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Anti-Racism Protests Organized at Albion in Response to Conservative Talking Points on White Privilege

Albion College observatory
Albion College observatory / Wikimedia Commoons
• September 27, 2017 10:51 am

Anti-racism demonstrations at Albion College were organized this week in response to a conservative student group sharing a document with its members that contained talking points on white privilege from popular right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro.

Some 100 students, faculty, and administrators gathered outside of the campus dining hall Monday with signs and music, blocking the entryway and keeping students from eating lunch, after the Albion College Conservatives document came to light, according to reports by the Albion Pleiad.

Protesters affiliated with black, Latino, and LGBT groups said the open-access Google document contained "racist and violent remarks."

One demonstrator told the Pleiad that there is "a culture of bigotry" at Albion, and that minority students should "run." Another said black, undocumented, and LGBT students "risk life every day" by attending the school.

The protest was followed up with a "prayer circle" the following afternoon.

The anti-racism activists have also presented administrators with a list of demands, seeking mandatory, annual diversity training for all students, staff, and faculty; "proper funding" for the Office of Intercultural Affairs; and at least one designated gender-neutral floor in every residence hall.

The document that sparked these actions was meant to outline the right-wing view for a debate on white privilege and institutional racism.

The College Conservatives have said a similar paper was produced on the liberal perspective, and that the point-counterpoint documents were part of a weekly discussion session during which two club members are selected to present the differing views on a controversial topic.

The club has said they do not endorse the right-wing views expressed in the document, just as they do not champion the contradicting liberal perspective.

The conservative talking points included comments such as "Statistical disparity does NOT mean discrimination," "The only color that capitalism cares about is green. Not black, white, or what have you," and "Liberals will make up their own subjective truths to their own convenience to prove you wrong. Their personal truths are not THE truth. There is only the truth and bullshit."

One point that has received substantial blowback was not taken from Shapiro, but written by an Albion student, reading: "Take the liberal tears from the idiot you just destroyed in your debate, dissemble your American made Springfield M1911 .45 caliber handgun and apply the tears in order to clean the mechanism, reassemble and proceed to purchase Antifa and ISIS hunting permits and max out on tags."

Albion administrators have said they are investigating whether the content was racist and produced with the approval of the College Conservatives.

The president of the College Conservatives said an official statement from the group was forthcoming, but was not available by press time.

Since the start of the semester, Albion has seen swastikas and other racist graffiti appear around campus.