Chatting with Candice
Episode Run Time: 01:58:16
Benjamin Boyce is the host of the Boyce of Reason podcast. He is most known for being a vocal critic of the Evergreen protests, having witnessed it firsthand as a student. His in-depth documentary and series of videos expose the chaotic behaviors that took place during the week-long incident in 2017. The event has been a result of the Evergreen College’s over emphasis on inclusivity and equality. In its attempt to promote progressive values, it has inadvertently fostered a cult-like mindset that demands conformity at all costs. In this episode, I talk to Benjamin about his experience during the Evergreen protests, the future of higher education, and the dangers of wokeism and cancel culture.
[00:02:49] Benjamin’s experience during the Evergreen protests[00:14:20] Universities instill a new morality with no room for criticism[00:21:17] Students’ experience, activism, and fragile psychology[00:30:35] Human desire for religion and community[00:41:05] Determinism creates an infinite loop of shame and scapegoating[00:46:26] Love is a more powerful force that unites[00:52:50] Displacing the individual’s locus of control[00:55:30] Focus on the content of character[01:05:15] Activism culture attracts traumatized individuals[01:11:01] Verification of reality through an external criteria [01:16:06] Does the soul have a gender?[01:24:16] The disconnect between information and reality[01:37:04] Honesty through the separation of facts and opinions [01:42:42] Being attuned to your spirituality and religion[01:46:55] Let genuine curiosity drive the conversation[01:50:56] Cancel culture and people’s capacity to change
Evergreen State College attracted national attention for the student protests that took place on campus in 2017. The controversy revolved around the school’s decades-long tradition of “Day of Absence”. On the day of the event, students and faculty of color would be absent from the campus so that their contributions may be highlighted. The following day is called “Day of Presence” where everyone returns to the campus to celebrate diversity.
With Trump sworn into office at the start of 2017, minority groups felt unsafe in the new political climate. As a response, Evergreen State College decided to reverse the Day of Absence by inviting white people to leave the school. Bret Weinstein, a professor at Evergreen at the time, expressed in an e-mail that he was against this change. His e-mail was leaked to the public, which was a major catalyst for the demonstrations.
Students protested against Bret Weinstein and called for more inclusivity and equality in the institution. Activists took things too far by seizing hostages and attacking the police force. Benjamin recalls a struggle session during the week-long campaign. He narrates that white students were berated for their race and were not allowed to speak. Seminars and workshops like these were not uncommon since a new president was appointed for Evergreen State College in 2015. With the institution’s support, student activist groups were given power around issues of race.
For Benjamin, the workshops felt dogmatic and ritualistic. White participants were required to acknowledge and to apologize for their race which automatically makes them complicit in systems of oppression. There’s an indoctrination of new narratives and values. Any argument or criticism would be shut down through the use of specific rhetoric maneuvers.
In a sense, colleges have returned to their original function of being an extended arm of religion. Higher education is programming students to adapt to the new religion of wokeism. But this new ideology is not just perpetuated through education, but also through corporations, social media, and community groups. Once this new religion is accepted, all dissent is purged against it. Blind allegiance to these new values can be dangerous, as it encourages a hive mentality.
In this new religion, there is only shame and scapegoating. It demands acknowledgement of past sins but there seems to be no redemption. Instead of apologizing for immutable characteristics like gender and race, there should be a focus on an individual’s character. In born traits shouldn’t be the defining qualities of a person. By looking at our differences, it’s harder to get to a place of love.
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