Jodi Shaw made less in a year than the cost of tuition. She was offered a settlement, but turned it down. Here's why.
Online, Shaw has shared the details not only of her story, but of the atmosphere at Smith over the past few years. In addition to her YouTube videos, Quillette did a podcast with her in Nov. 2020, and she recently appeared on Megyn Kelly's podcast. I recommend these, both excellent.
Like Bret Weinstein, who stood up to a racist mob at Evergreen College in 2017, Shaw is constitutionally incapable of conforming and lying about something she knows is wrong. She can't be dissuaded from remaining true to her principles by the normal fears that stop many of us from speaking out. She's a middle-aged, divorced woman with two sons, and nobody would have blamed her if she had taken the hush-money that Smith tried to bribe her with. But Smith College is a cynical, self-serving, morally bankrupt institution in thrall to a pernicious ideology, while Shaw is a principled woman who can't be bullied. She believes in old-fashioned liberal values, the kind that Martin Luther King embodied and gave his life to actualize.
She deserves our support. And if we want to honor her, we must act as she does, whenever and wherever we can.
This may be the one thing that unites classic liberals and classic conservatives.
As a Smith alum & previous donor, I have been appalled & ashamed & saddened by what has been going on for some years now at Smith College. About 5 years ago, students forbade IMF Head Christine LaGarde from speaking on campus; I vaguely recall that they were upset by how the IMF distributed welfare payments(?) - no matter they didn't even want to entertain a discussion with her. A case of the inmates running the asylum, much like what's taking place at the New York Times organization (and numerous other institutions). The lack of leadership at the school (yes, President Kathleen McCartney, I'm talking about you) is appalling; She's weak, unintellectual and therefore ineffective. Jodi Shaw should be commended for her courage; It's not easy to take a principled stand. Bravo. Ms. Shaw should stand strong and take note that many, many people support her campaign. Racism, no matter the race involved, should not be tolerated in any form today. Shame on President McCartney and the Smith College Trustees.
Jodi Shaw is an inspiration. This resignation letter is nearly as good as that one written to the New York Times in July of 2020 :)
I commented a few weeks ago about feeling cowardly at not speaking out against a new Ethnic Studies program being implemented at the university where I teach. Surprise! ... it passed the faculty vote with resounding praise ... and almost unanimously. I voted to abstain, which was as much courage I could muster at the time. I know I could have and should have done more.
This past week, when our Diversity Office released programming for the upcoming Women's History Month ... the programming flyer spelled Women as "Womxn." Also this past week, we were informed that the aforementioned office, along with Human Resources, would be implementing "Employee Resource Groups," where persons who share similar identities can meet and find support.
I keep telling myself that this is not the sword upon which I should fall ... that although things like ERGs diminish us down to one aspect of ourselves and divide us by identity, race, or gender feel wrong philosophically ... that in practice, in real life, it won't be so bad. I know I'm deceiving myself, and I'm not sure where my line in the sand lies, but I can sense that the proverbial sword I continue referencing demands that I draw that line soon. I hope to not be writing a resignation letter in any near future, but if so, I am encouraged by Jodi Shaw and Bari Weiss's brave and incredible examples.
Btw, I shoot an email to the Dean - figured it doesn't hurt. Feel free to use it, if you are so inclined. "Dear Dean,
It is recently come to my attention that Smith College is engaging in racist policies, targeting single working mothers and creating hostile work environment.
Employees are afraid to voice their opinions - which is an unspeakably horrifying damaging situation for the academia.
I was shocked.
Here is the source of my information
I would appreciate your response and the steps you are taking to rectify the situation and protect civil rights and 1st amendment rights on your campus.
Turns my stomach that it's come to this in the West. Pathetic.
The nut of the problem is this:
- The VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE naturally and rightly just want to be left alone. It's not a political thing. It's human nature. I would argue that people have an instinctive desire to NOT be told what they can or cannot do. That is people of all political persuasions.
- BUT NOT ALL PEOPLE share that sentiment. There are some who believe that life would be better for EVERYONE if only EVERYONE did or acted in a manner that they (personally) thought is 'right'. And, pushed by their egos, they are willing to invest both the time and effort to change things in a way that aligns with their views. They are motivated and active.
While the rest of society is counting on some level of logic prevailing as they simply try to live their lives in peace.
It does take effort to change things, and those people who believe that they have the answers have been far more motivated to get involved even as they F-things up for everyone in the process. But they don't see it as F-ing things up for everyone else. It's not they who are wrong - the blame lies with the application of their policies and/or the unwillingness of everyone else to accept theses policies to which they assign the blame of failure.
So what's the solution? Freedom requires eternal vigilance. Protecting INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM - the freedom we believe we ALL HAVE in not having to be told what we can or cannot do OR think - requires constant effort.
For far too long, those who just want to live their lives in peace have allowed those motivated for change control the reins of power.
And we are now all starting to see the fruits of that inaction.....
Courage is not easy to have and all too rare these days. I donated but I worry for her. I hope she will be okay.
Thank you Jodi for standing up, and thank you Bari for sharing your platform. I’ll be giving to this cause.
She should sue. She has a powerful case. We need many more being as brave - heck, half as brave. If something similar is happening to you, retain an excellent attorney and use gofundme and the press.
Thanks to Jodi and Bari for having the courage to speak out. #CourageIsContagious Agree about uniting liberals and conservatives-let's work together and support each other!
I am wondering if this is ever going to end. Will the overconfident Racists and useful idiots who run these institutions ever be "terminated" and forced to get real jobs? The Chinese have yet to overthrow the Communist party so I am not too optimistic.
Jodi's video stated very clearly the concerns I would have if found myself in a similar "hostile environment". And she seemed sober, sincere, and intelligent (after all a Smith alum), and therefore credible.
I retired in 2018, at a time when critical race training had not reached the institution I worked for (and hopefully it won't in the most extreme forms). I have asked myself a number of times what I would do if I were ordered, as a condition of employment, to take responsibility for slavery or otherwise to assume a remorseful stance based on my skin color (white) and not based on anything I had done myself (or for that matter, anything my ancestors did--a mix of New England stock too poor to own slaves even in the very early years when it was legal, and postbellum immigrants). I would like to say I would do what Jodi has done, but talk is cheap. Who really knows until the situation presents itself.
I look forward to Jodi's future videos, and hope that her stand will inspire others. I also was pleased to contribute to her gofundme page.
Jodi mentions Title VII, and I hope she will in fact sue Smith, or that others will, to test whether discrimination against any group based on skin color is legal (assuming she can sue in light of the resignation, which was hardly voluntary). Presumably she would face resistance to that kind of litigation by the present administration, so it would be a long and expensive slog through the courts. But it is an important legal question to resolve. Likely there will in the end be no shortage of plaintiffs as this kind of training and discrimination make their way through schools and businesses.
Thanks Jodi for what you have done, and good luck.
And I'm sure it gives you no end of comfort to know that President Macron is also on your team. Maybe he will see the video and send you a chocolate croissant!
For those who haven't yet read it, "The Coddling of the American Mind" by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt puts together a wonderful and easily understood read on our current situation. It is well-balanced and even handed and is, like Bari's posts, extremely well written. And well documented, too. https://www.thecoddling.com
Ugh. I grew up in Northampton and my mother worked at Smith until her death. The college dominates the politics and culture of the town. It breaks my heart to see this now happening not only in my hometown but also my alma mater, Boston University, which seeks to be the national leader of this ideology. We are hurtling towards darkness.
Had Bari Weiss stayed at the N.Y. Times, we would have witnessed an interesting editorial experiment: which piece would have been spiked faster, this one (which isn’t even about Jews) or Bret Stephens piece on the cowardly firing of the Times’ long time and revered science writer? Sadly (for the Grey Lady’s remaining credibility), I’d have put my money on “too close to call.”
It’s only a matter of time before the newsroom would-be Jacobins come for Sulzberger (whose Episcopalianism will not save him from his Jewish heritage) and Basquet (who, despite his talents, will be redefined by the mob merry as Sulzberger’s Stepinfetchit). Overreach inevitably occurs as you move up the elite ladder in search of new targets. The Salem Witch Trials were shut down for that reason. Revolutionary France collapsed into murderous chaos because it all got out of hand. The longer you wait to stand up, the harder it becomes to maintain control.