UPDATE: According to reader Benjamin (see comments below), the motion didn’t come up for a vote, contrary to what some websites say. This may have been due to public pressure/embarrassment.
This time it’s the word “covenant”, which apparently conjures up—for some of the Outrage Brigade—images of “cultural genocide”, the European-settler elimination, oppression, and ill treatment of Native Americans, a wrong that’s not in question. The connection is a bit oblique: settlers made “covenants” with Native Americans; I can’t speak about the history of that of what it led to, nor did the College in its resolution below. But you can’t rewrite any wrongs of this sort by redacting a single word, especially a word that almost never has anything to do with Native Americans. One university, however, disagrees.
Two days ago, the The faculty of The Evergreen State College (TESC, also known as the University of Antifa) voted on a motion to replace the word “covenant” in all College documents. Apparently, as some websites suggest, the motion passed, and so “covenant” is gone, expired, singing with the choir invisible. Here’s the motion and a snarky response:
The @EvergreenStCol faculty, faced with plummeting enrollment and successive layoffs, have rallied their collective energies to… banish a word because it reminds someone, somewhere, of cultural genocide. pic.twitter.com/XKfcoKq16n
— 𝖡𝖾𝗇𝗃𝖺𝗆𝗂𝗇🎄𝖡𝗈𝗒𝖼𝖾 (@BenjaminABoyce) December 2, 2018
The word “covenant” was used in the faculty handbook in numerous senses, most of them agreeing with the first definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary (below)—simply a solemn agreement:
This is a new level of language policing, as the “covenant” that’s the subject of the resolution is only one of many uses—and not the most frequent use—of the word. But TESC says it has has a “nation-to-nation agreement” with the Tribes of Washington, and perhaps someone on one end got offended.
But if you try to find that agreement, you won’t (or at least I couldn’t). What you’ll find is a list of TESC covenants (click on screenshot) that have nothing to do with “cultural genocide”:
What’s next: should they ban the word “solution” because it was used by the Nazis as the “Final Solution”, a reference to the extermination of European Jews?
I can’t add much to the video on the kerfuffle made by TESC graduate Benjamin Boyce. Be sure to watch till the end, because there’s something awesome at 7:36.
TESC is slowly circling the drain, and will go down even faster if nonsense like this gets publicized. Yet they don’t even try to remedy the kind of oppressive and authoritarian ideology that is responsible for the College’s declining enrollment.