The black student and postdoc community members in the Stanford University School of Medicine have called upon their institution to allocate $25 million for demands that make up what could accurately be referred to as a wishlist for Black Lives Matter.
This 16 point list of demands explains exactly how the $25 million is to be spent. The breakdown is for training in anti-racism, infrastructure and funding specifically earmarked and intended for black students, data collection, as well as things like handbooks detailing the universities commitment to all these things.
The opinion piece appeared in the student-run newspaper The Stanford Daily, which began by suggesting its members were “scared,” “exhausted,” and that they “don’t feel safe on campus” or in their communities. The article continued by saying that the “black community members have faced continued harassment, discrimination, and interactions whose outcomes include bodily harm,” and concluded that the “racism pandemic” has been completely ignored due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Beginning the piece with an appeal to emotion (a logical fallacy) appears to be a deliberate and measured way to kick this piece off. It not only makes the absurd claims that follow more palatable to those who are in positions to install them, but it is attractive to those who have joined the mob in constructing a culture that puts a premium on victimhood. Using emotional language is a primary tool of propagandists who use that emotion to shame, fear, and otherwise coerce the intended target into their way of thinking.
The writers apparently did not see a need to define what they meant by “racism pandemic,” which, though sensational, is backed by the American Psychological Association, which also barely defines the term. This gets to the crux of the issue: institutions and universities are pressured to fold to the mob lest they be accused of complicity with white supremacy. It has already been seen that dissent of the smallest magnitude could end a career.
And this is Stanford University—a very liberal, affluent, and prestigious institution. The students who are admitted to Stanford and spend their time in study on campus are among the most privileged students in America, and in the world. It would be difficult to seriously convince someone in urban areas or rural America that students at Stanford somehow have a legitimate reason to be frightened for their lives. If there is any definition of privilege anymore worth drawing out in the US, it could be wholly summed up in the students who attend Stanford. That this letter was written is economic and educational privilege at its highest levels.
Among the demands asked to be corrected by the end of the year is to “affirm the protection of black members of our community as they engage in nonviolent liberatory practices.” This is an emotional demand requiring an emotional response on the part of the University. It is hard to imagine what this affirmation would look like—or at least it was before we saw the groveling and self-flagellation of so many on the left who will do whatever it takes simply to not be called racist.
What do these "nonviolent liberatory practices" look like? Tearing down monuments? Assaulting state senators? Screaming at black cops? When people look around at what has happened across the country, there have been countless incidents of vandalism, arson, burglary, and assault. All of these have been called non-violent by mainstream media, and have been explained away as justifiable.
The students also demand that the university provide “the infrastructure for improved quality of life and well-being of the black student community.” What this entails is access to more black spiritual and religious leaders, shuttle service to off-campus events, the hiring of one black therapist per every five black postdocs/post PhD fellow/medical residents, and the hiring of more black fitness instructors, among other hires.
In other words, these radicalized students wish to implement what is known as quotaism—a way of organizing society by race, gender, language, or another demographic category.
This continues with the student’s eighteen-month action plan, containing demands such as to “recruit and maintain 20 percent Black/African American (including US- and international-born) and 10 percent Indigenous students, postdocs, staff and faculty at Stanford,” which includes the complete erasure of the SAT and GRE at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These students wish to lower the bar for admission into their prestigious institution.
The most alarming demands from the students is to “commit to a 100 percent job placement rate for Black postdocs following completion of their last stage of training at Stanford University and ensure this achievement through new infrastructure and resources in the aforementioned offices.”
Not only is this likely impossible, but it again places a premium on one’s skin color as opposed to their professional work. There are thousands of doctorate students who graduate every year, and most of them are hard-pressed to find a job, let alone a tenure-track job. And the solution, according to these Stanford students, is to apparently favor the black graduates above everyone else.
Colleges and universities have devolved from a place of intellectual rigor in search of truth to what Joy Pullman and Sumantra Maitra refer to as an “engine for socio-political change.” It is no longer permitted to engage with someone about a topic where two may have differing opinions. To disagree with the mob is itself an act of betrayal and violence, and they will not stop until one bends to their whims or is cast out altogether.
This has especially taken hold in institutions of higher learning, where radicalized students can now dethrone professors from their tenured position for simply doing what these institutions are historically all about—challenging ideas and engaging in intellectual and thoughtful debate about issues of the day.
This will not end until every professor is welcomed into the fold of the self-referential “cadre of activists and ideologues” who seek to subvert and destroy any idea that does not subscribe to their own worldview.
Stanford should reject these outrageous demands outright, and inform current students that they are free to take their transcripts and test scores to another institution if they wish to implement policies that favor one demographic over every other, without regard for academic achievement, and are hostile to open debate and peaceful disagreement about current issues.
Despite its catchy name that is easy to get behind, Black Lives Matter is not merely a general statement in support of black lives, it is an anti-Western socialist movement. It is being used by students, activists, and propagandists to create a new power structure that appears to be one of liberation for those who will come out on top. But what we learned from the Civil Rights movement of the mid-20th century is that judging a person by their race, elevating or subjugating a person on account of their skin colour, leads only to inequality. That is what is being asked for by these privileged, well-educated students at one of America's foremost palaces of academia, and it is an abomination.