We have been reporting on the protests occurring on college campuses and the troubling demands sometimes made by the “Black Lives Matter” movement in terms of academic components and programs, including college newspapers. Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov finally had enough after receiving a list of rambling demands from black students — demands declared to be nonnegotiable for the Administration. Krislov correctly refused to concede core control over the academic mission and yield to such demands which included things like the firing of certain employees and enrolling recently released prisoners.
While saying that some of the demands may raise compelling ideas, he would “not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement. Many of its demands contravene principles of shared governance. And it contains personal attacks on a number of faculty and staff members who are dedicated and valued members of this community.” Bravo.
The 14-page list of demands contains rambling and ridiculous demands. It can be seen here. This includes the demand for instant tenure for named academics — a decision that must be based on peer review of their publications and teaching — not by plebiscite. It also contains a list of academics and administrators to be fired immediately.
It further states:
Oberlin College and Conservatory is an unethical institution. From capitalizing on massive labor exploitation across campus, to the Conservatory of Music treating Black and other students of color as less than through its everyday running, Oberlin College unapologetically acts as unethical institution, antithetical to its historical vision. In the 1830s, this school claimed a legacy of supporting its Black students. However, that legacy has amounted to nothing more than a public relations campaign initiated to benefit the image of the institution and not the Africana people it was set out for … [T]his institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy. Oberlin College and Conservatory uses the limited number of Black and Brown students to color in its brochures, but then erases us from student life on this campus. You profit off of our accomplishments and invisible labor, yet You expect us to produce personal solutions to institutional incompetencies. We as a College-defined “high risk,” “low income,” “disadvantaged” community should not have to carry the burden of deconstructing the white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist system that we took no part in creating, yet is so deeply embedded in the soil upon which this institution was built.
Krylov however appeared to agree that the college has racist problems: “We are not where we want to be. So we must commit ourselves to deep study of how systemic barriers persist at Oberlin.”
That will obviously not satisfy the students who expressly warned that they have provided “demands and not suggestions. If these demands are not taken seriously, immediate action from the Africana community will follow.”