What's Going On at Williams College?

Glenn Ricketts

That’s what New Criterion editor Roger Kimball asks in this commentary at PJ Media. If you haven’t heard about it, he’s referring to an “incident” last month, in which racial epithets had been scrawled on a Williams College dormitory wall. Replicating a pattern that’s become familiar over the last decade or so, the president of Williams all but sent in a S.W.A.T. team in response: he ordered classes and athletic practices cancelled, and organized a “day of reflection” for soul-searchng, healing and speech-making to emphasize how fervently he and the Williams administration detest racism and what they’re doing to stamp it out, etc., etc. That’s not all, either: Kimball writes that a student who found the whole thing farcical and possibly a hoax, vented on his blog and was hauled in for interrogation by campus police and – get this – the FBI. But maybe that’s not surprising, at least if you know anything about the “bias intervention” procedures that are waiting to pounce on so many college campuses these days. Have a look at this one from Rutgers, where the admininstration also stands ready to send in the 101st Airborne.

But the central point of Kimball’s piece is a question: is this for real? Or is it another of the “hate crime” hoaxes which have been perpetrated frequently over the past few years, often by a member of the putative victim group? Kimball provides a list of recent similar cases, indicating why he’s skeptical of the one at Williams.

In any case, neither the Williams police nor the FBI has yet turned up a suspect, and maybe they won’t. But if it does turn out to be a fabrication, I’m not expecting any classes to be cancelled this time.

  • Share

Most Commented

May 1, 2017


Binghamton University Responds to NAS’s Report

SUNY Binghamton offers critiques and corrections to Outsourced to China. ...

March 23, 2011


Looking for Answers? Ask a Scholar!

NAS is partnering with Intellectual Takeout to answer questions that call for scholarly judgment and can't be answered by Wikipedia. ...

September 5, 2014


Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

"[PTSS] provides an evidence-proof explanation that lifts away moral responsibility from those engaged in self-destructive, anti-social, and criminal behavior."...

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 15, 2020


See Clearly, Decide Wisely, Act Justly

An Open Letter to the Converse College Community in response to its administrative decisions relating to diversity and inclusion on campus. ...

June 12, 2020


Defending Against the Jacobins

As college presidents shirk academic reform in favor of more activist programs, the question remains: Will boards of trustees walk with higher ed. leadership over the edge of the cliff?...