The following Wespeak was collectively authored by a number of involved students, including the following: Virgil Taylor ’15, Ross Levin ’15, Nico Vitti ’12, Paul Blasenheim ’12, Zak Kirwood ’12, Cheryl Walker ’12, Meggie McGuire ’12, Mariama Eversley ’14, Isabelle Gauthier ’14, Josh Krugman ’14, Joseph Cribb ’13, Hannah Rubin ’13, Cesar Chavez ’15, Dan Fischer ’12, and Mica Taliaferro ’12. Though it may be written from a first-person perspective, it should be taken as a collective statement of these signers and the larger collective organizing dissent for Scalia’s arrival.

As many of these Wespeaks and numerous scholars have argued, the shamefully corrupt Antonin Scalia today represents the worst in homophobic, white supremacist, Islamophobic, patriarchal, and violent politics wielded to uphold the status quo (indeed, he is the furthest thing from “Justice” one can imagine).  He strategically uses “Originalist” doctrine to obscure and simultaneously uphold histories of white supremacy and colonial genocide (of which he has been wildly successful, since such values are certainly written into the original intent of the U.S. Constitution).  His policies have directly harmed and silenced students on this campus, and countless more across the globe who are unable to access an elite(ist) institution such as Wesleyan.

So where do we go from here?  Do we take the path prescribed by Michael Roth, and act as if Scalia is merely an academic figure with whom we may politely disagree, but whose voice is needed in order to create a true, academic environment?  Or do we stand by those who have suffered violence at the implementation end of his ideologies, make our dissent known as a force that actually BRINGS deeper academic value to the event, and stand up for justice in the face of oppression?  We choose the latter.

If you consider yourself committed to the abolition of institutionalized violence, and for the realization of true justice from below, we implore you to express your dissent on the day of Scalia’s arrival, in whatever way is best for you and your community (chalking, protesting, organizing counter-events, hosting critical discussions, organizing justice-oriented events, etc.).  In essence, we call on all people of conscience to “Occupy Scalia.”

But Scalia’s arrival, and the moral imperative to confront him and “Occupy” his time at Wesleyan, can only go so far in the struggle to dismantle the oppressive institutions which have created a world of massive institutional violence, wealth disparity, environmental degradation and systematic erasure.  The next step is to turn our dissent inward, confronting the underlying institutionalized values which have allowed for this despicable event to occur in the first place.  We need to go beyond “Occupying” our campus.  The time has come to Decolonize Wesleyan.

What would it mean to decolonize Wesleyan?  What manifestations of colonial logic are present here on campus, and on other campuses across this country?  This must be a meditated, long-term discussion, and what follows is only a rudimentary beginning.  Colonial values of domination, white supremacy, genocide and erasure can be seen in covert forms everywhere at Wesleyan.  From our hierarchical, non-transparent administrative structure, to the massive wealth disparities evident across the spectrum of employees of the institution; from Wesleyan’s continued illegal holding of Native American remains in direct violation of federal law, to the shamefully low number of native/indigenous students and faculty welcomed at this institution; from the tokenizing positions of student power given to the generally powerless Wesleyan Student Assembly, to the consolidation and institutionalization of grassroots student activism into intern positions, to the entirely secret batch of super-wealthy Trustees who control most power at this institution and are simultaneously most detached from its current students, Wesleyan’s practices of domination and control are evident (but in many cases, as with the Trustees, strategically invisible).

Even Wesleyan’s claim to “Diversity University”—which has been shamefully distorted to justify Scalia’s presence and to erase from view his violent impacts by our dear President Roth—carries a white supremacist attitude, since so many diversity initiatives are mainly implemented to benefit the expanded learning environment of the white, heterosexual, wealthy male crowd for whom this institution was built.  Many students of color, international students, students with disabilities, radical/non-politically “Left” students, low-income students and countless others who are pushed to the margins (and therefore targeted for recruitment at very small and token levels) have historically voiced concerns of alienation and exclusion by the part of the Administration and the still-predominantly white, middle to upper middle class student body, and demanded that this institution take transformative steps to make this campus a safe space for all of its students, something many of us continue to demand today.

Let us never stop simply at “Occupying Scalia,” because Scalia, though a powerful individual, is really just a puppet in a larger system of domination embedded into the framework of the United States, which has seeped into the administrative attitude of Wesleyan.  We must confront his violence, certainly.  But we cannot stop there.  More conversations about envisioning a decolonized Wesleyan must occur, and we need to begin to understand how the ideologies spouted by bigots like Scalia are in full force, in less obvious ways, here at Wesleyan.

  • ridic

    Wealth disparities across the employees of the university? Really?! So the custodians should make as much money as the chief investment officer? Socialism much?

  • Examples?

    If you’re going to use such vitriolic rhetoric, can you at least back up what you say with some examples? “White supremacist” and “violent politics” are pretty hefty phrases to throw around unsubstantiated

    • Anon

      You need to review the other set of published WeSpeaks, which were all released collectively. Those go through more direct explanation of the ways in which Scalia’s perspectives uphold histories of white supremacy and enact forms of violence on marginalized populations. This is a “moving forward” piece, please do not slander it without reading the others!

  • James

    The author reveals, in his really quite extreme views, why people like him have always been, and will continue to be, an incredibly fringe and isolated group, writhing in their impotent rage.

  • Keep up the good work, Wesleyan students! Scalia is an outrageous rightwing provocateur masquerading in black robes. Protest is the only reasonable course of action here.

  • Mike

    Justin et Al,

    I commend your spirit, because with it are the true necessary remedies for the Empire of America and it’s colonization of this globe. However, we must realize that the dominion is not necessarily one of race, although certain families are undoubtedly still remnants of the Aristocracy of Europe and part of the new Corpratocracy. Still, the root problem is not one of any misguided interpretation of our Constitution. You are the people, and now for once doing your job. For too long have Americans sit idly by as military and industrial academic complexes taken root and supplanted the will of the people. Even Hamilton, in obtaining the charter of the First National bank, soon saw how via the banking system he might create a wealth machine on our backs. Few realize the Civil War was in a large part a mechanism to reestablish monetary control after Jackson had dismantled the Second National Bank thirty years prior. Or further that the Second Bank was originally chartered after the first had lost its Charter in 1811, when the War of 1812 sent the young nation into debt, do you think this is a coincidence?

    So herein lies the problem. The Occupy movement should not be a movement against the free market, but one against the unconstitutional perversion of it through the Wall Street and K Street mentality like pigs at the trough. The International bankers that orchestrated the crisis of 2007 are the main perpetrators of the current crimes of our age. To dwell on the archaic social issues is a distraction and is actually relished by the monetary masters, who through the FED (the Third Bank of the US!), IMF, BIS, ECB, etc.. are the real enemies of humanity. These central banks enslave nations throughout the world into debt service either personally through student loans and mortgage, currency debasement, or the fractional reserve mechanism in general.

    Occupy Liberty

  • Dante

    1. I like how Justin is supposedly the author of these 112 year old Wespeaks…

    2. Screw the liberal multiple-points-of-view idea. I don’t care about that. What’s important to me is the goal of education, particularly mine. And while I am fine with protests, demonstrations, etc., the second any of that begins to impede on my ability to be educated by a man whose views are particularly important in our current society, you’ve lost me. If a gay and black socialist who did not believe in God was invited to campus to speak, and someone interfered with my attempt to be educated by them, I would feel the same way.

    At this point, this isn’t really about respect–as a white, heterosexual male, I don’t expect you to respect my opinion, education, or “liberty”–it’s about conflicting interests. And if your interests involve shutting down my education–which I have heard rumors that at least some members of this group intend to do–then I hope you fail, or, barring that, are met with significant consequences by the system. If not, then I would hope you could forget the rhetoric of someone who is overly protective of their own rights and I could join you in the protest post-lecture.

  • I am looking forward to hearing about how both the lecture and the protests went.