Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, July 26, 2017
Finally, cowardly university officials who allow leftists racists to intimidate their opposition may face accountability in court, thanks to a lawsuit being prepared to be filed in the State of Washington. Evergreen State College there has become the national symbol of violent political correctness suppressing free speech with institutional support.
When the school sponsored its annual “Day of Absence & Day of Presence,” in order “to explore race in ways that support our students, staff, and faculty of color,” radical students demanded that all white people leave campus, and Prof. Bret Weinstein, a biologist and self-proclaimed progressive, refused and taught his scheduled classes, resulting in a mob confrontation:
Now, according to an exclusive report by Campusreform.org, preparations are underway for a lawsuit seeking financial accountability for the alleged violation of Professor Weinstein’s rights in the incident and its aftermath.
The factual narrative submitted alongside the tort claim argues that Evergreen State “has permitted, cultivated, and perpetuated a racially hostile and retaliatory work environment,” asserting that “Through a series of decisions made at the highest levels, including to officially support a day of racial segregation, the College has refused to protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence.”
Weinstein’s attorney also maintains that the college has “failed to set and enforce necessary boundaries in the workplace on campus, selectively has chosen not to enforce its student Code of Conduct, and sent the unmistakable message that the school will tolerate (and even endorse) egregious violations (and even crimes) purportedly to advance racial social goals, diminishing the collegiate experience for all, and fostering a racially hostile work and retaliatory environment for faculty and staff.”
The sum of, money demanded is “a total claimed on behalf of both professors collectively ‘for the hostile work environment that has been fostered at the college over the past year or so,’” according to the Weinsteins’ attorney.
Weinstein discussed his experience with Tucker Carlson on May 25th:
Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, have filed a standard Tort Claim form against Evergreen State for a sum of $3,850,000.
The legal document was signed by the couple’s attorney and received by Washington’s Department of Enterprise Services Office of Risk Management on July 5.
The official claim follows a litigation hold request sent out in early June, asking the school’s employees to retain and preserve all evidence that relates to the 2017 “Day of Absence;” the student-led protests on campus that took place during the last school year; and any records that relate to Weinstein, his wife, activist professor Naima Lowe, and administrator Rashida Love.
“Please be on notice that this demand covers not only those records covered by any public records acts but those which are or were communicated by private means of any type including but not limited to email and photography. This demand should be immediately distributed campus-wide to all faculty and staff,” Weinstein and Heying wrote on June 4.
“Take note that the destruction or alteration of evidence is a felony,” the document added. “This demand is made in contemplation of litigation. Please promptly acknowledge receipt of this communication and confirm that you will comply.”
This notice had to send chills among the faculty and administration at Evergreen, for the vast legal apparatus created to protect racial minorities and women from a “hostile work environment” are available to other groups. No lawsuit has yet been filed, and the choice of venue will be an important consideration. While the Western coastal strip around Puget Sound and southward is dominated by blue coastal leftists and populous enough to dominate state politics, other parts of the state to the east are far more conservative. The United States District Court, Eastern District of the State of Washington in Spokane might be a more favorable locale for a suit than Seattle, if a rationale can be found for a claim there. Cowboys, lumberjacks, and farmers might be less sympathetic to a demand that white people leave campus than the high tech crowd in Seattle.
The document production so far has yielded some dramatic evidence that has been shared with Campusreform.org:
Campus Reform also obtained hundreds of pages of documents, including emails and social media posts, that relate to the requested litigation hold in June and the tort claim in July.
Email exchanges reviewed by Campus Reform feature harsh criticisms of Weinstein’s political views and calls for his termination, including one email sent by a faculty emerita that blasts Weinstein’s appearance on Fox News and his public comments about the racial tensions in Evergreen.
“Bret, I don’t know what you were thinking. By describing yourself to Tucker [Carlson] as a ‘deeply progressive person’ you provided him ammunition for the claim that ‘the crazies are even going after progressives!!!,’” part of the email reads.
“I hope that you won’t deepen your relation with Fox or pass on more raw material for Tucker’s ‘campus craziness’ show,” the missive continues. “I have no doubt that you and your family are suffering due to recent missives and events; but so are many others on campus.”
Other communications include “A Letter to the campus and Bret Weinstein from some Jews bent on the destruction of White Supremacy,” that calls for the termination of Weinstein’s employment.
“We want to talk about the ways that Weinstein is positioning himself as a Jew to invalidate the claims of racism being raised against him,” the letter begins.
“Bret Weinstein is wrong, he has put you in danger, and we will not allow him to hide behind our histories in order to dodge responsibility for his abhorrent and reprehensible words and actions,” it concludes. “NO COPS ON CAMPUS!!! FIRE BRET WEINSTEIN!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!”
A substantial judgment against Evergreen would force the school to cut other expenses to pay it, or else go the state legislature, hat in hand, and ask for reimbursement. Legislation has already been introduced in Washington to cut state funding and privatize the institution. I would love to see the university president and deans testfying before a legislative committee justifying the expenditure of taxpayer money to atone for their misconduct.
The only way the campus mobs can be tamed is for administrators to start fearing public wrath and withdrawal of funding more than they fear the campus mobs. Privatizing Evergreen and cutting off public support would be a great start. Even better would be outright closure of the school, firing of its faculty and administration, and sale of its campus to some other institution.
The death penalty for universities that surrender to the mob would definitely focus the rest of higher education on its responsibilities to protect free speech and inquiry.
I hope that a jury eventually is so outraged that it awards a substantially higher amount than requested as punitive damages. Force Evergreen to sell assets, close departments, and really experience pain for its flagrant abuses.