A new racial controversy is brewing at Western Michigan University. In what is surely a very serious matter and not at all a trivial concern for students who have nothing better to do, the school’s Black Student Union is at war with the administration after (horror!) a “mostly white” choir had the temerity to sing old Negro spirituals.
The union is not only upset with the choir performance itself but to the university president’s response, which was insufficiently woke. Meaning, it was insufficiently pandering to the first rule of social justice: Any complaint by a student of color must be taken as seriously as the coronavirus, even if said complaint is patently ridiculous.
The controversy started when one (1) black student posted to social media after getting riled by the “cultural appropriation” she was forced to witness onstage at the concert. Shaylee Faught insisted that the concert “made a mockery” of her culture; she told the student newspaper that it was a good thing she happened to attend – “If I wasn’t there,” she said, “I guarantee no one would’ve said anything.”
Oh, you’re so close to full self-awareness, Shaylee. So, so close.
From Campus Reform:
WMU President Edward Montgomery said in a statement that Dr. John Wright, the professor from Salisbury State who headed the event, “speaks with passion about his goal to offer an experience that honors and celebrates African-American spirituals.” Montgomery added “the feedback [Wright] received from students and others immediately following the concert suggested the event had done just that.”
But the president also criticized Wright for his comments suggesting the university look into Faught’s mental health.
Montgomery noted two deans met with Faught to address concerns that her identity felt “disrespected” by the concert. School officials also met with the Black Student Union and Western Michigan Student Association, and a meeting with the Intercultural Competency Committee is “in the works.”
So, two things. One, who wouldn’t question a student’s mental health if she got this upset about something that is uncontroversial and has absolutely nothing to do with her. And two, well…you can see why the student union is so upset. The president did not immediately fall in line and offer every black student at the university a free diploma, a $5,000 check, and the rights to rename any building on campus for the black leader of their choice.
“This was propaganda that was carefully designed to keep Western Michigan University’s public image clean, protect its image of Diversity & Inclusion, and to make the situation seem smaller than it is,” the BSU said in an email to the President. “[His] response is a tactic to ease the students back to sleep and dampen their justified anger. This response, at its most concrete, affirms how institutionalized this problem is.”
Oh, there’s an institutionalized problem, all right. Call it “systemized entitlement,” and you might be getting warm. We’ll also accept “rampant self-victimization” and “tantrum culture.” The man, woman, or institution that actually solves this problem will do America a great service.