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March 1, 2021

Dear Editor:

Smith College, Detroit Photographic Company, public domain

As a 1972 graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA, I was disappointed to read of the latest campus imbroglios, which should serve as a cautionary tale for every school….and beyond the educational community.

During the summer of 2018, a Black Smith student, Oumou Kanoute, was mistaken for a non-student and questioned regarding her presence there. The custodian who had questioned the girl was put on leave. A law firm hired by Smith found no evidence of bias, especially since Ms. Kanoute had been eating in a dorm that had been open only to a program for young children that summer. The ACLU defended the student, while the president of Smith, Kathleen McCartney, began anti-bias training for all staff.

Both the cafeteria worker who served Ms. Kanoute and the custodian began receiving hate mail from students as well as being photographed and written about disparagingly on Facebook. Later, a second custodian who had not even been working there the day of the incident was also targeted. Both the cafeteria worker and the second custodian have since left the school due to the harassment by students.

More recently, a courageous staff member of the college, Jodi Shaw, has taken a very public stand against the perceived anti-white indoctrination of the staff members by the administration. Despite being a single mother of two children, Jodi has resigned from Smith College. Evidently, there is quite a bit of staff/faculty support for Ms. Shaw, though much of it has been quiet.

Bottom line: The “progressive” Left has done no end of damage by seeking to divide us by race, gender, religion, etc. Martin Luther King, Jr. had it right: Our character, not skin color, is what should define us.

Jane Bate

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