Bret Weinstein is a Theoretical Evolutionary Biologist and Former Professor Biology Professor at The Evergreen State College. He resides in Washington. Since resigning, Bret has become a popular personality on Twitter.
Bret grew up in California and is brothers with Eric Weinstein. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and earned a B.A. with Honors in Biology in 1993. He later attained his Ph.D. in biology in 2009 from the University of Michigan.
Weinstein is married to fellow professor Heather Heying.
On May 23, 2017, a large group of students protested outside of Weinstein's classroom after he wrote an email taking issue with the proposed “Day of Absence & Day of Presence” where white students and professors were asked to leave campus for a day. He responded by stating he would be on campus that day.
As a result, the students berated the professor and demanded that he apologize and resign. The incident lasted 15 minutes.
Bret Weinstein's Response
On March 15, 2017, Bret Weinstein responded to one of Rashida Love's emails regarding the Day of Absence & Day of Presence; Rashida Love is the Director of the First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services Staff.
From: Weinstein, Bret
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 2:50 PM
To: Love, Rashida
Cc: All Staff & Faculty DL
Subject: Re: Invitation and schedules for Day of Absence/Day of Presence 2017
When you first described the new structure for Day of Absence / Day of Presence at a past faculty meeting (where no room was left for questions), I thought I must have misunderstood what you said. Later emails seemed to muddy the waters further, while inviting commitments to participate. I now see from the boldfaced text in this email that I had indeed understood your words correctly.
There is a huge difference between a group of coalition to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles (the theme of the Douglas Turner Ward play Day of Absence, as well as the recent Women's Day walkout), and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. The first is a forceful call to consciousness which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.
You may take this letter as a formal protest of this year's structure, and you may assume I will be on campus on the Day of Absence. I would encourage others to put phenotype aside and reject this new formulation, whether they have 'registered' for it already or not. On a college campus, one's right to speak--or to be--must never be based on skin color.
If there was interest in a public presentation and discussion of race through a scientific / evolutionary lens, I would be quite willing to organize such an event (it is material I have taught in my own programs, and guest lectured on at Evergreen and elsewhere). Everyone would be equally welcome and encouraged to attend such a forum, irrespective would be that people attend with an open mind, and a willingness to act in good faith.
If there is interest in such an event, please let me know at [redacted email].
Lawsuit and Resignation
Weinstein resigned along with his wife Heather Heying from Evergreen in September 2017 after receiving a $500K settlement from the school. The couple filed a $3.85 million tort claim in July alleging the college failed to “protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence,” according to the claim.