What I Saw at Evergreen State College
The student antics at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington have recently garnered some national media attention – but not nearly enough. Tucker Carlson interviewed progressive biology professor Bret Weinstein, who had the moral dexterity to show up to teach his own class as contracted by the college in spite of the fact that students had decided to impose on the campus an anti-white imperialism day. The point of the student protest was that any white person who came to the college on that particular day was demonstrating that he is not in alliance with their anti-racist crusade. Blaming Trump's election, such a proposal was a reversal of a long standing practice at the college where students gave themselves a day of absence to protest racism.
Weinstein, who is Jewish, was alarmed. In a lengthy interview, he pointed out that such demands have an echo of the fascism of yesteryear and characterized the situation on campus as a witch hunt. Before showing up to his scheduled class, Weinstein wrote a careful and gracious letter explaining how ill advised such a proposal was to the students organizing the anti-white crusade. Rather than listen to Weinstein's wisdom, a mob of students confronted him when he arrived to teach his class. Quickly spiraling out of control, students charged him with racism and demanded his resignation with many expletives. Later, the protest erupted into campus anarchy as a student mob seized the library. Yet the college president, George Bridges, told the police to stand down. While Bridges has not yet fired Weinstein, as demanded by the students, he did congratulate their courage and proclaim himself appreciative of their activism.
Much more disturbing, it appears that Bridges is actually on the side of the students. Outside firing Weinstein, Bridges has essentially capitulated. Weinstein's safety on campus is still a major concern. His wife, who also teaches on campus, has also been threatened. It appears that the president's ploy is to allow the circumstances to become so unbearable that it will be unnecessary to fire Weinstein, as it will be easier for him to simply give up and leave on his own. While Weinstein has received many positive emails supporting him privately, colleagues at Evergreen have for the most part been silent on the crisis. So far, only Fox News has been willing to expose the crisis on national TV news.
Evergreeners are called "the Fighting Geoducks." Geoducks are clams. Evergreen is an anti-traditional college that prides itself on its anti-capitalism, socialism, radical environmentalism, postmodernism, and Marxism, with a special emphasis upon indigenous values that convert the old American melting pot ideal into a subversive form of racist multi-tribalism under the guise of progressive multiculturalism.
Evergreen professors do not grade students, but they do give them lengthy teacher evaluations. The students are also required to write their own evaluations of themselves. While everyone pretty much passes under such lax standards, one does have the freedom to put in as much work as he or she wishes. Most coast through the college. Tests are rare. Yet Evergreen students do a tremendous amount of reading and writing that must also be collectively articulated and discussed with the professor and other students in what they call seminars.
Evergreen education is based on holism. All credits are holistically integrated into one course. For example, as an Evergreen graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (1985-89), I took a 32-credit course my freshman year entitled "Political Ecology" that was two quarters long. While it was largely a nonstop attack on Christianity and capitalism for helping precipitate the ecological crisis of modern times, all of the credits were divided among ecological studies, agricultural studies, Native American studies, geography, evolutionary biology, and creative writing, among other credits. In the spring, I took a course called "Thinking Straight" (16 credits) that consisted of credits in philosophy, English, creative writing, and logic. My favorite course at Evergreen was "The Classical World," which lasted my entire sophomore year (48 credits). We began with the early Greeks in the fall and ended with early Christianity in the spring, reading through much of St. Augustine's City of God.
My junior year was given over to "Political Economy" (32 credits) in the fall and winter, followed up by "Race, Class, and Gender" (16 credits) in the spring. Such a year presaged many of the political convulsions now rocking America, with no small thanks to the Obama administration – but all of which is still rooted in the hippie radicalism of the '60s, not to mention all of the social upheaval in Europe dating back to the 1800s that was largely a very German affair. The content of these particular courses was loaded with a blending of socialism, Marxism, fascism, and postmodernism taught by true believers.
While one of the professors seemed to enjoy his popularity with female students, another was actively involved in fomenting lunatic student protests against the college administration. One particular memory stands out in sharp relief: at lunchtime on one beautiful spring day – while watching the student protest proceed – one wise Native American student said something along these lines, which I have never forgotten: "You know, we can all try to do good things to help bring about a better world by protesting the unfair and evil things we see around us, but the problem with all this is that people like that professor over there will be running things."
This is precisely the crossroads that Evergreen has arrived at now, only worse, as the more fascist elements of liberalism so-called are now dominating the school. Could this not be a wake-up call for the entire left as the radicals are poised to eat up their own? Much of the history of Marxism and socialism is riddled with tragic outcomes that are always ignored by its proponents until it is too late. My own days at Evergreen were a precursor to all that has transpired under Obama. What about now?
My final year at Evergreen, I took 32 credits of "Management in the Public Interest" that essentially taught students how to become an effective bureaucrat in the political economy of the modern world. Rather than finish this course (48 credits all year), I switched to take "Liberation Theology" (16 credits) in the spring, as I had just decided that I wanted to go to seminary for postgraduate studies. Popular in Latin and South America, Liberation Theology is a more spiritual blending of Marxism, socialism, and fascism with Christianity that was consistent with much of my previous education at Evergreen.
Last but not least, it was Rockefeller Republican Dan Evans who was one of the primary founders of the Evergreen State College. Without his political will as the governor of the State of Washington for 12 years (1965-1977), the Evergreen State College would not exist. The very library that was taken over by the students is named after him.
Mark Musser is a part-time pastor, author, missionary, and a farmer who lives in Olympia, Washington. He is a contributing writer for the Cornwall Alliance. His book Nazi Oaks provides a sobering history lesson on the philosophical foundations of the early German green movement, which was absorbed by National Socialism in the 1930s and proved to be a powerful undercurrent during the Holocaust. Mark is also the author of Wrath or Rest, a commentary on the warning passages found in the epistle to the Hebrews.