Culture

Oberlin Students Demand Payment for Protests

They also demand "segregated black-only 'safe spaces.'"

The Oberlin College Black Student Union has released a list of 50 “Institutional Demands” for the school, including one that orders it to pay black students who organize protests $8.20 per hour for doing so.

The 14-page (!) document opens with this nice buzzword salad:

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 [sic] unethical institution, antithetical to its historical vision.

“This institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy,” it continues.

Other demands on the list as summarized by the Daily Caller include one for the “establishment of special, segregated black-only ‘safe spaces’ across campus” and a “40 percent increase in the number of black students in the school’s jazz department by 2022.”

Now, the document does state that the items on the list “are not polite requests, but concrete and unmalleable demands,” but it seems like some of them might be kind of tough to accomplish. First of all, creating “segregated” spaces for black students might be kind of hard considering that, you know, segregation ended and the fact that it ever existed in the first place is pretty damn near universally seen as a humiliatingly racist blemish on the fabric of our country’s history.

#share#It’s not clear how the school might attempt to persuade black students to join the jazz department, nor how doing so could be considered anything but way more racist than just trusting students to decide for themselves regardless of race.

As crazy as all of this stuff sounds, the support for this petition is not limited to just a few whackos. In fact, the Chronicle-Telegram reports that it had been signed by more than 700 people when it was hand-delivered to the administration on Wednesday.

In an email to the Telegram, Oberlin spokesman Scott Wargo said that although the school would need time to look over this particular document, it has already been working on an “inclusion and diversity strategy” for 18 months and that strategy will “be complete” by March.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.  

Editor’s Note: This article has been amended since its initial posting.

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