several degrees to the side. So Mr. Assistant Gunnery Ossifer is on the fantail of his boat, the Washington is just over the horizon, and the Washington is laying every single shell into a nice tight little group in Mr. Assistant Gunnery Ossifer’s ship’s wake.

    Bad news, he confided to his diary, for any ship the Washington wasn’t deliberately trying to miss. As the Kirishima learned.

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

  22. GUS, calm yourself. I love and have defended this country. Sure, I didn’t do anything notable. But I signed up and did my bit for 20 years. As did my dad. As did my great-uncle, whose WWI discharge hangs on my wall.

    Since when have I or they been supplanted by losers?

    I could take that as an insult. I’m such a lightweight, I can be shoved aside by losers?

    I don’t think so.

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

  23. Now it can be told.

    SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Navy announced it had relieved the captain of the USS Mustin (DDG-89) following an unauthorized whaling expedition during a training exercise off the coast of Antarctica, sources confirmed Tuesday.

    Capt. Hikaru Yamamoto led his crew on a modified version of a traditional Japanese whaling expedition in celebration of Asian-American heritage month, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said.

    Yamamoto, who is Japanese-American, allegedly taught his sailors to sing ancient coastal fishing songs “while directing his Fire Control Center to unleash a pair of RUM-139 VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles into a pod of sperm whales,” a Navy investigator told Duffel Blog, speaking on condition of anonymity…

    Read more:

    Sure. They try to blame this on a cabal of Japanese-Americans. But I’m here to to tell you that what they teach the kids in boot camp isn’t just a Gilligan’s Island songfest. Oh, noes, it is also a hotbed of ancient Norwegian whaling songs.

    You heard it here first.

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

  24. Steve57, I’m sorry, I mis spoke. YOU are not supplanted, you are part of what has always been RIGHT with AMERICA. Sorry again. You are not pushed aside, but you are exceptional. Again, I apoligize, my words were not meant to be offensive to you. My GreatGrandfather died in WWI. I and my SON are named FOR HIM. He was Scots/Black Watch and died in Egypt Oct 23 1918. YES. Three weeks before the END. He is, and I hope still…buried in Damascus Syria. I could go on, but, again, forgive me, I did not mean offense to you, and I am sorry.

    GUS (7cc192)

  25. GUS, you didn’t misspeak and no offense taken on my part. I share your concerns. It’s just that, after considering all the options, I’ve concluded I’m a member of the salvage crew. We’re going to put out the fires, plug the holes, pump out the water we’ve accumulated from the torpedoes and the firefighting, and right this b***h and look smart manning the rails when we bring her back to port.

    Nobody has a reason to be prouder than a crew that brings back a wounded ship. Under her own power if possible, under tow if necessary. And my dad was tug boat sailor. USS and later USCGC Cherokee (her sister Navajo did all she could for the cruiser Chicago off Rendova).

    We have a wounded ship. Maybe if we get our heads about ourselves and our act together, we can bring her back.

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

  26. Geez, if I had only lived half the life my comments sometimes imply…

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

  27. I fought no battles, crossed the T of one hurricane, shot one elephant, …

    Steve57 (bcaa38)

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