Following last week’s sudden acknowledgment of the 155-year-old existence of Juneteenth, the Middlebury College Administration decided to take a radical stance by almost listening to the demands of Black students instead of just calling them eloquent and thanking them for their time. In a school-wide email, President Patton announced that the school supports being recognized as standing with its Black students, faculty, and staff.
“Anti-blackness has no home at Middlebury,” wrote Patton, “just temporarily lodging on the stage in Wilson Hall, the golf course, at a dinner with the Political Science department, and permanently as a golden-boy member of a ‘secret’ frat.”
After getting over the initial shock of an email containing no poems, some trustees were confused and frustrated about the college sending out three “redundant” messages on its commitment to racial justice. Other more left-leaning moneybags were quick to point out that the only way to assuage Middlebury’s guilt for racist behavior is to send out an equal number of activist-sounding emails as they do for eugenic speaker invitations.
“I’m so proud of Middlebury for making such a bold statement,” said trustee member Whas Peey ‘92. “Just like with fossil fuel divestment, it’s not easy to part ways with something that’s directly benefited the college for so long. Especially something built into the foundation and nurtured throughout the systems of modern academia! I think it’s finally happening, they’re going to make the leap to remove invited speakers from faculty houses—and put them up in the Middlebury Inn instead.”
Despite the three full emails, some activists still feel like the college isn’t doing enough to address the racism within its bucolic borders, especially after its last attempt at a Murray hat-trick. When they wrote to administration officials about their concerns, however, they received an automated reply email featuring the haiku:
First Black college grad
Was Alexander Twilight
We have a Black friend.