The rapid creation of new student groups over the past few years has taken the core of activist mobilization, split it into a hundred pieces and scattered them across campus.
I believe that this trend is the result of a more complicated story, a story in which visibility and inclusion mirror violence and exclusion, involving two increasingly fractured transgender camps.
Fascism 2,800 miles away is a different beast from fascism right here on the farm, and having a persistent and open conflict on campus would necessarily galvanize a drawn-out activist movement.
At Stanford, what’s rarer than a snow day, more political than a rally and more powerful than a speech? Answer: A professor acknowledging local, national or global crisis in the classroom.
A real problem was framed in terms that indicted students and not underlying structural problems.
The problem now is that the reputation given by activists to the collective “administration” has stuck, even though the “Stanford” that activists fought against in 2014 is in many ways not the “Stanford” that we turn our sights to today.
In hindsight, it doesn’t seem all too surprising that the concept of “self-care” caught on the way it did.
We’ve got our movement; we know what we are resisting against; we know we’re in it for the long haul. But we don’t really yet have a way to act on our own terms – a way to win the slow burn of bad news attrition. It’s scarcely been a week, and I’m tired. Many of us are.