by Hugh Fitzgerald
The demonstrators had a 72-point manifesto instructing the college to establish pre-set racial admission quotas and a mandatory ethnic studies curriculum for all students. Their other inspirations are for more “womyn or people of color” faculty; covering sex change operations on the college health plan (“we demand body and gender self-determination”); censoring the library catalog for offensive terms; and installing “gender-neutral bathrooms” in every campus facility, specifically including sports locker rooms.
What Dartmouth’s president should have told bullying students, here
These are baby brownshirts. No violence, as yet, and apparently lots of hesitantÂ giggling, as if they are not quite sure of what it is they are supposed to do, when they invade a building and sit-in for a day or two; .
Those who participated should have been expelled at once. Or, if not at once, had their names taken, and warned that they were all on probation, and that one more such incident would lead to expulsion. For there are many students who would gladly transfer to Dartmouth, and take their places.
As for the man who may be deemed their faculty adviser, one RussellÂ J. Rickford, you can find out more about his scholarly accomplishments to date — and alsoÂ that he’s leaving for Cornell, which says something about the current standards, or possible desperation to Increase Diversity, of the History Department at Cornell —Â hereÂ Â And for a few more piquant details about Russell Rickford, seeÂ here.
Russell Rickford’s father is a professor of linguistics, and has written a book on Ebonics. Russell Rickford’s wife has been employed at Dartmouth as an administrator in the Department of African-American Studies. She claimed, in an interview, that the reason they are leaving Dartmouth is for the sake of their five-year-old, who would, if they remained in Lebanon, New Hampshire, be going to a school that would be “too white.” But had he been offered a job with tenure at Cornell, surely she would have mentioned that.
What one may guess happened is something like this. The History Department at Dartmouth, under tremendous pressure to exhibit more “diversity,” originally hired Russell Rickford, who exhibits an outward plausible smiling demeanor in the photographs available. And he had grownÂ up in Palo Alto, his father was at Stanford, these were all signs to relieve worry.. And so they hired him, even though, or perhaps because,Â hisÂ scholarly work seems to have been limited to a biography of Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcolm X. As time went by, Russell J. Rickford did not pan out, and even his supporters on the faculty found they could not plausibly promote him, and Russell J. Rickford, sensing or knowingÂ that he would not be getting tenure, began to ally himself with, by approving of, or possibly encouraging,Â the most resentful and confused and impressionable students, those who apear to believe that Dartmouth is not so much an educational institution as it is an institution forÂ social engineering, and the righting of wrongs (including a lot having to do with sex, and respeect) and these students, as a group, could be usefully deployed, and gave him implied power. When he learned he had no future at Dartmouth, and had nothing to lose, he did nothing to discourage, and may even have encouraged — one would need to find out more, and possibly a committee of inquiry can determine what role, if any, Russell J. Rickford played — the students to behave as they did.
There are many cases where, eager to relieve themselves of a problem arising from the mad and unending push for “diversity” (with its many subsequent discontents), a department will in the case of someone they are eager to get rid of who was hired for the sake of that “diversity,” supplyÂ references that avoid spelling out the truth, in order to see that faculty member off-loaded onto some other, gullible department or school. Lawsuits, noise, trouble of all kinds is thus avoided.Â And if that faculty member has a student following, he can potentially be even more dangerous. One wonders if Rickford will, in Ithaca, create or manage to find a similar student posse, one that, whatever other demands it may make, will always be there to cause trouble in case the faculty members in the History Department, or the Administration, don’t give him what he thinks he deserves.
Of course this is only speculation, based on observation from afar, and some general knowledge of the unhappy consequences of the Diversity madness. Rickford may claim he had nothing to do with the student sit-in, had no idea it was going to take place, deny that he has any “student following,” and claim that he would never dream of suggesting that either he, or anyoneÂ else, should ever be consideredÂ for a job, or tenure, on any basis other than merit.
But if I were a member of the faculty or administration at Cornell, I’d be worried.