If there is anything Black Lives Matter activists might enjoy even more than a downtown rally, it’s a campus rally. The social media-driven network of incendiary racial politicians is now a presence at colleges and universities across the U.S., conducting “anti-racist” campaigns against chosen targets. Case in point: the University of Kansas. Since November, black students at Kansas, inspired by BLM, have intimidated people they deem racist, aware that the feckless administration will do next to nothing to discourage them. The catalyst for all this was a claim by a black co-ed that several white males assaulted her at an off-campus Halloween party and that local police brushed off her complaint. Evidence suggests this was a hoax. The larger issue is academic freedom – and not just at KU.
The higher education gambit by Black Lives Matter, also known by the Twitter hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter,” requires context. For the group’s influence in the academic sphere would be negligible were it not for the acquiescence, and often support, by campus authorities. The events of the current academic year seem to have come out of the blue. Yet they are the end result (so far) of nearly 50 years of hard-Left proselytizing and aggression. And they may be an omen of worse things to come. Yes, the campus vandalism and violence during the late-1960s and early-1970s were far worse. But vandalism and violence aren’t the only ways to make a revolution. For the most part, today’s radical students don’t have to resort to such tactics so long as they can exact concessions from campus administrators, especially if administrators themselves are immersed in radicalism. Why knock down doors that already are open? It is human nature to avoid unnecessary confrontations.
The tactics may have changed, but the overall mission remains intact. The philosophical principle of “the perfect is the enemy of the good” should come into mind. When people fixate on an ideal set of social outcomes, and believe those outcomes to be within one’s grasp, they tend to become highly intolerant of anyone representing an obstacle to the potential glorious future. This trait often characterizes religious as well as ideological movements. Perfection appears most achievable when the enemy appears vulnerable to overthrow. That’s pretty much why people start and escalate revolutions in the first place. This is not to say that our country is in a revolutionary situation. But radicals, who habitually pride themselves in getting to the “root” of a problem, are doing everything to create such a situation. Their goal: complete equality of economic and social condition, a world in which humanity – at least in the West – is scrubbed clean of every vestige of racism, sexism and homophobia. Legislation, bureaucracy and courts, coupled with organized attitudinal retraining, can bring about this revolution. Violence isn’t necessary if the enemy isn’t willing to fight.
“Working within the system,” however, has its limits. It’s hard to affect change without creating a grievance that can galvanize widespread support. The legitimacy of the grievance matters less than the possibility that its mere appearance can win popular support and morally disarm opponents. To achieve this, activists know the value of projecting inevitability, of appearing as an unstoppable force on behalf of the oppressed. And if that means inventing facts, or distorting their context, that does not trouble them. Gaining power is what matters in the end. Chants, placards, songs, speeches, marches and threats all are useful tools in creating a social bandwagon bound for power.
This tendency becomes especially marked when race enters the picture. Black activism, unlike that of whites, is driven by identity. Whereas the white radicalism of the late-60s and early-70s sprung from opposition to U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, black radicalism is about collective self-interest. It is less about ideology than about blackness. And the racial spoils system known as affirmative action guarantees them a critical mass for organizing among students. A reported egregious wrongdoing by a white or group of whites against a black all too often becomes exploited as part of a larger pattern of injustice. Blacks use the rhetoric of civil rights to gain the moral upper hand in the aftermath of such “incidents.” Those who oppose them, even if by omission, may find their career prospects severely diminished. A growing phalanx of well-paid campus bureaucrats – people whom authors Alan Kors and Harvey Silverglate call “the shadow university” – stand ready to limit academic freedom for the sake of Promoting Diversity. Call it “soft” totalitarianism, but it is totalitarianism all the same. And it has made most whites on campus skittish about what they say and write, as a single faux pas may be cause for severe punishment. Worse yet, waging character assassination campaigns against known “racists” is not that hard in the age of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Externally- and internally-imposed censorship goes hand in hand. Whites clam up, giving anti-white activists free reign.
For radicals, the campus is a staging ground for affecting a regime change. College students for the most part are young, naïve and receptive to simple but seductive rhetorical appeals to “justice” and “fairness.” Even those who don’t join aren’t likely to provide opposition. Financially dependent and career-oriented, the last thing a student wants is to be suspended, expelled or denied scholarship aid on account of a “racist” gesture. Campus officials, especially those with job titles containing the words “diversity” and “inclusion,” exercise tremendous leverage in such a climate. In the spirit of Parkinson’s Law, they justify their jobs by expanding the definition of unacceptable and hence punishable behavior. Offenses nowadays include benign expressions that might be taken badly by blacks, Hispanics, women and gays. Even if the details of a reported offense don’t support the claims of the accuser, campus thought police may take action anyway. Black students, knowing this, act with impunity. From their standpoint, why not invent a “hate crime” out of thin air? Why not express deep “hurt” over an innocent comment by a white professor or student? They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Outside a campus environment, America has seen plenty of unverifiable allegations (by blacks) of “hate crimes.” Recent examples include: eyewitness claims that a large black assailant, Michael Brown, said “Hands up, don’t shoot” to an arresting officer in Ferguson, Mo. in August 2014 just prior to being fatally shot; eyewitness claims that a violent black suspect, Jamar Clark, last November had been shot by Minneapolis police while handcuffed; and an allegation last month that a “Trump supporter” scrawled Nazi-style graffiti on the walls of a black cultural center in Seattle, an accusation that dissipated when the arrestee turned out to be a former volunteer at the center, an East African black male, who had been fired for theft. Tawana Brawley and Crystal Gail Mangum are in good company.
Black-instigated campus hoaxes also are becoming common. Typically, they take the form of unsubstantiated claims, wild exaggerations, and false projections of motive. In each case, blacks rally around an accuser without questioning the veracity of the claim, declaring themselves to be “offended” and then demand an investigation that morphs into a witch hunt for guilty whites. These campaigns have nothing to do with civil rights. They are power grabs cloaked in the language of moral righteousness. And their end game is the resignation of white campus officials who “allowed” the offense to occur. Examples during the current academic year are legion.
Ithaca College. Located in Ithaca, N.Y., in the shadow of Cornell University, Ithaca College has been in the headlines lately, and not in ways its officials covet. Black students last fall were up in arms over a party invitation sent by a fraternity that contained a reference to “crooks,” a word which apparently fostered negative stereotypes. Moreover, they were incensed that two white male participants at an alumni panel discussion did not respond favorably to a young black female participant who had expressed, in her words, a “savage hunger” for success. Ithaca College President Tom Rochon apologized for the whites’ comments and issued a call for unity. “In general, the college cannot prevent the use of hurtful language of campus,” he stated. “Such language, intentional or unintentional, exists in the world and will seep into our community. We can’t promise that the college will never host a speaker who could say something racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or other otherwise disrespectful. Even so, we reaffirm our commitment to making our campus an inclusive and respectful community.” The groveling wasn’t enough to save his job; this January, Rochon announced he would step down in July 2017.
University of Missouri. Last September, the black student body president and supporters on the main campus in Columbia, Mo. lodged a complaint over a “slur” allegedly shouted by a passing motorist at a black individual. The storyline was vague; the black was not even ascertained as a student. Not long after, a tiny swastika was discovered on the wall of a dorm bathroom, though without reference to blacks. Egged on by Black Lives Matter activists, black students denounced these incidents as embelmatic of “systematic oppression.” One black student, Jonathan Butler, staged a hunger strike. Other black students demarcated a portion of the campus as off-limits to whites, a clear-cut felony. Most significantly, the Missouri football team, with about 30 black players, announced it would boycott the remaining games of the 2015 season as long as University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe remained in office. To make its point, the team forfeited its next game to Brigham Young. President Wolfe, now feeling heat from the university’s Board of Curators, resigned in November. His interim replacement: former University of Missouri Deputy Chancellor Michael Middleton, a black, who had begun his career as a civil rights lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department. Also announcing his resignation was University of Missouri, Columbia Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who in an act of obsequiousness beyond the call of duty, openly praised the hunger striker, Jonathan Butler. Black Lives Matter might as well have hung up a large sign at the campus entrance reading “Mission Accomplished.”
University of Virginia. The student government at the University of Virginia main campus in Charlottesville was reviewing a proposal on whether or not to fund a student group comprising illegal immigrants. That such individuals should not even be in this country apparently was beyond the bounds of discussion. Ultimately, the student government decided not to recognize the organization because six of its members had abstained rather than voted. One UVA student, Erich Reimer, celebrated this outcome on his Facebook page with the hashtag “#conservative.” This gesture triggered a storm of criticism from campus Social Justice Warriors. He apologized, to no avail. The illegal immigrant group circulated a petition that read: “This apology means nothing to us. There is no way that we can be reassured that this will not occur in the future.” The group demanded Reimer’s expulsion from the university. Further, it called for the creation of an administrative committee to “scrub for xenophobic representatives who have been placed in office.” The student government action remains in force (for now) because the group’s application was filled out incorrectly. In other words, an injustice was avoided only because of a technicality.
That brings us to the University of Kansas. A well-regarded liberal arts research and teaching institution, KU has 28,000 students enrolled on five campuses, mainly in Lawrence, a city of about 90,000 located in the eastern part of the state between Kansas City and Topeka. It is also my undergraduate alma mater. While I admit to wanting to do a good turn for the old school now and then, this is a secondary motive. The primary motive is that the University of Kansas is emerging as a crucial Black Lives Matter battleground. And the organization’s supporters have prevailed, with the help of a tacitly supportive administration headed by its black chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little (in photo).
Blacks currently make up only about 4 percent of the Lawrence campus student body. But this figure is misleading. Power, at least informal power, rests to a large degree on the ability to intimidate, with or without a majority. If black campus activists can silence critics, while winning public sympathy, they are almost assured of getting their way. A mere insinuation of racism by blacks can induce an official crackdown on potential white “offenders.” Blacks at KU know that the administration, from Chancellor Gray-Little on down, will not punish them for acts of trespassing, vandalism or terror threats. They are the anointed 4 percent. The other 96 percent are prohibited from expressing disapproval. Perhaps out of a desire for safety, a number of whites, especially in the KU student government, are siding with the blacks.
What lit this tinderbox was an alleged sexual assault occurring more than five months ago. On November 8, 2015 a black female KU student, Kynnedi Grant, a junior, posted a message on her Facebook site claiming she had been attacked by several unnamed white males at a Halloween house party near the campus. Here is the reported unexpurgated text of the original Facebook screen shot of Ms. Grant’s text and then of a brief exchange between Grant and Shegufta Huma, Vice President of the University of Kansas Student Senate:
Grant: On October 31, my night with 4 friends began at a house party on Kentucky Street, here in Lawrence, Kansas. All was well until my friend lost her wallet. Upon searching, I was confronted by two males who called me a “fat b****,” “ratchet black h**,” and other names. My friend was then verbally attacked as she was in the bathroom until a male friend intervened to (sic) our defense.
The situation escalated to us being assaulted by (a) group of white males. We all are black: We were called niggers, I was spit on, we were told “niggers didn’t belong here,” (and) a drink was thrown on me. As we tried to escape, a white male then pulled a gun on my two friends.
The police had been called, but what did they say when we got outside & reported? “Well, that’s the danger of going to house parties.” We are black. Our attackers & police are white.
Silence will kill me. I need you to hear our story.
Here was the final and most telling portion of the post:
Grant: Is this good?
Huma: Better. I think we need more physical escalation before the gun to make it more believable. Also, declare (sic) there was no police report. Then I think we’ll be good on this.
Kynnedi Grant is describing felonies, not simply misbehavior. And in a criminal case, the standard of evidence for a conviction is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The narrative here doesn’t come close to meeting that standard. To say that it raises questions is a vast understatement. Consider the following.
First, Ms. Grant did not specify whether the white male assailants were active students. Surely, this is relevant if she or anyone else seeks to use this incident as a pretext to put the entire University of Kansas on trial. Moreover, the alleged incident occurred in a house on Kentucky Street, which runs entirely off the campus. The party could not have been university-sponsored.
Second, the idea that a group of white males, without any provocation, would confront an innocent black female at a party, and then assault her, must be taken with skepticism. Given the well-publicized trauma visited upon three Duke University lacrosse players a decade ago over what turned out to be a hoax created by a local black female nonstudent (the aforementioned Crystal Gail Mangum), no sane white male college student today is going to risk being accused of a “hate crime” and become a national pariah. It makes no sense at all for a group of white guys to accost a group of black women whom they had never met before and pepper them with racial insults. It makes no sense for one of the whites to pull a gun on one of the women, knowing it could land them in prison. Does anyone living in the real world actually believe that a black woman, having been “disrespected” by whites in such a fashion, will leave the premises without raising any ruckus? If any escalating occurred here, Grant and her friends would have been the logical perpetrators. And they likely would have brought in some rough boyfriends to help them out.
Third, no law enforcement officer who takes a statement from a female victim of a crime, especially one shot through with racial implications, is going to tell her, “Well, that’s the danger of going to house parties.” He and his department would be raked over the coals in this day and age. Even if the cop in question did respond to Ms. Grant in this fashion, he would have filled out a report anyway. This is standard procedure. As the alleged incident occurred inside an off-campus house, the officer had to be a local rather than a university police officer. Either way, it is simply inconceivable that police would have ignored the case once having received a detailed account. That Grant did not provide anything even resembling a detailed account suggests she did not want the facts of this “case” known to the public.
Fourth, one would think that Kynnedi Grant would have called a lawyer. There would have been no shortage of takers. Black lawyers in particular would have jumped at the chance to take on a case like this; Al Sharpton would have set her up with a lawyer in a New York minute. If Grant’s account of events were plausible, this incident would have the words “black lottery” written all over it. It would be the ultimate opportunity for a lawyer to put criminal “trophies” on the wall and/or win an outsized civil settlement. Forget Facebook and other social media – the legal system is where the money is.
Fifth, the exchange between Kynnedi Grant and Shegufta Huma, though brief, is alarming. It indicates Grant is more interested in public relations than in criminal justice. Even worse is Ms. Huma, who, quite obviously, is coaching Ms. Grant on the fine art of deception. Her goal was not to publicize a believable story; it was to make an hard-to-believe story sound believable. By any reasonable definition, this constitutes a conspiracy to obstruct justice. To cap it off, Grant’s current Facebook post no longer contains her exchange with Huma; she has scrubbed those lines. What possibly could be her motive except to conceal the high possibility that the story is fake? Thus far, neither woman has confirmed or denied the veracity of the original post.
Sixth, after a brief flurry of publicity, the alleged assault has all but disappeared as a public discussion topic. This is odd. Experience and common sense suggest that a woman physically assaulted by a group of males, regardless of her race, will pursue such a case for months and, if necessary, years. She will not “move on” without closure. That Kynnedi Grant saw fit to deflect discussion away from the alleged event only weeks after its occurrence ought to raise suspicions that she is fearful of public scrutiny and ultimately of discovery as the perpetrator of a hoax.
Despite the sketchy details, a flurry of publicity wasn’t long in coming. On November 11, three days later after her Facebook post, Ms. Grant, and a black campus organization she leads, Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk (a reference to a traditional KU student football chant and a perception among campus blacks that they are somehow “invisible”), disrupted a campus forum on “racism” to go public with her claim. KU authorities, rather than encourage public discussion, imposed a media blackout. Bryan Lowry, a reporter for the Wichita Eagle, noted:
The KU administration had reportedly ordered media not to record the event…the University of Kansas kept broadcast journalists from recording a forum on race…KU officials told Kansas Public Radio and other broadcast outlets that journalists were welcome to attend a forum on diversity, but that they could not bring audio or video recording equipment into the event.
Kynnedi Grant, as it turns out, has an agenda that goes well beyond securing justice for something that allegedly happened at a Halloween party. Not only does she head Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk (RCIH), she also is president of the University of Kansas Black Student Union. The leaders of these groups are virtually identical. And Grant spent considerable time in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 taking part in Black Lives Matter-guided street protests demanding the prosecution of a white police officer for shooting (in self-defense) the “unarmed” Michael Brown. Consider her role model, celebrated as her Facebook page background as of last fall: self-proclaimed black revolutionary Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur. Ms. Chesimard committed a string of crimes in New Jersey during the 1970s, including the May 1973 murder of a white state trooper on the New Jersey Turnpike. In November 1979 she escaped from the Clinton State Correctional Facility for Women and eventually settled in Cuba, where she was granted asylum by the Castro government and lives to this day.
Ms. Grant may not be Joanne Chesimard, but she’s got that revolutionary spirit. And on November 18, 2015, under the cover of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk, she presented a press release to the KU administration containing a list of 15 non-negotiable demands. The opening statement was a model of presumptuousness, accusing Chancellor Gray-Little and other campus administrators of ignoring the needs of “marginalized peoples.” The demands themselves, each with a brief accompanying explanation, generally ranged from ludicrous to totalitarian. Here they are, word for word:
Director of OMA (Office of Multicultural Affairs) hired by December.
Mandatory, intense “inclusion and belonging” training for all levels of students, staff, faculty and administration.
Issue Campus Climate Survey by February 2016.
Train and rehire IOA (Institution of Opportunity and Access) staff and implement accountability measures.
Increase consistent hiring of diverse faculty and staff.
Increase the percentage of underrepresented domestic and undocumented students.
Immediate amendments to the Senate election code.
Increase aid and assistance to active military and veterans.
Establish team of multicultural counselors to specifically address severe mental illnesses and the needs of students of color by Fall 2016.
Ban concealed weapons from campus.
Remove all professors who assault, sexually harass or engage in abusive relationships with students. Apply this policy retroactively as well, specifically to Dr. Paul Stevens. Immediate expulsion of those that commit sexual assault.
Open investigation into Grant, Starling et al. case as hate crime beginning with IOA.
Reopen investigation into the murder of Rick “Tiger” Dowdell.
Establish Multicultural Student Government independent of current University of Kansas Student Senate.
Thorough plan of action from Administration by January 19, 2016.
The artificial crisis already was claiming a victim. On November 12, the day after Grant went public with her accusations, a graduate communications student, Abigail Kingsford, asked one of her professors, Andrea Quenette, to discuss campus racial issues. It was a classroom of about 10 students, mostly white. Professor Quenette, white herself, actually was sympathetic toward the black radicals. She said that as a white woman she didn’t know what it is like to see the word “nigger” painted on a wall. She did, however, take issue with the assertion that black failure rates at KU can be attributed to racism. The student rat fink patrol evidently had at least one representative in her class. Shortly after, communications students circulated a petition demanding Quenette be fired; after all, she had blamed blacks for their failures and had the audacity to use the “n” word (though obviously in a context completely the opposite of that imagined by her accusers) in the process. The university, terrified of appearing indifferent to racism, suspended Quenette, pending the outcome of a full investigation. Four months later, officials exonerated her, but with the stipulation that she undergo “cultural competency training,” a euphemism for a mandate to live in fear. And she remains without a workload. Quenette, shaken by the experience, now knows first-hand the meaning of the phrase “chilling effect.” She remarked: “I don’t believe I have much of a choice other than to be guarded. To be honest, I am afraid of engaging a discussion of race and diversity in a classroom…I believe it will be harder for me to respond to my students now because I am afraid of saying something wrong.” Instilling widespread fear of “saying something wrong,” of course, is the essence of a police state.
This wasn’t enough for the radicals. During this time, Kynnedi Grant, along with Student Senate Vice President Shegufta Huma and the Student Senate Executive Committee, demanded that the top three student government officers Jessie Pringle, Zach George and Adam Moon – all white – resign for failing to support #BlackLivesMatter with sufficient vigor. The “crimes” of Pringle and George were a failure to “stand in solidarity with their black peers” when called upon to do so at the November 11 forum. Though the trio profusely apologized, predictably, the apology availed them nothing. Ms. Grant, along with Kansas Black Student Union members Caleb Stephens and Katherine Rainey, identifying themselves as Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk leaders, held a press conference to denounce University of Kansas “racism” against blacks. The Senate Student Executive Committee voted 6-3 to impeach all three, but Pringle (president) and Moon (chief of staff) managed to keep their jobs after the full Student Senate, in a brief flash of principle, voted in March against moving forward. Zach George, student body vice president, resigned on March 2 to begin a job in Washington, D.C. with the National Association of Counties. Having graduated in December, he should consider himself lucky to get out.
Paul Smokowski, dean of the KU School of Social Welfare, wasn’t so lucky. Smokowski, under intense pressure from black students, resigned his position, also on March 2. The signs of capitulation were already established. Less than 10 days earlier, School of Social Welfare students had called for the dean’s resignation. According to a press release, the demand was in response to “numerous obstacles and barriers” about diversity and inclusion. A spokesperson for the group, Trinity Carpenter, said that the dean has not done enough to make the school a real leader in social justice. What was this woman thinking – or perhaps drinking? Dean Smokowski had gone the extra mile for people like her; he even had established a separate black social work program within the School. Apparently, no good deed goes unpunished.
Sensing their prey could be conquered, the activists grew ever more predatory. On March 9, one week after Dean Smokowski’s resignation, the Student Senate announced it would meet black demands for a nonwhite student government, separate but equal in status. In other words, Demand Number 14 became a reality. One might have thought that the idea of “separate but equal” was anathema to blacks, but apparently not here. Maybe that’s because the project will be paid out of student activity fees. The Senate agreed to provide startup funds of $90,000, with more to come. The six-and-a-half-hour meeting preceding the announcement was excruciating – for whites. In attendance with KU black radicals were some friends visiting from the University of Missouri who had driven MU System President Tim Wolfe from his job months earlier. One Missouri black female student told white KU Student Senate members to start “centering your privilege.” She bleated, semi-grammatically: “This whole presentation, what they gave, is like a form of oppression. They don’t need to come to you and explain why their blackness, their brownness, matters. I just find it very problematic that we’re even engaging in this conversation.”
The black demand for the immediate hiring of a director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs also has been met. The inquisitor-in-chief is Precious Porras, an extremely corpulent woman who had begun working at OMA in 2005 as head of Hawk Link, an academic retention program to assist students of color and first-generation college students. (Translation: a program to prevent expulsions of nonwhite students for having excessively low grade point averages.) She had been promoted the following year to assistant director of diversity education; in 2013 she became associate director of diversity education and social justice programs. Ms. Porras specializes in coordinating workshops for faculty, staff and students. Naturally, she has expressed a desire for increased funding for new programs and staff members. Parkinson’s Law strikes again.
The signs of capitulation already were on the wall last October, before the November upheaval. The KU Student Senate by a two-thirds majority, voted to ban the use of gender-specific singular pronouns, such as “his” and “her,” from its official Rules and Regulations. Henceforth, the plural “they/them/their” will supplant the offending words. The stated purpose of this change is “to increase the inclusivity of the Student Senate and prevent microaggressions that gender pronouns pose to individuals who don’t use them.” Aside from the fact that everyone uses male and female pronouns in the course of daily speech, there is something totalitarian and creepy about rewriting language in this manner. For those in doubt, consult George Orwell’s 1984.
Higher education, at the University of Kansas and elsewhere, cannot continue along this path. Black Lives Matter and its supporters are pushing the nation’s colleges and universities ever further toward the status of miniaturized anti-white police states, coating their intimidation with sanctimonious rhetoric about “justice,” “inclusion” and “diversity.” Decent people dedicated to higher learning at some point have to stand up to them. There are three practical ways of defeating these demagogues. None will be popular with feckless campus administrators or the “people of color” whom they coddle. But they are crucial to regaining institutional control.
First, students who riot, vandalize, illegally occupy campus property or terrorize members of the university community (including fellow students) – or even threaten to do these things – should be expelled. Moreover, campus authorities should report such individuals to police, for such acts are felonies. There is absolutely no need to apologize for this. Education is not possible when students live in dread of being denied a degree, a career and elementary physical safety, and when faculty members fear being denied tenure or a promotion for uttering a “wrong” word during a lecture or discussion. Higher education officials must ensure their institutions function as places to teach and learn.
Second, colleges and universities should dismantle the affirmative action edifice that assures black students a specified minimum percentage of admissions slots and imposes lawsuits and/or funding cutoffs for institutions not in compliance. Affirmative action (“diversity”) artificially boosts black enrollment and campus employment by lowering standards. In so doing, it ensures blacks, unserious as well as serious students, will have a presence on campus. For decades, university administrators have supported this system. Time and again, they have defended U.S. Justice Department-enforced racial goals, timetables and quotas, especially if and when a rejected white applicant goes to court; the University of Michigan’s vigorous defense of its quota system a dozen years ago in the face of a pair of applicant lawsuits exemplified this determination. Affirmation action is a zero-sum game. One race necessarily benefits at the expense of another. It creates needless dissension on campus.
Third, students, parents and alumni should withhold financial support to any college or university that openly promotes groups such as Black Lives Matter. This is perhaps the most feasible way to affect change, for it does not directly put campus administrators on the spot. Students and their parents at the University of Missouri already have indicated they will take their tuition money elsewhere in the wake of the uproar there of last fall; officials project a revenue loss of more than $25 million for the 2016-17 academic year. There is no reason to believe that potential University of Kansas applicants and parents won’t behave similarly. As for alumni, wealthy or not, they should make future donations incumbent upon the university’s willingness to resist intimidation. Moreover, they should explicitly tell campus officials of their intent, in person or in writing. This alumnus plans to practice what he preaches; I refuse to contribute any more funds to Old KU unless the people who run the place start showing some spine.
Black Lives Matter and the people who endorse this organization are discrediting the mission of higher education. Under the guise of “justice” and “fairness,” its leaders are intimidating dissenters, especially white dissenters, into submission. Even if Kynnedi Grant and her friends are telling the truth – and their claims look like a well-orchestrated hoax – they are doing nobody any favors by engaging in character assassination of the entire University of Kansas community. If Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and other university officials accede to the whole list of demands, they will have all but completed a transfer of power to these demagogues. College and university administrators everywhere should recognize that capitulation doesn’t work. Courage and adherence to high principle does.