Even before the turbulent year that 2015 saw for protests, some college campus have been in a state of disarray. Along with many others in the liberal media, the Huffington Post nevertheless took on a rosy view of the student protesters, this time through the college presidents who are in charge, or are at least supposed to be.
In the subheadline for “What Three College Presidents Learned From Campus Racism Protests,” Tyler Kingkade writes that “students aren’t naively demanding that college make the world perfect, these leaders say.”
Where to begin? Is Kingkade saying it’s not naive to make something “perfect?” Or is it the word used lightly, to poke fun at critics who have often called students naive, namely for their demands and methods?
There’s of course more, though one not need to go far to find Kingkade’s own take. For instance, he starts the piece by mentioning that “college presidents can’t solve all of society’s problems, but they do have a responsibility to join student activists in efforts to address systemic racial bias.”
The three colleges represented include Pomona College, Muhlenberg College and Davidson College. What do these three colleges, all located in different states, have in common? Kingkade explains:
These presidents’ campuses have seen students protest as part of the Black Lives Matter movement — students at all three schools held demonstrations in 2014 over the failure to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, both unarmed black men.
Once the professors are left to speak for themselves, the piece becomes more tolerable. Right or wrong, the college presidents at least try to offer a thoughtful enough take. Some are more successful than others.
David Oxtoby from Davidson fortunately takes up a considerable portion of the piece. He shared how “I want to be part of that conversation” and that “being engaged in the issues of the day is what we want our students to be doing and I want to be a model in that.”
He also tried to offer insight into why college students acted as they did. He mentioned that “the students are saying ‘How can I have an effect?'” Oxtoby also acknowledged that while “maybe there’s a little bit of that” when it comes to people saying “‘Students are really selfish these days.” And, he points out he “see[s] students really caring about each other.”
John Williams, Jr., of Muhlenberg is unfortunately not so refreshing. Students beware, as he mentioned “I monitor Yik Yak at our college.” That is what enabled him to call a town hall meeting on “diversity, equality and marginalization,” just a few hours after an apparently anti-black posting. Neither Huffington Post nor a linked article from the Morning Call mention what the posting contained.
The three and a half hour meeting held 900 students.
The Huffington Post shared how “Williams wanted to use the town hall to show that the school doesn’t tolerate offensive speech against blacks any more than it tolerates slurs against, say, Jewish people.”
Was anyone expecting that such “offensive speech” would be tolerated more so against one group than it would another?
There is fortunately more, which doesn’t explain the point completely, but at least is a worthy enough attempt.
The Muhlenberg president acknowledged that student activism against racism can sometimes be counterproductive, but said that’s because students are young and still learning how to air their grievances. Rather, he finds it encouraging that students are engaged on these issues and unwilling to tolerate racism patiently.
The points from college professors isn’t all wrong and even some of the questionable points at least seem well-intentioned. It remains though and is no surprise that the liberal mainstream media, of which the Huffington Post is certainly part of, seeks to control the narrative on these campus protests with their narrow outlook.