“Academic freedom: It’s great, as long as you don’t use it.”


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Academic fascism: An New York University professor who created an anonymous Twitter account so that he could express conservative opinions without risking his teaching career has been forced to take paid leave for the rest of the semester.

A 12-person committee calling itself the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, including two deans, published a letter to the editor in the same paper. “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,” they 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,” they argued.

Rectenwald likened the attack to “a Salem witch trial. They took my views personally. I never even mentioned them and I never even said NYU liberal studies program. I was talking about academia at large.”

The same day that letter was published, Rectenwald was summoned to a meeting with his department dean and an HR representative, he says. “They claimed they were worried about me and a couple people had expressed concern about my mental health,” Rectenwald told The Post. The leave has “absolutely zero to do with his Twitter account or his opinions on issues of the day,” said NYU spokesman Matt Nagel, refusing to elaborate on the reason.

Rectenwald’s real crime? He had criticized the intolerance that is poisoning the academic community.

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12 comments

  • hondo

    Cultural War/Red Guard – starting to see the similarities.

  • eddie willers

    He also claims he is a communist.

    ““I don’t support Trump at all. I hate him — I think he’s horrible,” the professor said. “I’m hiding amongst the alt-right, alright? And the point is, this character is meant to exhibit and illustrate the notion that it’s this crazy social-justice-warrior-knee-jerk-reaction-triggered-happy-safe-space-seeking-blah, blah, blah, blah culture that it’s producing this alt-right. Now, I’m not dumb enough to go there. And my own politics are very strong — I’m a left communist. But I think that in fact, the crazier and crazier that this left gets, this version of the left, the more the more the alt-right is going to be laughing their asses off plus getting more pissed. Every time a speaker is booed off campus or shooed off campus because they might say something that bothers someone, that just feeds the notion that the left is totalitarian, and they have a point.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/25/michael-rectenwald-nyu-professor-created-undercove/

    This, and muggins, is how conservatives are made.

  • Joe

    Not really sure what the alt-right is, in my mind, the left has created this out of the European hard right, in other words this is a made up term, I don’t believe Breitbart is an alt-right site. This is a derogatory term to defame real conservatives. As to what is going on in higher education, the left created this minefield, they need to be the ones to walk through it!

  • Dave Williams

    I suspect a liberal think tank invented the alt-right to be the boogeyman in the present election cycle. They needed a rally point for their drones to replace the Tea Party, which has largely faded into obscurity.

  • Kevin Haynie

    The totalitarians have pushed everyone else out of every social institution except the ones that actively revile and resist them. People who believe in limited government and individual freedom are being lumped in with racists , and other groups in order to discredit them. You can’t just disagree with them anymore. In response to the crushing of all other social institutions , such as the family , religion, and even love of country , many fall into a kind of tribalism and group identity. It’s a larger version of how LBJs “great society” destroyed the nuclear family among minorities ( mostly) and the gang and thug lifestyle filled the vacuum.

  • Cotour

    The “alt right” (Wikileaks, Alex Jones, Breitbart, the massive internet connects in social media etc. ) has been demonstrated to be fairly accurate in what they report on and their conclusions about what is actually going on behind the scene’s in our own government and the towers of world power.

    The Dems and Leftists are attempting to tag the alt right as being a threat / bad and I propose that they have actually created their own enemy as the alt right continues to be demonstrated as being accurate and true and against this open border / One World Government agenda that is now no longer a conspiracy but all of our realities.

  • Phil Berardelli

    Obviously, members of this group are fans of Monty Python, because they certainly emulate the boys. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

  • Raises an interesting question: if a non-tenured professor criticizes university policies is that grounds for dismissal?

    Bob Clark

  • Gealon

    Interesting that the first three letters of the liberal group’s acronym would spell out LSD. Seems pretty telling.

  • Cotour

    I think his mistakes if he wanted to criticize his employer were to identify as a “deplorable” and he identified the university specifically. Those in themselves are throwing gasoline on the already perverted university culture fire.

    What did he think a bunch of politically correct, manipulator Leftist professors engaged in the behavior that they have been involved in would do if and when they found out about his “secret” internet identity.

  • Edward

    From the article: “We seek to create a dynamic community that values full participation,” the LSD had written.

    Apparently, “full participation” means “only if you agree with us.” Safe spaces only for the politically correct, but none for those whose diversity strays from the PC.

    But then, being politically correct is the correct thing. We know this to be true, because the phrase contains the word “correct.”

    Naturally, anyone who strays from PC must be of questionable mental health, and they must be sent to Siberia — er — education camps until they agree with the Communist Party — er — Democratic Party and its Schutzstaffel — er — Social Justice Warriors (peaceful though the warriors are).

    Diversity is good, so long as no one is too diverse.

    [We now return you to your regular non-sarcastic reading.]

  • Steve Earle

    Kevin Haynie said:
    “….People who believe in limited government and individual freedom are being lumped in with racists , and other groups in order to discredit them. You can’t just disagree with them anymore….”

    Unfortunately Correct…..

    Dave Williams said:
    “…I suspect a liberal think tank invented the alt-right to be the boogeyman in the present election cycle. They needed a rally point for their drones to replace the Tea Party, which has largely faded into obscurity….”

    Also unfortunately correct. I am a fairly hard core conservative, religious, gun owner, college educated, retired cop. I have also been a fan of Andrew Breitbart and his website that continued after his untimely death.

    I had no idea until the Left pointed it out to me that I was a card-carrying member of the “Alt-Right”…… I had never heard of the term and still have no idea exactly what it means.

    I guess at the next meeting, I’ll ask for a copy of our mission statement to see what I’ve gotten myself into! ;-)

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