A view of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
An Ohio liberal arts college has been criticized for the attacks of the “free education” after a play written by a member of the faculty who discussed illegal immigration was canceled on the criticism of students and teachers.
Wendy MacLeod’s drama, “The good Samaritan” in the middle on the experience of illegal immigrants from Guatemala to work on an egg farm near the Kenyon College campus northeast of Columbus. The play focuses on the misadventures of a 15-year-old immigrant who escaped to the egg farm and ends on a school seems to Kenyon.
MacLeod, who is white, scattered through the script in an e-mail to the campus over the past month. The college’s own newspaper, The Kenyon College, described it as a “comedy [where] many of the play’s humor is told by the cultural insensitivity of the white students.”
Nevertheless, students and teachers called for the play to be withdrawn, citing insensitivity toward immigrants.
According to the Kenyon Thrill blog, a student e-mail administrators to complain that “The good Samaritan” was “yet another a story written about a person by the color of the uninformed perspective of a white academic,” and “an exercise in cultural hegemony with heavy notes of white savior complex.” Another called it “an act of violence, dehumanizing and humiliating the suffering that immigrants endure in this country.”
Faculty were not immune to the hysteria. The Spanish professor Clara Román-Odio told The Kenyon College-that she had identified 40 instances of ethnic insensitivity, including multiple references to the protagonist as “illegal” and the wrong impression, by the white letters that the Guatemalan immigrant was from Argentina.
On Jan. 31, MacLeod announced that they cancel a production planned for April of this year, “out of respect for the interests of students and members of the faculty.”
The following day, professor of political science Fred Baumann defended MacLeod and play on a campus forum. He said that the criticism of his colleagues had become “too personal, much too personal,” and added that “today is the end of Kenyon as a school where the liberal education.”
The Voltage is reported that his remark prompted laughter from the students in attendance.
The cancellation of “The good Samaritan” fell together with the creation of a “whiteness of the group.” According to The College, the rules of the group is founded by a junior, Juniper Cruz, are the following: “No white person can ask a person of color; white people should try to answer their questions for themselves.”
The paper reported that abouty 50 students, most of them white, the group visited the first two meetings. The second meeting included a discussion of the MacLeod ‘ s “Good Samaritan.”
“White allies have a reputation of talking a lot, doing a lot on social media, but not really doing anything about it” Cruz told the newspaper. “Not much has been done, except by default for the parts. I’m really surprised so many came on a good hour of the day to get here.”