KING 5’s Drew Mikkelsen reports.
As a biology professor for 15 years at Olympia’s The Evergreen State College, Bret Weinstein has seen his share of protests, but he’s never been afraid of being on campus until this week.
“I have been told by the Chief of Police it’s not safe for me to be on campus,” said Weinstein, who held his Thursday class in a downtown Olympia park.
An administrator confirmed the police department advised Weinstein it “might be best to stay off campus for a day or so.”
Demonstrations involving as many as 200 students filled classrooms and the President’s office on campus on Tuesday and Wednesday. Protesters are upset over what they believe are racist policies at the college, and some called for Weinstein to resign.
Earlier this school year Weinstein raised concerns about proposed policy changes, including one that would have race play a larger role in the hiring process.
Weinstein, who is white, said opposing that idea does not make him a racist.
“When one opposes these proposals, what happens is one is stigmatized as ‘anti-equity’ and because I am light-skinned the narrative suggests I’m a person who has benefited from privilege and that I’m trying to preserve that privilege in the face of a legitimate challenge,” said Weinstein.
Nearly 20 of his students attended his Thursday class in the park.
They said they do not consider him a racist.
But when an African American student, one of the protesters, heard Weinstein was advised to stay off campus, she responded, “If he feels unsafe or frightened for two days, he can only imagine what black and brown bodies have feared for years.”
An earlier version of this story identified the African American woman who spoke on behalf of the campus protestors. We have removed her name and blurred her image because she told KING 5 she fears she could be retaliated against.
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