VIDEO: Dartmouth students protest MLK speech with call to ‘eradicate white supremacy’
The Martin Luther King, Jr. keynote address at Dartmouth College was delayed when it turned into a protest against indifference to racial and economic equality and sexual assault.
Afro-American Society president and senior Jalil Bishop led Monday’s protest, and about a third of the audience participated, according to The Dartmouth, the school’s official newspaper.
“Stand if sitting is no longer an option, stand if you understand that we must eradicate white supremacy."
Bishop introduced college president Phil Hanlon, then, after Hanlon’s remarks, Bishop remained at the podium for 20 minutes, criticizing the school for putting so much effort into MLK celebrations while doing little to end “oppression on campus.”
“Ask yourself why Dartmouth has spent more time, money, and resources into celebrating this so-called ‘justice work,’ than into actually doing justice work,” Bishop said.
“Dartmouth is complicit,” he continued. “We are complicit in failing to break down the structure that keeps so many black and brown bodies across the country and around the world marginalized, and keeps so many white bodies benefiting from that marginalization.”
Groups of students shouting “No justice! No peace” and carrying signs joined Bishop on the stage.
Toward the end of his speech, Bishop asked audience members to stand.
“Stand if sitting is no longer an option, stand if you understand that we must eradicate white supremacy,” he said.
Eventually, the keynote speaker, ABC News correspondent John Quinones, began to deliver his speech, which did not address the protest.
This is not the first time Dartmouth’s campus has seen such protests. The school had to cancel classes for a day in April in response to a student protest against sexism, racism and underreported sexual assaults on campus.
Nicholas P. Desatnick, editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth Review, the school’s independent newspaper, told Campus Reform that he is tired of a campus culture where students disregard basic respect to in making their political points.
“The respect that you would show to a visiting speaker giving a keynote address be damned,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “These groups tend to put themselves and their agenda above everything else.”
“It’s not a conducive way to actually get a point across,” he said.
The Afro-American Society did not respond to request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication.
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