On April 12, 2017, Evergreen observed a “Day of Absence,” during which white members of the school community were “invited” to leave the campus as part of an exercise designed to “explore issues of race, equality, allyship, inclusion, and privilege.” In the run-up to the event, an Evergreen professor of biology, Bret Weinstein, wrote an email in which he expressed opposition to the idea that self-segregation was a useful exercise. Weinstein became a target of student protestors, and at one point was forced to avoid campus while they searched for him in parked cars. He and his wife, Heather Heying, also a professor of biology at Evergreen at the time, sued the college for failing to protect them. As part of the half-million-dollar settlement, both resigned from their teaching positions.
This month’s report summarizes the unraveling of campus life in the aftermath of Weinstein’s email. But in regard to analyzing why all of these events transpired, the report’s authors double-downed on the same narrative originally peddled by the university. Overarching blame is placed on nebulous factors such as “racial tensions,” “social inequities,” and “the speed and potency of social media.” The authors also victim blame, complaining that Weinstein “took advantage of this situation to make a national news story out of it through high-profile interviews with national media, including the FOX News Network.”