I’ve learned something crucial: these people, the ones screeching about Nazism and fascism, are sincerely not interested in conversation (their accusations give lie to their claims of a willingness to listen). I’ve taken them at their word--their supposed desire for dialogue--multiple times and been genuinely shocked by their unwillingness to engage in anything other than the usual insults and denigration, the pettiest of insults and most extreme forms of dehumanization. I’m not going to give them that benefit of the doubt anymore. I sincerely love and respect them--from a position that is, ultimately, beyond my capacity as a mere mortal. I find this strength in Christ. May they find the same peace. But this is no longer a simple matter of disagreement--it is a war on a higher level. And, at some point, you have to embrace the hatred they send your way--to acknowledge that, in the most powerful of kingdoms, you’re battling for something more meaningful than mere campus reform. I am truly glad to have the opportunity to fight this battle--and I’m not anywhere near the prospect of surrender.

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Hey Jesse,

This is Joshua Epstein.

I’m a third year at our school, New College.

I’d love to chat with you whenever you get a chance.

Two of my biggest mentors in life are my uncle and grandfather both of whom voted for Trump both times around and are Republicans.

I’d love to hear your take on the recent happenings at our school.

We probably won’t agree on everything pertaining to the new board of trustees but hopefully we can find some common ground.

My email is: J.epstein26@ncf.edu.

Shoot me an email and let’s coordinate to meet up.

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Hey Josh! Thanks for your note! We met briefly when I gave Trustee Speir a tour of the campus the first time.

I would love to talk sometime--let me email you as soon as I get a chance!


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Here’s my takeaway having watched a student be inundated with hatred and called horrific names merely because he is a traditionalist. There is a nasty, crude bunch of adults and a smaller nasty loud wing of students here at New College who cannot admit defeat. Because no matter how much they rudely curse those in power, or yell during board meetings as if they are at a wrestling match, they reveal their essence: an ugly inability to accept the loss of control of New College.

End of story. They act like a hive of wasps that have been hit and therefore attack, as if hurting assures victory. It doesn’t. It’s over.

Frankly I cannot believe the legislature let a college fall this far out of line before acting. Out of line means not being able to maintain enough students to keep the school viable! But this college did not keep the financial situation viable and they are paying the price for failure. It’s that simple. You can’t tell by the slants in the media, but that’s not factual. That’s politics.

A conservative administration has decided to act to save a small college. Allow old-fashioned true Western Canon values and traditional courses to become the essence of New College. At New College, the numbers show a rejection of politicized courses because there are not enough students to keep open the school. Let’s see what a return to independent, apolitical scholarship and rigorous academic programs can produce for honors students here . That’s not Fascism! That’s a return to the nobility of Reason over the ugliness of a coming dark ages.

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Good points, Dale. I have yet to see or hear any of our opponents respond rationally to the dwindling student enrollment and severe financial distress which led to these reforms. And let's remember, NCF was given fair warning and a fair chance in 2016 to grow from 880 to 1,200, according to NCF leadership's own proposals. In 6 years, their hardcore Woke policies drove enrollment to fewer than 660 students, a decrease of 25%. Simply unsustainable on any reasonable level.

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'Hyperbole' !?!!

It's rich for any supporter of the electorally ambitious DeSantis, and his publicity-stunt takeover of a good public liberal arts college, to decry hyperbole in objections coming from folks who were at the college before. If you want serious hyperbole, check out New Trustee Rufo's nonsense about Critical Race Theory. (Read about how Rufo minted himself a meal ticket by creating a scandal where there wasn't one in Benjamin Wallace-Wells great NYer piece, https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-inquiry/how-a-conservative-activist-invented-the-conflict-over-critical-race-theory)

Also, how about getting details right (the kind of thing taught by good liberal arts colleges)? About Hillsdale College and its remarkable Civil War record, the OP above says

"No other college or university in America had a higher percentage of students who wore the Blue and fought to free the slaves and preserve the nation." But Hillsdale's own website says "A higher percentage of Hillsdale students enlisted during the Civil War than from any other western college." I think that in 1861 there were many colleges & universities in the Northern States beyond the "western colleges."

And some basic knowledge of the horrors of the Civil War would help -- the kind of thing a decent US high school education should provide.. The OP says "15% did not return to school after eradicating slavery and the Union victory in 1865. Those sixty young men were killed in action." But it's well known that a huge share of Civil War deaths came from disease. And thus the Hillsdale site says: "Sixty gave their lives." Giving their lives was a terrible sacrifice to the war, but boasting that all sixty were killed in action might just be hyperbole.

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Eddie, I don't like to communicate with you on this forum, but your memory is selective. At the BoT meeting, of 54 public commenters, a dozen or so faculty members spoke. All of them gave careful, temperate, and persuasive arguments, mostly about tenure, but also about good practices that will draw new students to the college. Another dozen or so students spoke. Of them, two used bad language. The rest were reasonable and heartfelt, mostly in support of their professors who were coming up for tenure. How you could fail to remember their statements, much less be moved and persuaded by them, is beyond me. Several parents spoke in reasonable and temperate language. The rest of the commenters were from the community. In contrast to previous BoT meetings, they were mostly reasonable and heartfelt and temperate in their language. The most notable sin was going overtime. As you note, maybe 6 of the 54 speakers made comparisons to fascism. I don't like glib comparisons and most of those 6 were over the top, but one carefully listed certain Nazi policies toward higher education that should make you think twice. Regardless, your overall description of the public comments is very inaccurate.

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Apr 28, 2023Liked by Eddie Speir

You misunderstood, sir. The descriptions in the article above is about the rally outside that preceded the BOT meeting, not about the BOT meeting itself. Please see the note under the byline of the article. Thank you.

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Mr. Schwager, fair point. Then I've given your readers an account of the public comments in the meeting.

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Yes, sir, understood.

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Please forgive the typo - should read, "The descriptions in the article above are about..."

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I am your non-student, adult speaker. To be precise what I said was that is that , “ for some of you out there, existing, just existing as who you truly are is an act of bravery. For the faculty that continue (to teach)….is an act of courage that humbles me” However, now that you mention it, the bravery of the LGBTQ+ community DOES humble me.

That does not detract from (or for that matter have anything to do with) the obvious bravery of the 1861 student-soldiers at Hillsdale College. There is no equivalency.

Hillsdale is clearly not the same school it was in 1861. Hillsdale accepts no federal funding, as is their absolute prerogative. New College does, and is bound by federal law.

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Hi Gracie - pleased to meet you. Thank you for your explication. I'm not sure why you believe Hillsdale is not the same school it was in 1861 (really, is anything the same as it was 162 years ago?), but I can attest that it's mission is the same, it's commitment to equality is the same, its commitment to the aspirational vision of the Founders and our founding documents is the same, its commitment to the growth and betterment of the whole student is the same, and its commitment to the praxis of their vaulues and these aforementioned commitments is the same. If you wish to discuss further, I'd be delighted to do so. Enjoy a wonderful weekend.

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"There were, of course, the predictable recitations of Woke tropes and dogmas, like 'cis-gender patriarchy,' 'white supremacists,' 'Christian nationalists,” “colonialists,'" so you agree that people who denounce white supremacy and colonialism are "woke"? aka the people you are actively fighting against? not a good look for you bro.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Eddie Speir

The issues arise when normal people are accused of "white supremacy," thus ruining people's lives.

It also has a lot of "your country is supporting white supremacy. Therefore give me gibs."

Colonization isn't necessarily good or bad. Britain, for example, had good colonization that brought the end of slavery.

The Roman Empire had brought occupied control, but also had brought some structure to the lands it conquered.

Both the Assyrians and the Muslim conquerors were terrible to those they conquered.

America is weird in terms of colonization, as many groups, like the French, British, and the Spanish were all together going to the new world.

Now, if colonization is only considered bad because of fighting battles and wars, then that goes against the logic of all of history. Even native Americans fought all the time.

Therefore, I assume that:

1. The acts outside of the actual combat matter

2. The ends inform me of whether the means can be considered good in any way.

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I just wanted to mention that none of what you're debating even in my original point. The author of this article specifically cited "white supremacy" and "colonization", two concepts that are well accepted as real life things that happened and still happen, as "woke tropes". You would think someone with a prolific blog and a high-power position like Speir would learn to be more careful with his words. Either Speir and Schwager admit that they messed up and need to be more deliberate about their word choice in the future, or they admit that they are fighting against those who oppose white supremacy.

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I will admit that you don't understand the definition of the word "trope." So let me help you:

Trope - In rhetoric, a figurative use of a word; a word or expression used in a different sense from that which properly belongs to it, or a word changed from its original signification to another for the sake of giving spirit or emphasis to an idea.

White supremacy --seriously? Nobody is trying to defend actual white supremacy here.

Colonization -- Caz does an excellent job of explaining what colonization actually is

The woke mob likes to change these meanings and apply its new evil stigma to everyone it disagrees with. This reduces complex issues into a Marxist us versus them dynamic.

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My response will be completely separate from Eddie.

As such, I will not defend Eddie, for people can usually defend themselves.

If I am fighting against people who are saying that they are against "white supremacy," that doesn't mean I am fighting for white supremacy.

What is being fought on is two things:

definition: (what is white supremacy? Is it whenever a white person shoots a black person? Is it voter ID laws?)

When everything is pointed to as "white supremacy," you get nonsense like white people calling black people as white supremacist (this happened when Larry Elder ran for gov of CA. Similar thing happened to Clarence Thomas, and Thomas Sowell)

And secondarily: what to do about it.

I'd rather not have "reparations" be given out, for it solves none of the real issues, and puts a bandage on a gaping wound. I would rather address the root of issues that any group faces.

To colonization, I'd argue that whether it is good or bad depends on the circumstances. Or I'd even argue that it is normal throughout history, and trying to assume that America or Britain should be held accountable for what was always normal is absurd, especially when the people who complain about are neither affected by it nor actively doing anything productive in direct response.

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Hey asshole, maybe don’t tell a Jew what is or isn’t trivializing the genocide their grandparents experienced.

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Dear Novo Dodo, thank you for reading. Sincerely, a Jew. Am Yisrael chai, achi.

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Someone being a Jew doesn't mean they are right about the Holocaust.

They can be more wrong than a non-Jew.

There were also Labor Zionist leaders who were happy to let Jews die in the Holocaust, but you never heard the history like that.

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The irony here is pretty thick.

The authors of this post asks us if these adults are “purposely hurling mendacious propaganda to frighten, anger, and activate younger, highly impressionable students? …this facile, nonsensical sophistry is causing actual harm. Othering an ‘enemy’ and filling people with fear of and rage against said ‘enemy’ is a common cult tactic and has no place on a genuinely tolerant, open-minded college campus.

It’s almost as if you forgot your own words written in the “Woke us a Religion” post a few weeks ago:

“Wokeism will exist permanently in a perpetual revolution, tearing down, replacing, and tearing down again. And this is what makes the woke religion so dangerous and destructive. It cannot be reasoned with, compromised with, or satisfied. It consumes all, over and over again, in cycles of never-ending trials, purges, revolutions, and, ultimately, wokeism lays waste to society.”

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"Wokeism" (as it is called) had been exclusivity been spread through education in the early stages, often teaching things through certain lenses that result in people not thinking critically (blacks commit most crime, why should I assume white supremacy as the root cause?)

They also strive for revolution (tearing down statues, rewriting books for "modern audiences," violent protest about guns/"trans genocide"/showing drag to kids)

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Might help to cite some actual sources - as we are here dealing with academia. You seem to assume, like Mr. Rufo, that you can allege various vague things about an entity that in fact is nothing more than a political label being batted about by those who have such contempt for voters that they act as if nothing more than their own assurances provide unquestionable truth. How authoritarian.

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He is the thing:

Is it even worth my time to give you sources?

I can point to papers showing the Marxist connections of intersectionality, articles about books being changed, statues being removed, history being changed by activist, yet I don't think you would believe me if I do. You would likely either discredit my sources, or bring your sources, and nothing will change.

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Part of the problem that I think is latent in your response: If something is "marxist," or has "connections" to it, it is patently false, dangerous, unMurkan, etc. What in fact is partly going on here is an insight that is beginning to gain traction about US history, and US caste, and US oppression, and US capitalism. Some of this finds explanatory power in the works of Marx or later economists in that tradition. My guess is that Mr. Rufo, whose tracing of "wokeism" sources was recently alluded to, but not elaborately, in the New Yorker, has not given actual thoughtful consideration to this tradition - Conservatives would rather just see Marx as the enemy, el diablo, the abhorred nemesis. As a result, a very rich and powerful set of insights into society, economics, and history have long remained terra incognita, impoverishing their entire framework.

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My issue with your response you would assume that Marx was interested in economic concerns, instead of starting revolution.

Then people after him formed:

Critical theory (later critical race theory)

cultural Marxism,

identity politics.

(stolen from

https://twitter.com/StucknDaMid/status/1652560486909775872 )

These were injected into education to brainwash the youth, then college professors can turn them into political activist.

Then the activist students do things like destroying normal people's lives and businesses: "Racial dispute at beloved bakery roils liberal college town"


"On Nov. 7, the Gibsons sued Oberlin and Meredith Raimondo, vice president and dean of students, for slander, accusing faculty members of encouraging demonstrations against the bakery by suspending classes, distributing flyers, and supplying protesters with free food and drink."

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It's amazing how the alt-right anti-woke brigade comes equipped with thought bubbles scripted for them by anonymous influencers (unless they're named Rufo). I am still waiting for a single one of you to actually address the analysis of capital presented by someone other than Milton Friedman. And so long as this is the case, the US will be one broken place, incapable of acknowledging its own painful, damning career. Unhappiest nation on earth.

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Clearly you’re a very serious person with experience in academia and can easily find examples of these things being striven for in the organic chemistry lectures of Dr Black and Dr Jiang.

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Apr 28, 2023·edited Apr 28, 2023

Clearly not. Organic chemistry is a complicated field. I know basic chemistry.

I am much more versed in modern politics in the US and Britain, with some varying degrees of knowledge of politics in places like Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Israel, Russia, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Romania, Uganda, and Brazil.

Edit on comment: Misread your comment, but your point is even worse than I thought. You assume that if I can't point out "woke" in a single class type by certain people, then I am somehow wrong.

Edit 2: I might be somewhat dyslexic when I don't pay attention. That is my excuse.

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