Dartmouth vice provost apologizes for saying conservatives are ‘not nice’
- In a letter, the provost said she didn't realize that the entire student body didn't support the tactics of those protesting.
An administrator at Dartmouth College was recently forced to issue “an unequivocal apology” for stoking tensions at a Black Lives Matter protest with a disparaging comment about conservatives.
“There’s a whole conservative world out there that’s not very nice,” Vice Provost for Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer told demonstrators last week, having previously expressed unmitigated support for their protest, which she deemed a “wonderful, beautiful thing.”
She subsequently varied that description slightly, praising the students for their “wonderful, peaceful march”—by which she could not possibly have been referring their bellicose takeover of the school library several days earlier, which was captured on video by The Dartmouth Review.
By the end of last week, Ameer felt compelled to address the concerns shared with her by students following media coverage of her comments, and on Friday she issued a formal apology in the form of a letter to the editor of the The Dartmouth. The original site was experiencing technical difficulties as this article went to press, but the letter was reproduced by The Tab.
Ameer’s letter begins by acknowledging that she “said something completely off-base regarding Americans with conservative political views” while meeting with student protesters the previous week, and that she has since discovered that the comment was inappropriate.
“To my discredit, I suggested they are not nice people,” she concedes. “For this, I offer an unequivocal apology.”
The next portion of the letter is more intriguing. Immediately below her apology, she explains that she had merely been attempting to be supportive of the student body, implying that she had originally assumed that all students agreed with the demonstrators.
“Part of my job is to listen to every student,” she notes. “Through listening, I now know that not everyone agreed with the tactics deployed by those protesting.”
Having been informed that the fabled conservative—a breed once thought mythic by most in academia—does indeed prowl the halls at Dartmouth, Ameer graciously notes that “the vice provost for student affairs is here to support all students,” and invites anyone to meet with her to share their concerns.
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