November 20, 2015

Did Princeton's president cave to the demands of the Woodrow-Wilson-reviling protesters or did the protesters get played?

John Fund at National Review writes: "It took only 20 protesting students from the Black Justice League just 32 hours to hold a sit-in in his office for Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber to cave to their demands,"

He quotes the article in The Daily Princetonian
University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 agreed to the modified demands of student protestors on Thursday evening.... The final list addressed all three initial demands of the protestors, which included cultural competency training for faculty and staff and a diversity distribution requirement, a special space for black students, and the removal of the name of Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879, from the Wilson School and Wilson College. According to the agreement, Eisgruber will write to chair of the University Board of Trustees Katie Hall ’80 to initiate conversations on removing Wilson’s name from campus buildings. He will also write to Head of Wilson College Eduardo Cadava to request that he consider removing Wilson’s mural from Wilcox dining hall.
Whoa! The protesters (I'm spelling the word right) got played. Just 2 days ago, The Daily Princetonian had this:
Asanni York ’17, one of the organizers of the protest, explained the group would not leave until Eisgruber signed the document listing the demands.

“We are tired of talking to people. It’s conversation, conversation, conversation. We try and protest; we meet with the administration every other week,” York said. “We’re done talking. We’re going to be here until he signs this paper. We’re going to be here until things are met.”
You didn't want more conversation. He had to sign the paper, but the paper he signed was about how there would be more conversation. It’s conversation, conversation, conversation. Conversation all the way down at Princeton. Well played, Eisgruber!

79 comments:

madAsHell said...

a special space for black students

Soon.....ummmm....Wilson was right??

traditionalguy said...

But will they allow the Administration to remove the books from the library before the burn it down?

Rob said...

To a large extent, demands for quotas.

The Drill SGT said...

While we're at it, let's airbrush FDR and Earl Warren out of the history books. After all, they jailed 100,000 Americans because of their race.

Oh, and George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison also need to be unlisted...

madAsHell said...

Christopher Eisgruber

Eisgruber?? Has hell frozen over?

ScottD said...

Keep looking for the baby in the bathwater of the modern western university, but you won't find it.

Rick said...

I'm not sure how you get played by someone on your own team.

Ann Althouse said...

I was going to make a crack about "a special space for black students," but I chose not to because I don't see any indication that there would be exclusion of nonblack students, and I don't see how there could be, under existing law. So I assume it's things like: photographs of various civil rights heroes, paintings and sculpture by black artists, piped in and live music by black musicians, bookshelves full of books by black authors, lectures on topics relating to race, readings by black poets and writers, etc.

The term "special space" sounds demeaning to my ear, but it's the students' term, I think. As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong.

Roughcoat said...


In what sense does making fun of students' word choices feel wrong? What's wrong about it?

traditionalguy said...

Black Lives Matter is 100% racist and extremely proud of it. They no longer pretend equal treatment has any value. They demand to rule the place Robert Mugabe style, or else.

So far no one is willing to risk calling their bluff...unless a Donald Trump type can be found to talk reality back.

Anonymous said...

"I was going to make a crack about "a special space for black students," but I chose not to because I don't see any indication that there would be exclusion of nonblack students, and I don't see how there could be, under existing law."

Ann, you are living in a period of time when rule of law is breaking down and being replaced with might makes right.

It's very simple. It can be seen all around us, and as more see it and realize it, it will continue to get worse.

We had a good run. But it's over. Rule of law, in any case.

William said...

I think Frederick Douglass should also be re-evaluated. It's not just the fact that he had a past documented record of being a house Negro, but he also said and wrote many things that don't pass muster. His mistress was a blonde, German woman. His wife was an illiterate ex-slave. To his German mistress, he wrote many letters that mocked the appearance and ignorance of his wife. All streets and buildings named after this man should be changed to Ta Nahesi Coates, the only public figure of the last two hundred years worthy of our veneration.

Mike Sylwester said...

If the building is renamed after Ta-Nehisi Coates, the genius, then I hope that Princeton University will provide the public with an authoritative guide to pronouncing his name.

Michael said...

Professor, you are dreaming. The special place for blacks will be a special case for blacks and blacks only. Wait and see.

The demands are stupid and demeaning on their face. I am sorry these young people missed Jim Crow and the chance to brave the dogs and the fire hoses and actual racism which they would doubtless have lain their lives down to change. But they weren't. Their actions today mock their fathers and grandfathers.

Anonymous said...

"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

Heaven forefend that you actually teach them something. Keep supporting the bullshit and all you'll get is more bullshit.

Glad your feelings top your intellect. That's working out great for the country.

MRG said...

I would replace Woodrow Wilson's photo with one of William Thomas Jr.

lgv said...

Today they came for Wilson and we said nothing......., then they came for Jefferson.......

Students want to campus to be more inclusive, but they want their own special place. AA, I believe they do want exclusion. They can't get it, but they can sure ask for it. Remember, they aren't really in to that whole constitution thing.

madAsHell said...

As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong.

I'm sorry, but I find all of this a bit conflicted. On one hand you are willing to mince words, and find nuance. On the other hand, you won't criticize an inherently racist "special space". In fact, you attempt to discount the language, and assume that they just want rap music on the juke box. Isn't correcting such language your job? Isn't it your job to point out "under existing law" ??

Bay Area Guy said...

The Princeton activists/morons/snowflakes should next stage a sit-in, and force the Dean to sign a statement that he is a racist.

Where is Dean Wormer when you really need him?

BDNYC said...

Will the "special space" be a "safe space" for students who believe Woodrow Wilson should still be honored at Princeton?

campy said...

"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the [black]students' choice of words feels [dangerous] wrong."

Bob Boyd said...

Taking Wilson's name off buildings doesn't go far enough, if you ask me. They should take his name off basketballs too.
Why do basketballs even have his name on them in first place? It's ridiculous. Did the guy even play?

Fernandinande said...

and the removal of the name of Woodrow Wilson

A proper Ministry of Truth would remove him from everything until he never existed.

buwaya said...

"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

But what shouldn't feel wrong is when students make fun of each other.
Which is, I think, banned.
That's wrong.
Speaking as an ex-student.

The Godfather said...

So the President of Princeton "played" the students? At best he's delayed the day when he either surrenders to their demands or he doesn't. You "play" someone you're afraid to confront. How about this? Any student who is occupying my office 5 minutes from now will be expelled. And then do it.

Fandor said...

The 20 protesting students names should be removed from the universty's rolls.
Give 'em a refund for this semester and expel them, tout de suite, like they say in France.
You dig?

Achilles said...

Truth. Rule of Law. ML Kings dream.

R.I.P.

Crimso said...

"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

As a faculty member myself, I agree. However, students who take the attitude that they have "demands" are students who need to shown that they really are in no position to be making "demands." It is a disservice to them to allow them to continue this fantasy that people HAVE to consider their grievances. Who's running Princeton? Sounds like the students. WE should be the ones making the demands (that's part of the learning process whereby they learn how the adult world functions). THEY should be the ones asking politely. If they don't like it, they can go and get a job.

Sebastian said...

"The term "special space" sounds demeaning to my ear"

That's because you're not in tune with the movement.

Much as you'd like to mince them in your lawproffy way, for Progs words are just tools.

Special space for special people, because Black Lives Matter: nothing demeaning about it, if you think right.

For extra credit: How does feminism resemble Black Lives Matter?

MikeR said...

"Why do basketballs even have his name on them in first place?" It's a good question - I've always wondered what the former Vice President had to do with pineapple.

n.n said...

A novel suggestion may be to find a special space in your womb, but that is statistically the most discriminatory and dangerous place for black people in America.

Fernandinande said...

Top two comments at Volokh:

YGNY
"I would like to congratulate the iberal academia for making segregation acceptable again. An incredible achievement. Very Progressive."

Craig Johnston
"Wasn't the original civil rights movement about ending segregation, removing racially exclusive spaces? If only we'd known, we could have kept all the signs."

hawkeyedjb said...

The Wilson name and tableaeux are nothing; the protesters got what they really wanted with the cultural competency/diversity bullshit, and the many well-paid valueless jobs that will be created. Academics will be pushed a bit further down the priority list while good young people will be forced to sit through more insulting crap to get their sheepskin. It's ok, Harvard's endowment can take the hit. What's a few million more in extortion when you're sitting on billions?

Tank said...

A special space? Din dey awraddy gets de futbol feel and de hoop de ball court?

Is that a joke, or is it racist?

If Chris Rock said it, it would be a joke. Take a look at his video on how not to get arrested; I couldn't say that either.

Tank said...

It is interesting how the blacks, browns and yellows are insisting on more and more segregation. I couldn't ask for that either.

cubanbob said...

These students are attending one of the world's premier universities and they believe themselves to be oppressed? Their names ought to be published so they can mocked mercilessly and be put on a do not employ list.

Michael McClain said...

So I guess the current crop of black students are seeking segregation. However, its okay because its by their own choice. May non-black students segregate if its own their own terms and not officially mandated?

SMGalbraith said...

"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

The soft bigotry of low expectations?

Nah, I agree with Althouse.

Perhaps quoting segregationists like an Faubus or Maddox would be better? Show how the students' words and their beliefs unintentionally mirror or sound like the beliefs of the Jim Crow segregationists?

Too risky?

Curious George said...

"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

Sounds like someone can imagine the knock on her door.

EDH said...

““We’re done talking. We’re going to be here until he signs this paper. We’re going to be here until things are met.”

You didn't want more conversation. He had to sign the paper, but the paper he signed was about how there would be more conversation.


Sign ze papers, old man!

"Oh, wow, man, is that movie a bummer, man."

Rob said...

So what about it, Professor? Would you attend "cultural competency training" for faculty? What if it were deemed "compulsory"? (I dearly hope participants in Princeton's faculty cultural competency training will have to acknowledge and renounce their white privilege.)

holdfast said...

"If only we'd known, we could have kept all the signs."

Aaaaaand that's the winner of all the internets for today.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

But what are they going to do about the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies? That's the whitest damn building I've ever seen in my life. Changing the name will not fix that.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm sorry, but I find all of this a bit conflicted. On one hand you are willing to mince words, and find nuance. On the other hand, you won't criticize an inherently racist "special space". In fact, you attempt to discount the language, and assume that they just want rap music on the juke box. Isn't correcting such language your job? Isn't it your job to point out "under existing law" ??"

First, i did say that special space sounds demeaning, but I am not going to movk it because I think the students hav e a meaning for it that I can listen to with sympathy and try to understand. I have not done that work.

Second, I presume it's not a blacks only space because that would be the kind of segregation we as a polity have rejected. If my presumption is wrong, let me know.

Third, i made the effort to visualize a special black space on campus and was easily able to think of something positive, uplifting, and valuable on a college level, valuable to all students. Why do you want to shut that out and mock the young people who are trying to work through something that is an inextricable part of American history and culture?

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry for the typos. I'm writing on an awkward device.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I want to know when the white tenured faculty, who obviously got their positions because of white privilege, will start giving up their spots to blacks?

Bob Boyd said...

You know, Ann, moderating the comments is exactly what ISIS wants.

Renee said...

Don't these people have class/studying/projects/internships/part-time jobs???

Tank said...

@Renee

I know you're half joking, but when I went to college I worked 11 PM to 7 AM as a security guard, then I went home and slept for two hours, then I went to class, then I studied, then I slept for 3 or 4 hours, then I maybe spent some time with my GF, the future Mrs. Tank, and then back to work.

I didn't have the luxury of looking for stuff to complain about, nor did I want to.

Real American said...

Professor, unfortunately, you're coming off just like the weak willed loser university apparatchiks around the country who are resigning and giving into these protesters' demands. Feel free to think critically about what they're actually demanding, which is segregation, racial quotas, brainwashing, control of media, airbrushing history and suppression of free speech/ideas they don't like. Plus, they're using threats, unlawful conduct and racial harassment as means to these ends.

These people are adults. Treat them as such. Don't give them any benefit of the doubt - they wouldn't give it to you.

mccullough said...

Maybe Princeton can rename the buildings after Michelle Obama and Ted Cruz and Brooke Shields

Peter said...

Isn't "we don't want a conversation" implicit in the word "demands"? After all, they're not making "requests" nor saying "let's talk about it," they're making demands.

Everyone just accepts that protesters make "demands" as though it's somehow legitimate for protesters to make demands on others, yet never legitimate for others to demand anything of protesters (other than perhaps a temporary cessation of disruptive protesting).

Does anyone ever ask who are these protesters are to make "demands" on anyone, and doesn't giving in not only imply that the demands were just but provide a strong incentive for protesters to find fresh grievances on which to launch new, never-ending protests?

Do administrators cave because they think the protester's cause is just, or from expedience and, if the latter, why aren't they roundly and thoroughly criticized for abysmally poor leadership?

Virgil Hilts said...

What is the goal of the BLM? (I really, really do not know what it is - I understood the protests against young black men getting shot by cops with little provocation; that made some sense and I think most people were sympathetic and disturbed by many of the recent shootings - such as the one of the kid in Cleveland).
What ever the new goal is, are they achieving it?
From what I hear most students (and presumably most non-Marxist professors) at the Universities are sick and completely alienated by the whole movement. If the goal is not to disgust and alienate everyone, then why pursue means that lead to that end?

Virgil Hilts said...

Also, I think Wilson was the prototypical liberal fascist and our very worst President. I actually agree with that aspect of the BLM's wishes and do not think Wilson should be honored anywhere in this country. But their tactics still suck. . .

M Jordan said...

I's a gruber, you's a gruber, all God's children are grubers, especially Eisgruber and Jonathan Gruber, the original Gruber.

buwaya said...

FYI, just a suggestion for an alternative college track -
Go foreign.
British, Australian and Canadian U's are, I am reliably informed, far, far less PC than the US type. And even foreign student tuition at those is very competitive with US State U's. We did the research for the kids, and I could have ended up paying less, all in, for Oxford/Cambridge than for UC.
And if one is after pure instruction and not prestige, the Philippines is a tremendous bargain.
And no PC in sight, anywhere.
You will pay under $3000 annually (even with foreign student extra charges in some) in tuition and fees in any university. And in this I include medical schools. Manila room+board, to more or less "western" standards, will run @$5000/annum.
I do not recommend the Philippines for the Liberal Arts, on the whole, as language and literature instruction and student standards are low, vis-a-vis any but the bottom tiers of US colleges, but technical and business majors are very competitive. Also not recommended for people who need their hands held or who can't live without high standards of comfort of all kinds, or for those who cant handle culture shock.
If one includes the "broadening" effect of foreign residence, it is likely to offer an adventurous and rewarding experience, far beyond a US school, for the right sort of student.

Todd said...

SMGalbraith said...
"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

The soft bigotry of low expectations?

Nah, I agree with Althouse.

Perhaps quoting segregationists like an Faubus or Maddox would be better? Show how the students' words and their beliefs unintentionally mirror or sound like the beliefs of the Jim Crow segregationists?

Too risky?

11/20/15, 11:36 AM


Democrat / liberal, at this point what difference does it make?

jr565 said...

Just kick anyone involved in the protest out of the school next semester.

Anglelyne said...

AA: First, i did say that special space sounds demeaning, but I am not going to movk it because I think the students hav e a meaning for it that I can listen to with sympathy and try to understand. I have not done that work.

You sound like you're practicing for your unpcoming struggle session.

Gahrie said...


Second, I presume it's not a blacks only space because that would be the kind of segregation we as a polity have rejected. If my presumption is wrong, let me know.


I suggest you take a walk around your campus...go inside the Black Student Union and observe how many Whites are there, or how the Black students react to your presence.

Then head over to the dining halls....see how many tables are all Black, and how many are diverse.

Then go to the residence halls. There is a good chance there is a hallway or building reserved for students of color.

Finally, head over to fraternity row. How many Black fraternities and sororities are there? how many Whites are in them?

I think you'll find that today's Black youth have very different ideas about segregation than we did and do.

jimbino said...

hold a sit-in in his office for Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber to cave to their demands

"To cave" means "to spelunk." The proper expression meaning to give into [demands] is "to cave in to [demands]."

Ann Althouse said...

"So what about it, Professor? Would you attend "cultural competency training" for faculty?"

Sounds bloggable, so maybe I would.

"What if it were deemed "compulsory"? (I dearly hope participants in Princeton's faculty cultural competency training will have to acknowledge and renounce their white privilege.)"

I wouldn't be more likely to go or not go based on being told it was compulsory, but I can't picture that happening and if it did happen, I can't believe anyone would keep track of whether we did it or that there would be any consequences, and I'm sure there would be an uproar over it.

Ann Althouse said...

I once went to a training session about the university's new policy about teachers having sex with students. In my view, the rule should be teachers should not have sex with students, but it was some crazy-ass complicated rule that was so absurd I wanted to know if it wasn't really just another way of having what could have been a clear rule (that teachers should not have sex with students). The answer I got was so defensive that I realizde that, though I was among the professors, the session had no intellectual depth, and I was embarrassed for everyone involved. Ever since I've been careful about attending things I think are ritualistic and one-way. If there's a policy to be followed, show me where I can read it.

Anglelyne said...

AA: Third, i made the effort to visualize a special black space on campus and was easily able to think of something positive, uplifting, and valuable on a college level, valuable to all students. Why do you want to shut that out and mock the young people who are trying to work through something that is an inextricable part of American history and culture?

Because people don't agree that "trying to work through something that is an inextricable part of American history and culture" is what's going on here, and that indulging these students in their never-ending "working through" is not only pointless but destructive. You don't seem to be willing even to consider the possibility that the students are simply in the wrong. Indeed, that the whole model for approaching "the problem", inculcated in the students by the now-beleaguered professors and administrators, is wrong, and that, far from solving anything, is making things worse.

madAsHell said...

Why do you want to shut that out and mock the young people who are trying to work through something that is an inextricable part of American history and culture?

When did entitlement, and faux outrage become part of American history and culture?

This is a temper tantrum. It should be mocked, and ridiculed. Silence rewards this behavior.

Furthermore, I don't think these special snowflakes arrived at these demands all by themselves. I see that the black students at North Carolina are making similar ludicrous demands. There must be an agitator somewhere.

rcocean said...

"I once went to a training session about the university's new policy about teachers having sex with students. In my view, the rule should be teachers should not have sex with students, but it was some crazy-ass complicated rule that was so absurd"

Was it "Crazy-ass complicated" because some teachers actually WANTED to have sex with their students?

Matt said...

The California Bar has a "Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society" CLE requirement. The attorneys who lecture on this topic always seems a little embarrassed. The subtext of the lectures always seems to be "I know this is stupid, but here's some practical advice that is peripherally related to the topic."

I imagine that the "cultural competency training" will be similarly uncomfortable.

Todd said...

Ann Althouse said...
I once went to a training session about the university's new policy about teachers having sex with students. In my view, the rule should be teachers should not have sex with students, but it was some crazy-ass complicated rule that was so absurd I wanted to know if it wasn't really just another way of having what could have been a clear rule (that teachers should not have sex with students). The answer I got was so defensive that I realizde that, though I was among the professors, the session had no intellectual depth, and I was embarrassed for everyone involved. Ever since I've been careful about attending things I think are ritualistic and one-way. If there's a policy to be followed, show me where I can read it.

11/20/15, 2:16 PM


Because the likely point of it all was to give male professor cover so as to allow them to have sex with young co-eds...

Fen said...

Sounds like you are trying to hard.

France: "Hah! Germany demanded the Rhineland back but we just gave them that, and Alsace, and Lorraine. They got played! Germany you've been served! That just happened!"

Vomit

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I once went to a training session about the university's new policy about teachers having sex with students.

Seriously, how do you keep the professors off the students? Or vice versa?

In our tiny department, possibly half the faculty and half the grad students were gay. One professor in particular was always on the lookout for what one student called "Ars Nova" (musicological in-joke there). Another professor (straight) married her student. Most of the other gay professors were actually pretty refined in terms of their hunting, and stayed away from students, preferring other professors, soi-disant "sisters," &c. But as a comfortable space for a naive cis-het woman, it left something to be desired.

Actually, I loved it. It was the first time that I could just be, as opposed to "being female." Here were all these men (and a woman or two), listening to me, talking to me! But there were snags. I got into an argument with a female composer after one of our required diversity sessions. I had said -- this was a no-no -- that I'd never experienced any discrimination from any faculty in the department. She cornered me afterwards, and said, well, of course you didn't see any discrimination, because none of them see you as female.

Enh, Laura S., everyone knows I'm female. If you mean that I don't dress up and put on perfume and parade about all the time, say so.

richard mcenroe said...

Now that's progress! Democrat liberals have set aside special places for blacks! Can we have the separate water fountains back now?

Anonymous said...

Ann Althouse said...

I was going to make a crack about "a special space for black students," but I chose not to because I don't see any indication that there would be exclusion of nonblack students, and I don't see how there could be, under existing law.

The University of Michigan has some, I believe they're called "historically black" dorms. Anyone can get assigned to those dorms, regardless of skin color. But, for some reason, sometimes after a "friendly" and "culturally educational" visit by some of their fellow black students, everyone who's not "black" moves to a different dorm.

You really think that wouldn't happen with the "special space for black students"? You really think the kind of craven Administration that acquiesced to such a demand would exert its power to punish that kind of exclusionary activity?


"As a faculty member myself, making fun of the students' choice of words feels wrong."

As a faculty member, failing to point out to students that they're being utter imbeciles as a failure of professionalism on your part.

Joe said...

Yet they keep the name "PRINCE"ton.

Fucking royalists.

david7134 said...

A black space, only for black people?? Isn't that what they called separate but equal doctrine of the 50's. Didn't blacks want that done away with. If does seem as if blacks are trying to undo 150 years of effort. They consistently vote for government policies that will return them to slavery. They consistently want a culture separate from the general American one they fought to achieve equality in.

As to Wilson, he was a horrible progressive that caused much of the problems we have now and the significant loss of freedom. If you want to eliminate symbols of racism, then started with him. Or for that matter, we need to tear down the Lincoln memorial as he was the worst and killed millions of innocent people.

Anonymous said...

I am moderately liberal and white. I have little respect for these BLM activists. Their demands don't seem outrageous on the surface. At least they didn't demand the president humiliate himself and publicly repent of white male privilege, like the ones in Missouri did. Still, no one likes bullies who demand things. If they camped out in my office, making demands, I'd be pretty annoyed and strongly tempted to have them removed gently. That would look bad, though, and they know it. The odd thing is, it's a great privilege to attend an elite university in the first place. You'd think the activists would be grateful for that privilege. I see no gratitude in them. Instead I see resentment and a weird confusion that assumes being offended is the same as being oppressed.

The Godfather said...

Where's Sam Hayakawa when you need him?

Not, apparently, at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Missouri, or anyplace else I've overlooked.

Ann Althouse said...

"When did entitlement, and faux outrage become part of American history and culture? "

The Revolution? Or was it earlier?

CWJ said...

It's a measure of how good, coddled, and safe today's children have it that their predictable college age rebellions have to reach so far back into history to address issues essentially solved years ago by truly courageous people. They are downright intellectually geriatric.

Anonymous said...

"The Revolution? Or was it earlier?"

Good point. The Boston Tea Party featured protesters. Luther and Calvin were protesters too, and they founded Protestantism. Maybe I am too hard on these protesters today. I am instinctively skeptical of them, though, of anyone who disrupts other people's lives to make demands. But that's what protesters have always done.