Readers of TheBlaze might recall a racially charged dust-up a couple of years back at Smith College — a prestigious all-women's school in Massachusetts — in which a black student accused an employee of racism. But even though an investigator the college hired found that the charges were unfounded, Smith still reacted with wringing hands.
The school's president, for starters, called the student to apologize and then placed the employee on administrative leave, the New York Post reported, citing the New York Times. The Post in a separate piece said staff members soon were "forced to take 'antiracist' training, and some employees [were] tarred as bigots."
But that was just for starters.
'Lifelong liberal' employee blows the whistle
Jodi Shaw was a Smith College employee at the time of the latter incident, but even though she wasn't involved in it, the school's resulting actions disturbed her.
Shaw went public last fall with a video calling out the school. It's titled, "Dear Smith College: I Have a Few Requests":
Dear Smith College: I Have a Few Requests youtu.be
Despite calling herself a "lifelong liberal," Shaw said she felt attacked by the college because of her skin color and was tired of the "extreme intimidation we are all working under in regard to race."
In the clip, she asked Smith to "stop reducing my personhood to a racial category" and to stop asking her to project stereotypes and assumptions on to others based upon their skin color. Other requests:
- "Stop demanding that I admit to 'white privilege' and work on my so-called 'implicit bias' as a condition of my continued employment."
- "Stop telling me that as a white person I'm especially responsible for doing the work of dismantling racism."
- "Stop emboldening students to act abusively toward staff by refusing to hold them accountable for their own egregious behavior."
- "Lastly, we have the right to work in an environment free from the ever-present terror that any unverified student allegation of racism — or any other 'ism' — has the power to crush our reputations, ruin our livelihood, and even endanger the physical safety of ourselves or our family members."
What happened next?
Shaw resigned last week after a monthslong standoff with Smith College, Fox News reported, adding that Shaw cited Smith's "racially hostile environment" as a reason for leaving.
Her resignation letter was published by former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, who herself resigned from the paper last summer after enduring "constant bullying from colleagues" because she pushed against the paper's leftism.
Shaw wrote that she "endured meetings in which another staff member violently banged his fist on the table, chanting 'Rich, white women! Rich, white women!' in reference to Smith alumnae. I listened to my supervisor openly name preferred racial quotas for job openings in our department. I was given supplemental literature in which the world's population was reduced to two categories — 'dominant group members' and 'subordinated group members' — based solely on characteristics like race."
Fox News reported that a Monday post on Shaw's website said she could no longer tolerate the impact working at Smith was having on her mental health and that she had turned down a "generous settlement" from the university that would have "required confidentiality."
Shaw added that she had offered to accept a severance only if Smith would take steps to end its "mandatory race-based struggle sessions and their requirements that employees judge each other and the students in our care on the basis of their skin color."
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According to Shaw, when Smith said they would not consider the changes, she then had to consider how she could "do the most good for this cause" and acknowledged that the "importance of telling the truth" was not worth the price.
"I knew this was going to be an ugly process, and I'm sure this is not the last attempt Smith will make to discredit me. It seems that facts do not matter to Smith; what matters to Smith is its commitment to destructive race-based policies," she concluded. "I look forward to seeing Smith in court."
Shaw's statement came on the heels of a second letter from McCartney in which she "flatly denies" Shaw's "baseless" claims -- though not referring to Shaw by name -- and says Shaw's resignation letter "contains a number of misstatements about the college's equity and inclusion initiatives."
"The employee suggests that Smith tried to buy her silence. But it was the employee herself who demanded payment of an exceptionally large sum in exchange for dropping a threatened legal claim and agreeing to standard confidentiality provisions," McCartney asserted. "Further, while the employee aims her complaint at Smith, her public communications make clear that her grievances about equity and inclusion training run more broadly..."
Fox News reported that Stacey Schmeidel, Smith College's senior director for news and strategic communication, said Smith "stands behind President McCartney's response. Beyond that, we do not comment on potential or pending litigation."
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To date, Shaw has raised more than $214,000 on a GoFundMe page she said will be used to help both her and others in similar situations with legal and living expenses -- placing any amount over $150,000 in an escrow account.
On Saturday, Shaw tweeted that her GoFundMe page was placed "under review" and that there was a hold on all funds that she feared was "for ideological reasons."
However, the GoFundMe page is now back online and the crowdfunding platform told Fox News on Tuesday that the funds would be released to Shaw and that their Trust & Safety Team had been in contact with her.