Update: Discontinuance of FoFA

Since the new academic year has demonstrated an evolution of campus climate, we believe that the Friends of the First Amendment has served Seattle Pacific University in its purpose to present a dissenting position and expand dialogue on diversity, equality, and inclusion.

As the immediate needs and needs of the foreseeable future at SPU have changed with the new year, new events, and new announcements, we believe that FoFA is no longer needed for the purpose above and has accomplished what it set out to do at its founding in March, 2016. As such, we will be discontinuing events and publications for the foreseeable future.

However, we encourage all to continue pursuing other positions and expanding dialogue, and we look forward to new, emerging avenues for such pursuit and expansion.  We thank all who supported us, publicly and privately, and are glad to have been a platform and resource to the students of SPU. This is not the end of the campaign to encourage respectful dialogue and effective policy on campus. It will be carried on.

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A Letter to the Falcon from FoFA

Dear Falcon Staff,

We respectfully ask: what is the place of the Falcon in campus conversation? What role does it desire to take?

Last year, saw the emergence of two main threads of thought. The Friends of the First Amendment (FoFA) and the Justice Coalition (JC) provided organization and voice to many on this campus who desired to be heard. The minority who questioned the JC’s sweeping policy proposals found audiences and fair playing field in the Falcon’s opinion pages.

For the most part, the Falcon called for discussion, nuance, and cooperation. This year, we hoped to continue the conversation, contemplation, and action. Some things have changed, others have not, and many more aspects will need to be discussed.

But, after the Falcon’s first act of the new year, how can the students of this campus trust it to be the independent and even-handed organization it needs to be in order to foster discussion? Why this before reporting on campus news? Who had taken command of the Falcon name to allow it to put itself squarely behind of one of the several campus groups committed to this conversation? Has the Falcon forgotten that the JC proposed an anonymous, Orwellian reporting system with no measure of accountability? Or that it proposed that the Diversity officer have the immense power to unilaterally “overturn processes, programs, and practices” that they alone deem unfit? Or the attempt to shift massive institutional power to University Ministries, the leadership of which is populated by JC members and their supporters? Or that we, the student body, have very little idea of what power the JC has been given in reforming SPU’s system and what it is doing?

Why has the Falcon endorsed a polemic letter that attacks Dr. Martin’s credibility without verifying the facts and sidesteps important questions—indeed, leaves them entirely unanswered (see link)? The Falcon forgets that this is a conversation, a dialogue, and a question that has many answers. And, respectfully, that is not the kind of Falcon SPU needs.

Sincerely,

The Friends of the First Amendment

A New Year

A warm welcome to all SPU students, new and returning! Last year was one of great discussion, controversy, and growth for us all, and we look forward to another year of the same.

To new students, we encourage you to learn about the campus discussion you are entering into. To old students, we encourage you to remain invested and to remember lessons learned.

Whatever discussions our campus chooses to invest in, FoFA remains committed to its values of freedom and justice, and is prepared to defend and forward them.

Welcome to a new year.

Real Empowerment. Real Diversity

Real Empowerment Real Diversity2

Expand scholarships to Students of Color

Some scholarships already in place, but we wish to both increase them in amount and number. With potentially around $120,000, Seattle Pacific could diversify campus in a meaningful and measurable way. These scholarships would allow students who struggle to pay nearly $50,000 tuition annually to achieve the education that they deserve.

Of course, mere statistics cannot measure true diversity on campus. The recipients of these scholarships would be students of the minority who deserve a seat at the table and who have much to bring to our community as students and individuals.

 

Send Education Majors into low-income neighborhoods

Educating youth is essential to the continuity of a flourishing society, and without education, individuals cannot reach their full potential. Since good education is especially inaccessible to persons of low-income households, SPU could better utilize funds to award grants in order to send students pursuing education degrees to serve where they are needed most—to both inspire future service and to make a difference now.

 

Professor and PhD candidate outreach

Money can be used to send ambassadors to academic conferences and events where prospective faculty and staff can be recruited and informed of the benefits of teaching and conducting research at SPU. This will widen and diversify the applicant pool, attracting the leaders and academics SPU needs to thrive.

 

 

 

Arguments and Ad Hominems: Our Response to the Justice Coalition

This is a more complete response to the SPU Justice Coalition’s defense of their “weaponization” rhetoric that has been used to discount the voices of students on our campus. 

Recently we published a video rejecting the term “weaponization” and its application to our members. In light of the Justice Coalition’s prompt and thorough response, we would like to further clarify. We are not surprised by its use, rather we find its use problematic and we reject that’s its application to us as being accurate. This response will better lay out why we find it problematic on a point-by-point basis.

We are fully aware that the term “weaponization” has roots that go beyond the Social Justice movements on campus. As JC points out, in a lot of early colonialization, especially under British rule, one sees local leaders used as tools by oppressive Europeans to divide their enemies and better maintain power over local groups. We reject this term as being applied to us because we are not being used and we are not a part of some strategy of oppressive others. Let’s go over the examples used to discuss “weaponization” in JC’s response:

  • “According to the research of Dr. Paul Staniland and Dr. Adnan Naseemullah, “[i]ndirect rule is understood as a form of political control in which agents of the state delegate day-to-day governance to local power-holders in areas considered beyond the reach of the state’s direct authority. Intermediaries —often those holding ‘traditional” or customary authority—represent and enforce political authority on behalf of titular rulers.’”
  • “it represents a formal strategy of socio-political domination that has long been an instrument of controlling subordinate populations”
  • “a systematic attempt by colonial authorities to structure the local elite”; that is, a calculated method for recruiting ‘local’ (racial/ethnic/tribal in-group) members of a community who possess a raised status through which they ideologically relate, and are sympathetic towards, external (out-group) elites.”
  • “In order to subdue their movement, President Lyndon Johnson recruited Martin Luther King…”
  • “Indirect rule as decentralized despotism…Chiefs acted on behalf of the colonial establishment”
  • “Political strategy that becomes a colonial ‘weapon’ for the use of re-socializing a people’s collective orientation towards an established ruler.”

The reason we reject the term “weaponization” is because it suggests that we are being used and recruited by some oppressive Other. We are not being used. These are our opinions. We reject this because the word “weaponization” in historical, theoretical, and linguistic contexts suggests that we are tools being wielded by others with no true agency of our own. This is problematic because instead of addressing our experiences, beliefs, and our research, it undermines them and denies us the ability to even have a valid opinion.

We actually find the way “weaponization” is used in by those engaged in Critical Race Theory, by so-called “Social Justice Warriors” and by the JC, to not be used as it was in the historical context. We are not colonial leaders with power who are being tempted by power or safety or other incentives to use the power we have as a minority to extend the power of the oppressor. The idea that, unbeknownst to us, FoFA has accepted institutional and dominant social processes and mindsets of the ruling class; this idea that we, on a psychological level, have accepted the oppressive systems and genuinely fight for them whilst all the while unaware of their hold on us and of our own oppression, is closer to the Marxist idea of False Consciousness. Introduced by Friedrich Engels, the idea suggests that people push for an ideology, that supports the ruler or systems that are oppressing them, without understanding the real forces that motivate them to fight for that cause.

Whether “weaponization,” as historically used, or false consciousness, FoFA rejects the application of these terms. We reject it because it is an Ad Hominem attack. As mentioned earlier, by calling us weapons of the elite, you undermine our ability to have an argument without actually addressing our concerns. This isn’t just limited to the term “weaponization.” We find all instances of this kind of characterization to be detrimental to good conversation. It extends beyond just terms that are applied to us to our arguments as well. For example, calling our arguments “textbook” or “empty rhetoric”, doesn’t actually address the content of them. Instead it is derogatory and ignores the real research we have done, the experiences we have had, and the open ears with which we have listened and explored so many sides to these issues over the years.

The term is problematic because we fail to see how one can accurately say our opinions are not valid. We recognize that psychology dictates that we are very influenced by the people and places we learn from. While you say our opinions our products of the system, we reject the notion that anyone is free of biases, including JC. Historically speaking, since Mark Horkheimer took over the Frankfurt School in the 1930s, there has been a gradual shift towards certain schools of thought such as Critical Theory in academia. While there are issues on campuses such as representation and curriculum, JC’s stance is extremely complementary with a large portion of current culture in academia–a sort of establishment in itself.

The point of this is not to get into a debate about curriculum, representation, and diversity of thought, as important as those conversations are, but rather to point out that there are platforms educating JC and SJWs that have biases as well. What we think is important, is that one’s opinion cannot only be evaluated in light of the background against which they have grown and learned. We believe the trademark of a truly great thinker is one who is aware of their own biases and continually seeks, with open ears, to listen and understand different opinions. We are seeking to do that, and not just by engaging in open dialogue. We seek out new experiences, conversations, and are continually add to our reading lists books from a variety of perspectives.

In summary, our asking JC to not apply the term “weaponization” to FoFA, was not an attempt to engage in respectability politics. We are not using our minority status to try and police and force conformity to the status quo. Instead, we are asking for the Ad Hominems to stop because they prevent the meaningful dialogue. We want the research, thought, and work we put into understanding the issue and thoughtfully addressing it not to be discounted on accord of us supposedly being in the hands of some oppressive other. The conversation ends when the name calling and discounting categorizations start, because it undermines opinions and perspectives of all groups.

In the real world, SPU’s administration is working closely with the JC, giving the JC the real “establishment” power on this campus. FoFA has no power, except that of our ideas—and the JC is even trying to take those away.

“Weaponization” has been used to categorize us as a tool, but the reality is we are a minority opinion on campus that often feels petrified to share our opinion. We only share it because we do genuinely care about this campus and all the people on it and we think it’s important that this opinion is presented. We worked hard to expand our worldview and understanding, and we will continue doing so.

We have gained scorn, insults, suspicion, and hatred for our beliefs. The one thing that has given us the strength to go on is the students who we know, who we speak to, who we hear from. They are terrified, confused, and alone on a campus where judges of thought condemn those who dissent. We speak for ourselves and for them, in the hopes of creating a campus where no one is afraid.

Moving forward, we understand that JC does not want to engage in the campus conversation with us, but we are open to continue to have conversations with anyone who wants to challenge our worldview and who is open to having their worldview challenged as well.

Why the Conversation has Died: A Call to Genuine Reconciliation

In response to the SPU Justice Coalition’s letter to the SPU Community, addressing our rejection of the “weaponization” argument, we remain incredibly concerned with the hypocritically dangerous nature of such an argument which essentially excludes opposition from the necessary “conversation” on campus.

As students of political science, we are quite aware of the concepts referred to in the response—but are also deeply aware of the value of evidence. The Justice Coalition does not present any to back up their claims—rather, they simple apply terms such as “weaponization” and “indirect rule” to those who disagree (FoFA) without evidence. This is both 1)irresponsible and 2) unjustifiable.

The division that the Justice Coalition’s ideologies cause and the hatred that is so clearly enmeshed in their rhetorical attacks undermines the goal of “conversation” and “reconciliation” which the Justice Coalition initially presented and has purported to seek. Barring opposition in such powerful terms pronounces judgment and demonstrates a lack of humility–neither of which are compatible with grace-filled conversation and reconciliation. We are not surprised that the Justice Coalition’s message exhibits this glaring contradiction, but we lament it because it comes off as an unwillingness to reconcile with opposition. It is now apparent to us that the JC had no intentions of engaging in true dialogue at any point with us despite encouraging such dialogue .

The Justice Coalition grounds its worldview around the extremist, anti-empirical, and epistemologically subjective framework known as “Critical Race Theory” explicitly espoused in their response. While it might be acceptable in CRT to ignore evidentiary requirements and to declare opposition as part of some vast conspiracy of oppression, our fields of study reject that mindset. Any course on social science methodology makes it known that any theory or claim worth examining must have observable and measurable evidence.

We thank the JC for making explicit its true opinion of FoFA. The response is long, but we encourage those who are able to read it to continue getting both sides in this necessary campus conversation. Further, we will try our best to not have combative tone toward the Justice Coalition; but it is difficult when we must defend our position against the condescending content and patronizing implications in the JC’s response. We assure you that we shall not let such aggression keep us from involving ourselves in this discussion.

Because we believe that the Justice Coalition and other invested parties bring helpful ideas to the table, we hope that the Justice Coalition returns to its dedication to reconciliation in allowing us and those represent a seat at the table. We hope that the Justice Coalition reconsiders its stance and joins us in collaboration as we fight for a better campus.

“If you oppose us, you are racist”: Why SPU must reject the “Weaponization” Rhetoric

 

The “Weaponization” argument:

*People of Color who oppose changes that changes like those the JC have proposed do so because of “internalized racism” and an implicit belief in white supremacy.

* Thus “weaponized” and turned into tools of white supremacy, they are used to combat movements led by uncorrupted Persons of Color.

We have seen this insidious argument before, several times, in fact, from SPU students writing to us privately and as well as publically posting on Facebook and blogs.

This argument is an explicit attempt to completely disregard the possibility that a member of a racial minority could disagree with a group like the JC without being a tool of racist white-supremacist controllers. By necessity, it argues that all minorities who disagree with them have “internalized racism.” Corrupted by white supremacy, they no longer have a place in the conversation. The only perspectives from minorities that are tolerated are those that agree or sympathize—all others can be dismissed as impure or false perspectives of the people of color community.

FoFA is greatly saddened that this line of thought is apparently (evidenced in the video clip) being perpetuated by the Justice Coalition, a group that states they are seeking reconciliation. Arguing the People of Color who oppose the ideas presented by the JC are “weaponized is bigoted and a totalitarian attempt to control and limit thought.

Regardless of their opinions on this rhetoric up to this point, we respectfully ask that the Justice Coalition disavow this argument, as it has no place in a community seeking respectful and sincere Christ-centered reconciliation. If it does not come from the JC, we ask that they stand with us in firm and public opposition to this prejudiced rhetoric.

*FoFA is not attempting to comment on the situation at Seattle U, only noticing a disturbing trend in the argumentation of those who support the JC and similar groups.*

“Sofa with FoFA” Follow-Up

Check out our new Facebook page here

We would like to thank all those who attended our Sofa with FoFA event to join us in discussion of the issues on our campus today. We realize it is close to the end of the year and things are getting very complicated very quickly—your willingness to continue the conversation was greatly welcomed.

As far as the forum itself, we recognize and apologize for any confusion that has followed from the event. To those who brought up excellent questions, we intend to address them as much as possible. To those who respectfully presented their concerns, we thank you for your honesty and good faith. To those who did not have a chance to speak support or concern, our website is open for you to contact us or here: friendsofthefirstamendment@gmail.com

We believe that we did not convey our ideas well at this first event, and for that we ask grace and forgiveness. The conversation quickly moved into areas we never intended and did not prepare for, such as definitional arguments of “fairness” vs “equity”; contradictory accounts of ASSP Senate sessions; and hyper-specific questions regarding the number of credits potential cultural-enhancing classes should be. We thank those who came in good faith to discuss these issues and we regret we were not able to provide more specific answers. We can say, however, with confidence, that we are discussing and preparing ways to make sure that we are clearer in the future and can engage on as many of the topics brought up as we can.

We are in conversation with the Justice Coalition regarding potential collaboration, and will be meeting with upper administration to discuss the future of this movement. While we are not ruling out another forum, we also know that summer is swiftly approaching and that time is growing short and that we may not have the chance.

Finally, we are excited to announce that we will be following up the forum with a Facebook page, articles, posts, and videos that will clarify our positions and invite discussion and response from the administration, Justice Coalition, and student body. Read them, watch them, share them, respond to them, and discuss them as we, as a collective student body, work to improve and protect our campus.

Are the FoFA Authors Exploiting Their Minority Statuses?

This an email we sent in reply to a concerned student. The student stated that there must be more than three voices behind FoFA, then asked why specifically Briana, Kā’eo, and Zair are the faces of FoFA. The student then speculated that the FoFA authors are strategically using their status as minorities to invalidate the stories of other minorities on campus and found this contradictory. The student requested transparency or a concrete reason that the other writers of FoFA are not willing to be the face of it. Our response has been redacted to preserve the anonymity of the student involved.

 

Dear _____,

Thanks for your email! We really appreciate the time and intentionality you have put forth to contact us.

Regarding the integrity of FoFA and the three of us, we disagree that it is contradictory and that it has taken advantage of our minority status to voice the beliefs of others (i.e. of the majority culture). The dissent came about through a long process of conversation–among more than just the three of us. However, the three of us had the personal conviction to write the dissent and the responses. In fact, Briana Chui crafted the initial draft of the dissent which we all pitched in to edit before the release at the beginning of May.

As we are sure you can understand, the amount that we have taken on is great for three individuals. As such, we are in constant conversation with a greater number of SPU personnel, but that does not mean that any of those in that number are the driving force of the dissent. Just as there are those on the Justice Coalition and there are those who support the Justice Coalition, the Friends of the First Amendment is a group of three who have support of more than three–as demonstrated by the fact that over 100 individuals have publicly supported our dissent online. Even in addition to the ~100, we have continued conversation with students of the minority culture and of the majority culture who are just as invested in the issue as those who are in conversation with the Justice Coalition but who are not the faces of the Justice Coalition.

Further, as there are people of the majority culture on both sides of the argument, we do not see why our group looks like the one shielding any demographic group afraid of being called out for “white privilege.” As mentioned above, we have personal convictions to lead this movement and to be the ones who publicly stand up in dissent. This is also not the first time that the issue of holding a “white” position, and we have addressed that in part here. We have an unpopular stance at SPU, but that does not warrant the belief that the three of us are merely protecting anybody with “white privilege.” Many of the individuals who agree with us are of the majority culture, but many are also of minority cultures.

In a way, assuming that we are the faces in order to protect the majority culture also invalidates our personal stories as well as the stories of the other students of the minority who have supported us–publicly or otherwise (we say otherwise because so many people are terrified of getting the incredibly negative kind of responses that the three of us have received). The three of us each have incredibly different backgrounds. One of us hails from Honolulu, has a nuclear family in a diverse and urban community, and is Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Hawaiian, Filipino, and European. Another has lived in Washington for the vast majority of her life and is Native American, Mexican, African, and Arabic. The third of us has lived in three different states, has divorced parents and a stepmother, and is Chinese. Despite the differences among our stories and the differences between our stories and other stories of people of the minority, the three of us hold the same dissenting opinion. Our individual stories are different than others–even may contradict the truths seeming to come from others–but that does not necessitate an invalidation of others’ stories.

Further, our dissent does not invalidate these stories. The narrative often sounds the same among persons of the minority culture–implicit oppression from maybe ignorance, maybe malice, maybe tradition, maybe something else. Like we said, the three of us have varied backgrounds and stories. However, we still completely agree that our society has some bias, some ignorance, some racism, some sexism, etc. and that, as such, individuals face inequality, suffering, etc. The three of us have even faced these injustices at different points in our lives (even now) and in different ways. We believe in the goodness of cultural and educational diversity, we believe that injustices are real in our imperfect society, and we believe that people (ourselves included) have suffered and are suffering. Yet we still hold our position, and it is unclear how our stories of suffering are inconsistent with our position of dissent.

Again, thank you for your questions. We hope that we have cleared up such confusion. If not, then we are ready to share our stories and explain our position further.

Have a lovely weekend,

Friends of the First Amendment

Our Third Response: A Dissent from Blanket Statements of Oppression

The Unity Petition begins by accusing SPU of the following:

The current structure of SPU in all areas pertaining to student life, community involvement, faculty development, and internal relations, suppresses minority cultures and identities by perpetuating the notion that Western white evangelical culture is socially and theologically normative, thereby inhibiting the personal and communal development of minority students.

This accusation then calls for a Chief Diversity Office to represent students who have been “historically neglected by this University,” and “to overturn processes, programs, and practices by which the oppression and marginalization of minorities is perpetuated.” We, the Friends of the First Amendment, vehemently oppose the contention that SPU is currently institutionally oppressive to persons of color.

One of our critics, referencing our experience as students of color and our critique of recent campus events, call us to “either see their differences… as a deficiency…and dismiss them, or… listen and try to understand why [we] might not feel the same way… and stand in solidarity with them.” We do not dismiss the hurt those have felt on this campus as a product of racist individuals, and stand by anyone who has been victim of racial prejudice. However, the Friends of the First Amendment cannot accept blanket claims of institutional oppression without substantiated evidence. We believe that such acceptance only perpetuates the marginalization of students of color by prompting them to view themselves as victims and the majority as privileged oppressors. The more minorities ascribe to this worldview, the more perceived marginalization becomes self-inflicted marginalization. This is not only harmful to the individuals of the minority, but to the entire community.

The perceived divide of “privileged” and “marginalized” (we intend to address the issue of “allies” at a future date) causes us to no longer identify as individuals with varying personality types and cultural experiences in stark contrast to Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” As members of the great American experiment whose fundamental principles would not maintain institutional slavery or any such systematic oppression, the identities of the historically-privileged and historically-oppressed must not be the primary identifiers of the individuals at our institution.

We do not deny the presence of true racism and oppression in our society and openly condemn any practices or attitudes that promulgate these evils. However, the situation on campus is a far cry from the hurdles and barriers Dr. King and his contemporaries had to overcome. Thus, in order to address such claims and reframe this discussion, we must first define institutional oppression and provide historical examples.

Institutional oppression is defined as “the systematic mistreatment of people within a social identity group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on the person’s membership in the social identity group.” Such oppression occurs when “established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups.” Moreover, “[if] oppressive consequences accrue to institutional laws, customs, or practices, the institution is oppressive whether or not the individuals maintaining those practices have oppressive intentions.”

Examples include the apartheid of the twentieth century in South Africa, the Jim Crow laws of the nineteenth and twentieth century, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the Japanese internment camps during World War II. In each of these instances, a government institution oppressed specific people groups by virtue of their ethnicity, some under the guise of safety, others as products of an overtly racist society. This is in stark contrast to the structure of our university.

In addition, blanket statements of “institutional racism” on SPU’s campus do nothing to solve the problem, even if all of the claims of the Unity Petition are true. Such statements lack intellectual integrity—specific instances and individuals can be dealt with appropriately, as can policies that actively discriminate against people, but merely stating the phrase and using it to justify policies that would repress freedom of expression does only harm.

Microaggressions, which have been described by a member of the Justice Coalition as “among the most prevalent and destructive forms of racial injustice” that “chip away at [students of color’s] identity and self-confidence,” vastly differ from the aforementioned instances. Though they have been deemed “coded,” “covert,” and “subtle barbarities,” of which the minority must open the “incorrigible eyes” of their oppressors, most are simply misunderstandings that are the product of a lack of exposure to other cultures. According to the editorial, “[microaggressions are] difficult to confront or prove,” and that only the “racially-conscious” can understand and interpret the hidden nature of this form of oppression. This confines the awareness of racism to anyone who believes they are victims of such. To critique, question, or dissent from such divisive, self-imposed views is “quasi-intellectual” and only reinforces the questioner’s “racial-unconsciousness,” sometime to the point of actual “racism.” (See our post on Racialized Rhetoric).

Members of a self-proclaimed “grace-filled community” who vilify those who do not have the same racial and cultural awareness as themselves are devoid of such virtue. The goal of diversity is to share one’s unique experience with others, not to patronize those who, through no fault of their own, are either misinformed or unfamiliar with the cultural norms of others.

The three of us have varying ethnic, geographic, socioeconomic, and family backgrounds. Throughout our experiences at SPU, we have invested in lasting friendships and activities because of our character, interests, senses of humor, and motivations—because of our personal self—not because of any particular social identifier. Driven to overcome any societal structures that may hinder us, we count our successes relationally, spiritually, academically, and personally as the results of a commitment to excellence, a desire for a future we can create, and a God who relentlessly loves.

To empower persons of the minority, we must first believe in self-empowerment. Our society was built around the intention to reward merit, thoughtfulness, integrity, and diligence in each individual without bias. Although it does not always reach this goal in practice, it always aspires to it. We have seen the results of this aspiration clearly. We have seen the election of our first African-American president, and, in this election cycle alone, we have witnessed two women, two Hispanic-American men, and one African-American man win the hearts and votes of Americans. These are undeniable indicators that times are far from where they have been in the past century alone. There is undoubtedly room for progress, which we actively seek and aim to propose in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, our American society—and our community at SPU—has made substantial leaps forward since the time of Dr. King. The perspective of being perpetually trapped in a racist system to the point that you do not believe in self-empowerment is one that tears people down and leads to frustration and violence. We thank the Justice Coalition for their invaluable role in starting this conversation, but this does not mean that their worldview or policy proposals alone are the ones that can carry the cause of true equality and freedom to completion.

Blanket statements of oppression are dangerous for this campus. Bolstering the idea that minorities merely survive in their time at SPU is dangerous to the ones who thrive on this campus; convincing them that they are is equally atrocious.

The purpose of this movement should be to empower all students to achieve their goals and to have Seattle Pacific facilitate the accomplishment of those endeavors. Accepting language that promotes self-inflicted victimization is inconsistent with the goal of treating individuals as individuals rather than members of a certain racial, ethnic, or social group. For the above reasons, we respectfully dissent from the claims made by the Students for Change, the SPU Justice Coalition, and the Unity Petition.

 

This is only the third of a longer series of posts which will continue to present our perspective. We believe that a constructive critique presents alternative policy options and we take this responsibility seriously.

Our Statement of Purpose can be viewed here.

See our post concerning the rhetoric of the SPU Justice Coalition and particular individuals here.

The Petition form of our Dissent can be supported here.

Redacted screengrabs of selected responses to the Declaration of Dissent can be viewed here