Evergreen State College Lecture Equates Free Speech Fight With White Supremacy

Vimeo screenshot/The Evergreen State College, YouTube screenshot/Liam Dominic Fanning

Ian Miles Cheong Contributor
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Evergreen State College, the site of last year’s most publicized campus social justice-related fiasco, recently hosted a lecture that equated free speech with white supremacy.

In 2017, the college entered the national spotlight for holding a so-called “Day of Absence” that forced white students out of the campus for a day. One professor’s criticism of the event, and his refusal to abide by the decision, prompted progressive student groups to threaten him with violence and accuse him of supporting white supremacy.

On Monday, the Washington-based public college invited a veteran civil rights lawyer, Alan Levine, to host a lecture originally titled “Campus Protests and the Fight against White Supremacy: How the Right Turned a Nationwide Movement Against Racism into a Debate about the First Amendment.”

According to The College Fix’s Steve Coffman on Thursday, Levine’s lecture revolved around the claim that “white supremacists have usurped the campus free speech movement, and it’s lawful and noble to censor them.”

Despite being an old school liberal and civil rights lawyer, Levine argued in defense of school restrictions on “offensive” Halloween costumes, and claimed that conservatives’ support of free speech draws from white supremacy. The lawyer claimed that a lack of diversity training and exclusive social clubs contributed to, and maintained white supremacy on college campuses.

Furthermore, he stated that a failure to support pro-Palestinian activism, which involves BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions of Israel), suppresses the free speech of progressive voices.

Despite his supposed support of free speech, Levine approved of the heckler’s veto used to deplatform Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley, and Charles Murray at Middlebury College last year. He claims that both Yiannopoulos and Murray practiced what he called “harmful speech” and thus needed to be censored.

Levine’s claims did not go unanswered, as Bret Weinstein, the professor at the center of the Evergreen controversy in 2017, confronted him on his efforts to rationalize censorship.