A professor fighting against political correctness at New York University has been forced to leave the classroom in response to his colleagues’ mounting concerns regarding his “incivility.”
Liberal studies professor Michael Rectenwald was forced to take leave for the rest of the semester after a 12-person faculty committee declared “him guilty of illogic and incivility in a community that predicates its work in great part on rational thought and the civil exchange of ideas.”
After receiving backlash for publicly criticizing PC culture, Rectenwald decided to go anonymous. Under the Twitter account “Deplorable NYU Prof,” Recentenwald shared articles and joked about identity politics and safe spaces online. “I remember once on my Facebook I posted a story about a kid who changed his pronoun to ‘His Majesty’ because I thought it was funny,” he claimed. “Then I got viciously attacked by 400 people. This whole milieu is nauseating. I grew tired of it, so I made the [Twitter] account.”
The identity politics left: they need a safe space that is at once a hall of mirrors and a rubber room.
— Michael Rectenwald (@antipcnyuprof) October 11, 2016
Liberalism coopts the discourse and techniques of radicalism and turns them into devices of mass manipulation.
— Michael Rectenwald (@antipcnyuprof) September 29, 2016
Despite his unconventional perspectives on trigger warnings, safe spaces, and PC culture, Rectenwald considers himself a Marxist. “It’s an alarming curtailment of free expression to the point where you can’t even pretend to be something without authorities coming down on you in the universities,” he said.
After Rectenwald identified himself to the school’s student newspaper, he began to attract attention from his colleagues. Shortly after, a 12-person faculty committee committed themselves to deconstructing Rectenwald’s criticisms, which turned into an endorsement to administrators for his ultimate dismissal.
“As long as he airs his views with so little appeal to evidence and civility, we must find him guilty of illogic and incivility in a community that predicates its work in great part on rational thought and the civil exchange of ideas,” the committee wrote. “We seek to create a dynamic community that values full participation. Such efforts are not the ‘destruction of academic integrity’ Professor Rectenwald suggests, but rather what make possible our program’s approach to global studies.”
“I’m afraid my academic career is over,” Rectenwald said. “Academic freedom: It’s great, as long as you don’t use it.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org