By M.L. 08.13.20
A petition circulating within the Dartmouth College community denounces the 40-year-old independent student newspaper, the Dartmouth Review, accusing it of having ‘hateful ideologies’ and demanding campus leaders force it to stop using ‘Dartmouth’ in its title.
It also demands some sort of punishment for its writers, calling on administration to ‘hold student staffers accountable for their bigotry’.
The petition circulated at the Ivy League university in New Hampshire accuses the Dartmouth Review of incubating ‘racist hate and white supremacy’ and ‘contributing to our nation’s divisive and racially denigrating public discourse through both its publications and the comportment of former staffers’.
The petition was launched July 20 and has nearly 1,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon. Notable alumni of the Dartmouth Review include Fox News host Laura Ingraham and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza.
The petition references the recent resignation of Dartmouth alumnus Blake Neff from Fox News after past posts of his were revealed, leading to accusations of racism against him. Neff wrote for the Dartmouth Review and worked for Fox News host Tucker Carlson after college.
The petition criticizes the university for not publicly condemning the Dartmouth Review:
“The College has stood by in complicity while the Review has wielded its brand of malicious and dishonest ‘conservatism’ through vituperative ad hominem attacks, covert and overt racism, vicious taunting and race-baiting, and blatant homophobia and misogyny. BIPOC students, faculty, and staff have been harmed by this bastion of racism on campus, as have Jewish people, women, and members of the LGBTQ community.”
The petition demands the university ‘decisively and publicly dissociate itself from the Dartmouth Review and to hold student staffers accountable for their bigotry. We further demand that the College compel this publication to cease and desist from using the Dartmouth name as part of its brand’.
The Dartmouth Review responded to the complaints in an August 7 article, titled “An Overdue Response to the Jacobins.”
Its editors called the petition ‘an attempt to stifle rational discourse by appealing to a higher power’:
“It’s unfortunate that this type of intellectual cowardice has come about on campus, and I would argue that it is antithetical to the pursuits of liberal institutions such as our own wherein debate ought to be a fundamental in the search for higher truth. I guess in the post-modern age, truth no longer matters much.”
In response to a demand that the university disassociate from the Review, the paper stated ‘this demand is patently ridiculous; the paper has never been associated with the College in any official capacity’.
It also noted that the university has tried twice to have the paper remove ‘Dartmouth’ from its name but gave up over three decades ago.
In response to an accusation of anti-semitism, the paper noted that the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission and the Anti-Defamation League both defended the Dartmouth Review over its satirical article over 30 years prior.
It also noted that it’s unfair to hold the Dartmouth Review for everything past editors published:
“Nonetheless, the idea that the paper ought to be judged and sentenced by its past—which even our own editors have sometimes passed criticism upon—is absurd. Not only are the accusations mostly baseless, but the premise of the criticisms themselves is faulty, and the demands have already been addressed! This petition holds up to scrutiny in not a single one of its intents.”
A majority of the signers are alumni, although over 25 faculty members have signed the petition, including Eng-Beng Lim. Lim has come under fire for blaming toxic masculinity, not Islamic extremism, for the fatal 2016 shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.