Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber condemned Professor Joshua Katz this week over a column that Katz published in Quillette criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement on campus.
According to a report by the Princeton student newspaper, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber has publicly condemned Professor Joseph Katz for a commentary piece that he contributed to an online magazine.
Earlier this month, Katz penned a column for Quillette in which he detailed some of the extreme efforts that social justice student protesters have made over the past several months. Katz even went as far to refer to one leftist student group as a “local terrorist organization.”
In the column, Katz highlighted some of the demands that had been made by students. He specifically criticized a demand by students that the university should provide a list of benefits to minority professors at the institution, such as an additional paid semester off.
But then there are dozens of proposals that, if implemented, would lead to civil war on campus and erode even further public confidence in how elite institutions of higher education operate. Some examples: “Reward the invisible work done by faculty of color with course relief and summer salary” and “Faculty of color hired at the junior level should be guaranteed one additional semester of sabbatical” and “Provide additional human resources for the support of junior faculty of color.” Let’s leave aside who qualifies as “of color,” though this is not a trivial point. It boggles my mind that anyone would advocate giving people—extraordinarily privileged people already, let me point out: Princeton professors—extra perks for no reason other than their pigmentation.
In a statement, President Eisgruber argued that Katz failed to use his “free speech” in a responsible manner. Eisgruber would go on to claim that Katz inappropriately “disparaged” students that have participated in recent protest efforts on campus.
In particular, Eisgruber criticized Katz for his characterization of a campus organization, the Black Justice League, as a “small local terrorist organization.” In context, Katz wrote, “The Black Justice League, which was active on campus from 2014 until 2016, was a small local terrorist organization that made life miserable for the many (including the many black students) who did not agree with its members’ demands.”
“While free speech permits students and faculty to make arguments that are bold, provocative, or even offensive, we all have an obligation to exercise that right responsibly,” Eisgruber said in a short statement. “Joshua Katz has failed to do so, and I object personally and strongly to his false description of a Princeton student group as a ‘local terrorist organization.’”
“By ignoring the critical distinction between lawful protest and unlawful violence, Dr. Katz has unfairly disparaged members of the Black Justice League, students who protested and spoke about controversial topics but neither threatened nor committed any violent acts,” Eisgruber continued.
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