New York University professor Michael Rectenwald writes today in The Post online about his experiences; an excerpt from “Here’s what happened when I challenged the PC campus culture at NYU”:
I’m not a conservative, or an alt-righter. I find Donald Trump repugnant. But over the last couple of weeks, I’ve become a campus pariah to some (and a hero, perhaps, to a few) in my nontenured NYU faculty job, thanks to the humorless, Social Justice Warrior-brand of campus culture run amok and a misunderstanding about a Twitter account. Enmeshed in a conspiracy — thinly disguised as sympathy — of my colleagues’ design, I’ve lost my academic freedom and I potentially stand to lose my appointment.
Last month, NYU’s senior vice president of student affairs, Marc Wais, sent an email to the campus community to announce that an on-campus appearance by right-wing Internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos had been canceled by the administration. I believe universities should debate bad ideas, not ban them, and I vocally opposed this development.
Around the same time, I created a Twitter account, @antipcnyuprof, complete with Nietzsche avatar and “Deplorable” screen name, as a thought experiment. It allowed me to tweet in the guise of an alt-righter while drawing out the predictable, censorious responses of so-called progressives, self-appointed thought police at NYU and elsewhere who have, in the name of maintaining a culture of civility on campus, policed their little corner of the Twittersphere. Beyond NYU, we just marked a Halloween where, with almost comic predictability, the politically correct campus thought police, like some dystopian pre-crime bureau, have prompted students to report on peers for wearing offensive Halloween attire.
Check out the Twitter feed and see just what it takes to get the campus speech police riled up, and see also the the letter from various colleagues condemning Rectenwald. Very troubling to see how deep the intolerance of dissenting ideas in the academy has gone.