The story that’s being promoted everywhere is that one faculty member’s resistance to Evergreen’s 2017 incarnation of its “Day of Absence” is at the center of the turmoil. In 2017, instead of people of color voluntarily absenting themselves from campus for a day to demonstrate the importance they play in the community, as had been the case for many years, white individuals were encouraged to leave campus. In mid-March Professor Bret Weinstein argued that:
There is a huge difference between a group of coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles (the theme of the Douglas Turner Ward play, Day of Absence, as well as the recent Women’s Day walkout), and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. The first is a forceful call to consciousness which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.