Oregon State University to Hold Segregated Workshops on Race
The AHI students contacted the media, prepared a petition for Hamilton’s board of trustees, and wrote an op-ed for the student newspaper. They also sent out a campus-wide email with the heading “RACIAL SEGREGATION AT HAMILTON.” The email stated:
“The Alexander Hamilton Institute believes that no safe zone is worth the price of segregation. All are welcome to join us for a conversation on race.”
That was enough to get Taneja to open the “dialogue” to all races. That victory, however, marked the beginning of the harassment of Ball and other AHI students.
That very night, Ball was threatened with violence and accused of white supremacy, almost entirely by students he had never met. His Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with “both fury and support over what the AHI had done.”
The following Monday, September 23, his character was attacked at the Student Assembly meeting, which, according to the SA president, drew more students than he’d ever seen. The next morning Ball found the campus littered with “hundreds of pieces of paper posted on trees, windows, doors, and everywhere else imaginable” with sayings about social justice from luminaries like Tupac Shakur.
“Hamilton’s campus was no ‘safe zone’ for me or anyone sympathetic to what the Alexander Hamilton Institute did.”
Now manager of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute, Ball recalls those days. Although it was a student-led initiative, “[w]e always knew we had the full-throated support of [Executive Director] Professor Paquette and everyone else at AHI.” The agreement was implicit: “Professor Paquette and I had been through enough of these incidents at this point that this dynamic between us was understood.”
Paquette had challenged Taneja from the time of the self-identified social-justice activist’s hiring. Paquette recalls sending the trustees a lengthy letter in 2011 that used Taneja's own words to describe who he was and to inform of what he intended to do as director of the “so-called cultural education (indoctrination) center.” Although the trustees and administration did not heed Paquette’s words in 2011, in 2013 AHI students forced Taneja’s hand.
To be sure, places like AHI can’t cure political correctness on our campuses. But when 19 year olds are surrounded by guest speakers like performance artist Rhodessa Jones, are ridiculed by their professors in class, and are punished for failing to complete assignments to their political specifications, it just takes a professor or two and a handful of peers to give them the confidence to face down the mobs of angry students and hostile administrators. Per Dean Ball:
“The AHI connected me to all of the like-minded students on campus and the AHI gave me the intellectual firepower I needed in the first place to effectively counter the administration's tactics.”
In 20 years of teaching college English, I’ve rarely seen such poised, polite, well-rounded, and confident young people. They are polished writers and public speakers. I also recognize the students giving testimonials for the Oregon workshops, ending statements on question marks and repeating slogans like zombies. Sadly, they are far more common and their numbers have increased in recent years.
It looks like there is a need for something like the AHI in Oregon. Surely, there must be enough students there to confront this new form of Jim Crow: campus brainwashing sessions.