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Students at Amherst protest outbreak of free speech, demand offenders undergo “training for racial and cultural competency”

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Students protesting at Amherst College have issued a list of demands to administrators that includes making them apologize for signs that lament the death of free speech.

A group calling themselves the Amherst Uprising listed 11 demands they want enacted by next Wednesday. Among them is a demand that President Biddy Martin issue a statement saying that Amherst does “not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the ‘All Lives Matter’ posters, and the ‘Free Speech’ posters.”

The latter posters called the principle of free speech the “true victim” of the protests at the University of Missouri.

Going further, the students demand the people behind “free speech” fliers be required to go through a disciplinary process as well as “extensive training for racial and cultural competency.”

The protests at Amherst come on the heels of protests at the University of Missouri, Yale, and Claremont McKenna College. At Mizzou, officials resigned after criticism of how they reacted to alleged racist incidents on campus. Students at Yale protested an email sent by a college administrator about Halloween costumes, saying it made them feel unsafe. And at Claremont McKenna, a class president resigned her post after appearing in a photo with two students dressed in ponchos and sombreros.

Amherst students also asked administrators to excuse them from coursework and classes so they could participate in protests and sit-ins—and they want the school to warn alumni that racist or critical responses of the protests will not be tolerated.

The full statement from the Amherst Uprising is here.

I’m currently working on a long piece regarding the goings-on at Missouri and Yale, so I’m not going to respond at this time to any of the questions that were raised in the 500+ comment thread accompanying my earlier, admittedly cryptic, post. Many of the responses provided further impetus for writing the piece, which I appreciate.

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