Student activists demand ‘reparations,’ elimination of white authors from humanities course

Student activists demand ‘reparations,’ elimination of white authors from humanities course
Humanities class disrupted by protesters (Image: YouTube screen grab)

What can you learn from reading Aristotle, Plato, Virgil, or any of those other dead white dudes that lived, like — I don’t know — a hundred years ago? Absolutely nothing.

That’s the prevailing attitude of a group of students at Reed College in Oregon who call themselves Reedies Against Racism (RAR).

Unfortunately, acceding to their demands could pose a challenge for professors who teach Humanities 110, “Introduction to Humanities: Greece and the Ancient Mediterranean.”

The course syllabus, which you can examine here, is pretty heavy with unpronounceable names and titles.

According to The College Fix, RAR has already succeeded in effecting the addition to the curriculum of texts from the Americas, but the course still reads “too white.” Now they want all the classic writers gone, replaced with non-European texts “as reparations for Humanities 110’s history of erasing the histories of people of color, especially black people.”

As it currently stands, “the revised Hum 110 will divide into four modules. New freshmen will learn about Athens and Rome in the first semester of the 2018-2019 school year. The second semester will feature Mexico City and Harlem, a change adopted by faculty in response to RAR demands.”

Not all Reed students are happy with the changes or with the nature of the RAR protests, which have disrupted classes and resulted in some cancellations. When asked whether complaints have been lodged over RAR’s antics, Kevin Myers, director of media relations, said revealing that information would violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Myers is also quoted as saying, “RAR are well within their rights to advocate for what they want, but it doesn’t mean they are going to get everything they want.”

That’s a relief! Maybe the school plans to put its food down and agree to teach the lyrics from only one album by Kurupt rather than the entire discography.

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Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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