Woke students demand Regent Sviggum ‘internalize’ their beliefs
Steve Sviggum’s recent apology tour is a good lesson for those attacked by the woke mob. Don’t bother apologizing because the apology will never be enough.
Sviggum was forced to apologize for thinking out loud at a U of M Board of Regents meeting that maybe one reason the University of Minnesota Morris was losing students is that they are “too diverse.” Sviggum knew what he was saying was controversial, prefacing it with the admission he might be “on thin ice.” But he felt someone in his position should have the freedom to ask the question.
The university president offered a pretty solid answer to Sviggum’s question, arguing that diversity on campus is overwhelmingly a net draw for new students and not likely to be part of the reason for the enrollment declines. Asked and answered.
But Sviggum quickly found out there was no thin ice available to ask the question. He fell through the ice in a predictable firestorm of wokeness. Most of it was Twitter-level faux outrage, but some of the pushback seemed earnest.
The president of the Morris Campus Student Association, Dylan Young, wrote Sviggum an open letter and invited him to visit the Morris campus and listen to student leaders in the spirit of “genuine human interaction.” “By the end of our time together, it is my hope that you would be able to let your two friends and their children know that diversity should be embraced — not feared.”
Sviggum recently took Young up on the offer and traveled to Morris to meet with student leaders. But he found out they were not interested in good faith dialogue. They needed Sviggum to admit his failures, change his perspective and think like they think.
Liberals love to say they want dialogue, but they really don’t. They want people in power like Regent Sviggum to think and speak like they do. There is no dialogue, there is no free thought, there are only eggshells that keep real conversations from the public square.
Morris student Hal Johnson issued a chilling statement that sums up the Left’s position on debate:
“Regent Sviggum didn’t seem to internalize anything we told him during that meeting. He had an opportunity to learn from, or at least directly apologize for his mistakes, and he didn’t do either.”
Sviggum didn’t internalize anything we told him? You expect people who disagree with you to internalize your position? Or else? That is why no one should apologize to the woke mob. The apology will never be enough. They need you to disavow your own beliefs and pledge allegiance to theirs. Otherwise, you are not allowed to stay in power.
The students are also demanding mandatory Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and anti-racist training for all regents prior to their service on the board. They also demand new polices for removing regents “whose statements and actions do not align with the mission, vision, and values of The University of Minnesota.” I would be shocked if DEI and anti-racist training was not already part of the U of M’s process.
For his part, Sviggum is not asking the legislature to reappoint him to the Board of Regents since he no longer lives in the Second Congressional district. With the makeup of the new House and Senate, we can assure these young students their views on diversity will be front and center for the new board.