If you thought the “educator” who saw “racist” intent behind offering someone a peanut-butter sandwich was a loon, consider Western Washington University (WWU) president Bruce Shepard. Always on the lookout for ways to improve his institution’s academic integrity, he recently circulated a school-wide questionnaire and asked, “How do we make sure that in future years ‘we are not as white as we are today?’”
Apparently, Shepard has been gnashing his teeth over this problem for quite a while. As Kaitlyn Schallhorn at Campus Reform reports, el presidente said in a 2012 speech, “Every year, from this stage and at this time, you have heard me say that, if in decades ahead, we are as white as we are today, we will have failed as university.”
Hey, forget the old measures of academic success, such as if students know what’s in the Constitution, have a grasp of basic history and civics, can perform rudimentary mathematical calculations and properly use the language (for Shep’s benefit, I refer to English). It’s now all about melanin content.
And if you disagree with this thesis, then hope you’re just an ignorant rube. Because the alternative, according to el presidente, is far worse. As he wrote in a January blog post, if you disagree, you “have not thought through the implications of what is ahead for us or, more perniciously, assume we can continue unchanged.” Lions and tigers and pernicious! Oh, my! For graduates of WWU, in calling those who’ve thought things through but nonetheless cling to their misbegotten notions “pernicious,” Shep is accusing them of being “ruinous; injurious; hurtful.” Well, off to the re-education camp with you.
And WWU’s got that covered: Campus Reform also tells us that el presidente has already junked “standard performance reviews” in favor of “sensitivity training and hosts workshops” to better serve illegal aliens. Hey, doubleplusgood for you, Shep.
But Shep is just looking to the future. He also warned on his blog, “In the decades ahead, should we be as white as we are today, we will be relentlessly driven toward mediocrity; or, become a sad shadow of our current self.” Would that be a White Shadow?
But I’m hip. We certainly wouldn’t want to be mediocre like the white guys who forged Western civilization, founded the US, created the modern world and gave us most of what makes our lives better.
Now, given that WWU was founded in 1886 and originally called the Northwest Normal School, I have a feeling it’s already a shadow of its former self. But, question: if WWU became what it is today while being intolerably white, how could remaining so make it a shadow of its current self? I know, I know, our strength lies in our diversity, our smartness lies in our stupidity, and academics lie constantly.
But I have a couple more questions. Does Shep still want the mediocre white alumni’s money? And since WWU has printed information on how to more effectively “recruit and retain faculty and staff of color,” will the colorless Shepard lead by example and give his presidency to a member of the color replete? Or is this where, as with Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Warren, we suddenly learn that Shep is really a Cherokee named Peddling Bull.
Anyway, it’s not hard to figure out how to reduce the number of whites at WWU: just eliminate the affirmative action for whites.
Alas, mediocrity may not remain restricted to WWU’s presidency after all.