College Protesters Getting Even More Ridiculous

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Just when you thought you’d seen it all, the students of Oberlin College managed to win the award for Most Ridiculous Protest Demands of 2015. This is no small accomplishment. In a year where Black Lives Matter went to college, these young protesters have been in a cutthroat competition to see which campus can get as far away as possible from reality without tipping into self-parody. Have Oberlin’s social justice warriors overstepped that line?

You be the judge.

The new list of demands is an eye-watering 14 pages long, beginning with an opening salutation that denounces Oberlin as an “unethical institution” that “functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy.”

If the staff at Oberlin can pull themselves away from their promotion of the heteropatriarchy for a few moments, though, the protesters would like to relate some of their more unusual demands. Such as:

No more No Trespass lists, because they keep a disproportionate number of black people off the Oberlin campus.

More black students in the jazz department…40% more, to be exact.

A recruitment program to attract recently-released prisoners to Oberlin.

A small hourly fee of $8.20 for black student leaders working to organize protests (!?)

Safe spaces on campus where only black students will be allowed entry.

Okay, the disqualification stands; the audacity to actually ask the college to pay protesters an hourly wage can only exist in satire. The list was posted anonymously, so there is still the vague chance that this is parody that’s being reported as fact by a great many news outlets. Perhaps it will eventually be traced back to The Onion or one of their copycats.

But perhaps not. Because as ludicrous as these demands are, they aren’t any more ridiculous than the anger bubbling up in The Oberlin Review. According to the Ohio college’s official newspaper, some students are upset about “cultural appropriation” in the school cafeteria.

“When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture,” Oberlin student Tomoyo Joshi told the paper. “So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”

Students claim that the way the school makes certain Asian dishes, including General Tso’s Chicken, is not in keeping with their original ethnic roots. So if students are complaining about inauthentic cuisine as a matter of social justice, it’s perfectly believable that they might also demand payment for coming up with these idiotic causes in the first place.

After all, in the year of complaints, you can’t let your college fall behind.