Ever since the fake racial hate incidents last March, there have been protests against some perceived “injustice” on the part of Oberlin’s administration. These protests have made a lot of noise, but there are other viewpoints on campus:
1) Oberlin’s administration does not perpetrate any form of injustice, nor is it “structurally” unjust. On the contrary, Oberlin College bends over backward not to harm the interests of any individual or group.
2) The demands of the protesters are ridiculous. Students do not have the financial and administrative experience necessary to properly allocate college funds. Boycotting the state of Israel is morally wrong and based on the lie that Israel is an apartheid; it is not, since all its citizens are granted equal rights under the law. Moreover, accusing Israel of practicing apartheid is an insult to the black South Africans who suffered terribly under that system. Providing support for illegal immigrants is not a primary need of the college, and would divert college funding from more important projects. (As for potentially raising student tuition to cover the cost of support, even an increase of a few hundred dollars would take a bite out of the budgets of families who already rely heavily on financial aid.)
3) The beliefs of the protesters are ridiculous. For example, a sign at last Sunday’s protest read: “Our ivory tower reproduces the security state.” Let’s see those same students hold up a sign like that in Russia, where members of a rock band are rotting in prison for criticizing Putin, or China, where artists, writers, and academics who voice criticism of the government suffer the same fate.
4) The fake racial hate incidents that were the catalysts for these protests were, well, fake.
It’s a shame that the protesters and activists are so loud; it obscures the fact that not all the students here support their demands.