Trinity College Student Writes Hartford Courant Op-Ed, Slams School’s ‘White Privilege’ Infection

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A rising junior at Trinity College in Hartford, where administrators were prompted to shut down the campus last month after a professor insinuated online that black Capitol Hill Police officers should have left white GOP lawmakers to die following a leftist’s assassination attempt, has claimed in a Hartford Courant op-ed that white privilege runs rampant at her school.

Student Vianna Iorio, whose “Unraveling White Privilege At Trinity” column ran in Friday’s Courant, begins her column lamenting the “outpouring of vile, hateful, racist, ignorant comments on social media,” but points the finger not at Professor Johnny Eric Williams’s June 18 Facebook post but at the reactions that ensued.

Iorio claims that the “misplaced and ill-informed attacks are not only directed toward Professor Williams as an individual, but to Trinity, liberal arts colleges and higher education in America as a whole.”

She repeats Williams’s claim that his post was intended to address an officer-involved shooting in Seattle and notes that “conservatives on the Internet interpreted the posts as saying that victims of the recent shootings at a Republican Congressional baseball practice should have been left to die.”

Williams inserted the hashtag “#LetThemF***ingDie,” the title of a post he linked to that suggested the black female police officer who put down the would-be baseball diamond assassin should have just left white GOP lawmaker Steve Scalise to bleed to death, that apparently caught the attention of the conservative Campus Reform website.

Iorio recalled in her op-ed piece “a mixture of adrenaline and dread formed metallic in my mouth as I was confronted with profound ugliness and lack of empathy displayed by those commenting,” and focused on one woman in particular who purportedly asked “if white people are safe at Trinity.”

The comment appeared to strike a nerve with Iorio, who answered that “the short answer is yes” and proceeded to tick off a list of apparent whiteness prevalent at Trinity, writing that the school “was built by rich white men to benefit rich white men” and “was built to protect a class of social and cultural elites when elite was synonymous with white.”

“Whiteness at Trinity is the silent, background, default,” Iorio wrote. “No one student, professor, protest or Facebook post has the power to erase the legacy of this white privilege overnight.”

Meanwhile, administrators have confirmed that Williams will not lose his job, citing his right to academic freedom, but must be punished with a semester-long paid suspension.

“We’ve determined that a leave is in the best interest of both Professor Williams and the college,” Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney recently announced. “The review by the Dean of the Faculty of the events concerning Professor Williams will continue.”