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Letter to the Editor: Liberal Studies Rejects @antipcnyuprof’s Faulty Claims

In “Q&A with Deplorable NYU Professor,” Liberal Studies Clinical Assistant Professor Michael Rectenwald states the following in response to a request to talk about his thoughts on diversity: “A cis, white, straight male like myself is guilty of something. I don’t know what. But I’m fucking sure I’m guilty of it. And I am very fucking low on the ethical totem pole, you know?” After reading the interview and Professor Rectenwald’s @antipcnyuprof tweets, we would have to say we do know. We regretfully agree that Professor Rectenwald is guilty of something, though not by reason of his race, gender or sexuality. And though we have never seen an “ethical totem pole,” on the basis of his interview comments and tweets that denigrate NYU students, faculty and administrators, we imagine that Professor Rectenwald might be rather low on it.

First, he indulges in ad hominem fallacies. He seeks to discredit many of us who are committed to social justice by calling us insane and suggesting that some of our concerns are crazy. “My contention,” he says, “is that this particular social-justice-warrior-left is producing the alt-right by virtue of its insanity. … Frankly, I’m not really anti-pc. My contention is that trigger warning, safe spaces and bias hotline reporting is not politically correct. It is insane.”

“Identity politics on campus,” he goes on to say, “have made an infirmary of the whole, damn campus. Let’s face it: every room is like a hospital ward. What are we supposed to do? I can’t deal with it—it’s insane.” And later still: “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.” Professor Rectenwald’s rhetoric repeatedly suggests that mental illness invalidates the ideas and feelings of those who live with it. We categorically reject such rhetoric and its stigmatizing effects. We reject, too, Professor Rectenwald’s efforts to gaslight those who would disagree with him and to silence responses to his incendiary rhetoric by dismissing claims before they are reasonably made. If Professor Rectenwald is not, as he notes in the interview, against diversity, then why doesn’t he use language that substantiates his professed point of view? Diversity, in any case, is too often reduced to numbers — neither effective nor dynamic without strategies such as equity and inclusion, values Professor Rectenwald’s language works against.

Professor Rectenwald’s rhetoric also exhibits several straw man fallacies. He misrepresents the conditions under which he teaches and the campus culture generally, argues against his own misrepresentations and then presumes on the basis of his flawed logic to be right. We’ll address just one of his straw man fallacies here. Professor Rectenwald implies that trigger warnings are soon to be required to appear on all Liberal Studies syllabi. He strongly disagrees with such plans and warns that they will inevitably lead to administrators’ control of faculty syllabi. The problem with Professor Rectenwald’s contention is that Liberal Studies, the program in which Professor Rectenwald teaches, has no proposal for trigger warnings in the works. Liberal Studies faculty governance structures preclude any imposition of policies without strong faculty consent. Furthermore, it was easily established at the first meeting of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group that we — a group of 14 Liberal Studies students, faculty and administrative staff — are not interested in trigger warnings: we are interested in addressing historic, continuing inequities and in helping ensure that Liberal Studies is a community in which no one is marginalized by reason of their identity, whether tacitly assumed by others or actively claimed. 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 — the examination of sites where cultures, politics, economies, histories, ecologies and values converge and sometimes conflict.

A quick glance at Professor Rectenwald’s Twitter page shows not only further flaws in his thinking — circular arguments, appeals to consequences and hasty generalizations — but also statements that are callous at best. One of his tweets goes so far as to casually support students killing themselves in response to Donald Trump’s rhetoric. Another warns of “explosive” proof that faculty colleagues are “frauds” who were hired on the basis of their identities rather than on the basis of their merit. We fully support Professor Rectenwald’s right to speak his mind and we welcome civil discourse on the issues that concern him. But 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 cause of Professor Rectenwald’s guilt is certainly not, in our view, his identity as a cis, white, straight male. The cause of his guilt is the content and structure of his thinking.

Signed by the following members of the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group:

Suzanne Maria Menghraj
Clinical Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies
Co-Chair, Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group

Asha Kuziwa
Senior, Global Liberal Studies
Co-Chair, Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group

Sean Eve
Clinical Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies

Felipe Gomes
Sophomore, Global Liberal Studies
Global Liberal Studies Committee Chair, Liberal Studies Student Council

Beth Haymaker
Director of Global Programs, Liberal Studies

Marsha Ho
Senior, Global Liberal Studies
President, Liberal Studies Student Council

Tiger Kneller
Sophomore, Core Program
Vice President, Liberal Studies Student Council

Hannah Pingelton
Student Affairs Administrator, Liberal Studies

Dr. Robert Squillace
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Liberal Studies

Marion Thain
Clinical Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies
Associate Director of Digital Humanities for the Faculty of Arts and Science

Dr. Elayne Tobin
Clinical Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies
Co-chair, Liberal Studies Steering Committee

Jonathon White
Associate Dean of Students, Liberal Studies

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67 Comments

67 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Liberal Studies Rejects @antipcnyuprof’s Faulty Claims”

  1. Lori Price on October 26th, 2016 3:18 am

    In ‘Liberal Studies Rejects @antipcnyuprof’s Faulty [sic] Claims,’ the authors note: ‘We fully support Professor Rectenwald’s right to speak his mind and we welcome civil discourse on the issues that concern him.’
    In fact, that is not the case.
    The alacrity with which the large number of opponents have aligned themselves against the @antipcnyupof and his arguments is quite stunning. It is indicative, in fact, of a mob culture. This is proof of the exact points that Dr. Rectenwald has raised! How do you know what evidence he has of identity politics affecting hiring and promotion?
    Where is the incivility in his remarks?
    Additionally, the authors of this letter have taken it upon themselves to dissect and attack Dr. Rectenwald’s tweets with the ferocity of a shiver of sharks. It is reflective of the very ‘mob culture’ that he decries elsewhere. (See: http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8298.)
    Meanwhile, Dr. Rectenwald’s commentary, in general, goes beyond the actual situation at NYU.
    Lori Price
    Managing Editor, CLG News
    http://www.legitgov.org

  2. Michael Rectenwald on October 26th, 2016 4:22 am

    This is far bigger than NYU liberal studies, and for this committee to respond as it does here to my interview is indicative of the very mob think culture that I refer to . As for evidence, you really don’t want the evidence, trust me.

  3. dick gosinya on October 26th, 2016 7:17 am

    Histrionic totalitarian luna*ics that are slowly creating a system that can and will silence them as well. They’re too delusional to realize that.

  4. Jason Andrews on October 26th, 2016 7:19 am

    First of all, I find it very interesting that people who are not members of the NYU community mention “the actual situation at NYU” without saying anything specific about what that “actual” situation is, whether and how it affects the quality of the education or the distribution of resources.

    As far as the “mobbing” accusations are concerned, the people who signed this letter are not random individuals in the department but members of the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group. Since Dr. Rectenwald’s comments involve criticisms of their work and similar campus initiatives, it is quite acceptable that they sign the letter as a group. In fact, I am rather pleased that each of the members have their names under it because it makes student leaders visible.

    I also find Dr. Rectenwald’s comment above, where he says “As for evidence, you really don’t want the evidence, trust me,” quite interesting. I can’t help but wonder if this is how he teaches writing to NYU undergrads. If it is, I wonder if part of the problem is his frustration at being an elderly white man who somehow got a position that he is not even qualified for, and witnessing the brilliant work of the numerous scholars of minority backgrounds around him. (I hope I have managed to present a version of Dr. Rectenwald’s own logic in my last sentence.)

  5. Michael Rectenwald on October 26th, 2016 8:34 am

    Jason Andrews, I suggest you do some research before suggesting that I am not qualified to do my job. I happen to have published four books in the last year. I urge you to compare that to anyone in Liberal Studies, or in the university at large for that matter.

  6. Michael Rectenwald on October 26th, 2016 8:50 am
  7. Jason Andrews on October 26th, 2016 8:58 am

    As far as I know, as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, your main job is not to publish books with mediocre publishing houses but rather to teach critical thinking and writing skills. If you believe that “As for evidence, you really don’t want the evidence, trust me,” is a good response to any argument, and that’s what you teach your students, you are not qualified to do your job.

    As far as academic productivity at NYU is concerned, as any other R1 institution, NYU values quality over quantity. I don’t think NYU would award tenure to people for publishing books with Broadview Press or even Palgrave. If you haven’t realized that, you should learn the basic facts about the US academy before you attempt to criticize it. Knowing facts will make your arguments stronger.

    If you are comparing yourself to other NYU scholars, I would suggest you to check how much their works have been cited and by whom. The impact of the works of scholars like Awam Amkpa, Arjun Appadurai, Una Chaudhuri, Carolyn Dinshaw, Lisa Duggan or Gayatri Gopinath should answer any questions about why NYU values scholars of minority backgrounds. In most (if not all) cases, it is because they produce valuable research.

  8. Moderadem on October 26th, 2016 9:04 am

    What I find amusing is how the stance that the “Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group” regarding inclusion and free speech is in direct contradiction with their stance on speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos. It is a testament to their own hypocrisy and ingrained immaturity that they cannot stand to listen to opposing viewpoints to the degree that they will happily take away someone’s right to free speech in order to fulfill their own agenda.

    If your ideas were so righteous and unassailable then you would have nothing to fear from someone like him. Instead you prove the frailty of your own egos by banning him, which plays right into his hands. Modern American academia is in a truly sad state when it doesn’t even bother to refute an idea and instead just suppresses it, irrespective of what it may be.

  9. Jason Andrews on October 26th, 2016 9:23 am

    Dr. Rectenwald, I actually took the time to check Google Scholar for your work. I believe some of your publications are not there—because they are not classified as “scholarship” in the standard sense? The book Global Secularisms in a Post-Secular Age you co-edited has been cited three times, and your article “Secularism and the Cultures of Nineteenth-Century Scientific Naturalism” has been cited four times—two of them being by yourself in your later work. None of your other publications seems to have been of any use to anyone.

    Maybe it would be helpful to start thinking about what is wrong with your career rather than the university’s attempts to provide a safe and nurturing environment for scholars and students of minority backgrounds. I have to warn you, however, that trying to become an internet phenomenon of sorts may not be the path you want to choose. Given the content of your tweets, 761 followers is ridiculously low. Maybe you should try a field that doesn’t involve writing?

  10. Moderadem on October 26th, 2016 10:13 am

    Jason Andrews:

    “Maybe it would be helpful to start thinking about what is wrong with your career rather than the university’s attempts to provide a safe and nurturing environment for scholars and students of minority backgrounds.”

    You redefine a “safe environment” to be one free from any kind of perceived criticism, whereas the actuality of a safe environment is one where an individual is free from bodily harm, as so stated under the law. And why is it the job of the university to “nurture” their students? Their job is to prepare them for the real world, not to create an imaginary one where they are free from all the unpleasantries of everyday life. This level of cognitive dissonance serves who, precisely?

  11. Lori Price on October 26th, 2016 12:33 pm

    Jason Andrews: The @antipcnyuprof account ‘only’ has 761 (now 800) followers as it was just created in September 2016. Are we judging people’s scholarship and contributions to academia by their number of Twitter followers? If so, my ‘political’ Twitter account has 22K and my CLG account has 4,300.
    NYU has many ’boutique career’ professors — who’ve generally contributed nothing to the scholarly community — on the payroll. (Are you one of them?) Dr. Rectenwald is the real deal, though. He spoke at Oxford University in March and has been published by ‘Cambridge Journals,’ for example. (See: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-for-the-history-of-science/article/secularism-and-the-cultures-of-nineteenth-century-scientific-naturalism/3F6655169ADBF69052E72D431FD6AFFD.)
    Have you made similar contributions to the academic world?
    Lori Price
    http://www.legitgov.org

  12. Lori Price on October 26th, 2016 12:40 pm

    Addendum: As to Jason Andrews’s earlier comment: “First of all, I find it very interesting that people who are not members of the NYU community mention ‘the actual situation at NYU’ without saying anything specific about what that ‘actual’ situation is, whether and how it affects the quality of the education or the distribution of resources.” –I don’t have to be a carpenter to know that a table is crooked.
    Lori Price

  13. Michael Rectenwald on October 26th, 2016 12:46 pm

    Jason,

    As you have no idea what you’re talking about, I think you should cut your losses.

  14. Terry L. Clark on October 26th, 2016 2:43 pm

    If this is the view of the “Liberal Studies” Department, then Chris Hedges was spot-on in pronouncing the “Death Of The Liberal Class”.

    Chomsky and others have described “The atomization of society”, where the elites use “divide and conquer” to have “the little people” at each others’ throats instead of around the jackboot stomping upon them.

    Huey Long famously declared, “Every man a king”. The NYU “Liberal Studies” Department, on the other hand, takes the bait of the elites and pronounce, “Every person a victim”.

  15. Simon on October 26th, 2016 6:17 pm

    I’d love to know what Jason Andrews or any of the signatores of this letter have done to fight wars of aggression, the dissolution of civil liberties and the ever-expanding reach of the ‘global free market.’

    Dr. Rectenwald has been tirelessly fighting the machinations of the U.S. imperialist state through his Citizens for Legitimate Government for years, and if Mr. Andrews truly cares about social justice, he should be fighting alongside him.

    ‘Trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces’ will not help us when the U.S. government sends the youth to Iraq and Syria, as our social programs are mercilessly cut by establishment ‘liberals,’ and as law enforcement is increasingly militarized while our civil liberties quietly disappear.

    Why not address *these* issues instead of focusing your energies on trying to tear down one of the few professors who is telling it like it is?

  16. Marc Edward on October 26th, 2016 8:47 pm

    Is this “response letter” serious or is it trying to prove the good professor right?
    It’s like reading an outraged letter written in response to “A Modest Proposal”.

    Real liberals are SMH at this inane twaddle.

  17. Jason Andrews on October 26th, 2016 11:33 pm

    Moderadem :

    I would be grateful if you could point to where I defined a “safe environment” to be “one free from any kind of perceived criticism.”

    Your attempt to argue that diversity initiatives are irrelevant to safety, because the law defines safety as freedom from bodily harm, is quite ridiculous. To give the most obvious example, bullying or stress-related disorders are bodily harm, and they may also lead to self-harm. In that sense, providing an educational environment where scholars and students of minority backgrounds feel (and ideally see) that their diverse experiences are recognized is also an attempt to provide freedom from bodily harm.

    Since you don’t seem to be capable of using a dictionary, here is a definition of “nurture” for you:

    nur·ture
    ˈnərCHər/
    verb
    1. care for and encourage the growth or development of.
    help or encourage the development of.

    It is the university’s job to help or encourage the intellectual development of their students and help them gain the necessary skills to succeed in “the real world.” (By which, I assume you imply that a campus is an “unreal world.” As a former student and current employee, I can assure you that it is disappointingly real.)

    I don’t know if you have ever met a student or been to a college but no educational institution can “create an imaginary [world] where [students] are free from all the unpleasantries of everyday life” anyway. Students (and scholars) are constantly in contact with the outside world, especially in a digitized age. Rape survivors read rape jokes on Twitter. Asian men get “No Asians, thx” messages on Grindr. Fat people see ridiculing memes on Facebook. Moreover, diversity initiatives can neither erase the traumas people already have nor the reflections of structural racism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, etc. from their everyday experiences. They just aim to create an environment that will be as beneficial for people of minority and underprivileged backgrounds as it is for others so that they will gain the necessary skills to survive “the unpleasantries of everyday life.”

    To give an example from my personal history, in my freshman year, as a 17-year-old gay man, I had to deal with a professor who made irrelevant homophobic jokes. I was studying at an urban campus and spending about three hours a day at school. I had to deal with enough homophobia from my family and coworkers, and those jokes made my first semester at college unbearable. It also affected my academic success. So yes, I do think there should be policies to prevent that from happening to other people.

  18. Jason Andrews on October 26th, 2016 11:57 pm

    Ms Price,

    No, we don’t evaluate people’s contribution to the academia by the number of their Twitter followers. We evaluate the success of wannabe internet celebrities by the number of their Twitter followers, which is what your colleague seems to be going for.

    As far as evaluating people’s contribution to the academia is concerned, citations are often a good way to do that. (Except for the fact that women and minorities systematically get cited less.) I don’t want to discredit your observations but any research professor who gets tenure at NYU or another R1 school has contributed significantly to the academia. If you mean clinical professors like your colleague, their job description and the expectations from them are different. If you give names, I can evaluate the case and tell you.

    As far as your friend’s academic career is concerned, I really appreciate your support, but it is not helping him. Yes, he gave a paper at a symposium at Oxford. He was not a preliminary speaker or an invited lecturer. He simply participated in a symposium. On any given day, there are dozens of events at places like Oxford or NYU and hundreds of people speak at these events. I am very sorry but it means nothing unless you are an undergraduate student. Similarly, I am glad that he is still publishing in academic journals (although he is a clinical professor and probably doesn’t need to do) but the problem is, nobody is using those articles. Only one of his articles has been cited by two other people. Since he is not working on a niche topic, this is probably an indicator of the quality of the research he produces…

    Also, you may not need to be a carpenter to know that a table is crooked but you need to be able to tell how the table is crooked. You talk about “the actual situation at NYU” but don’t really say anything. Was Arjun Appadurai appointed the Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication because he is Indian? Was Carolyn Dinshaw awarded the Julius Silver, Roslyn S. Silver, and Enid Silver Winslow Professorship because she is a lesbian? What is the horrible evidence that Dr Rectenwald talks about? Please enlighten us.

  19. Jason Andrews on October 27th, 2016 12:32 am

    Simon,

    In fact, yes, I am a community organizer and scholar. I have been an activist since my early teens, and I have worked with grassroots organizations in different parts of the world. I also very much appreciate the critiques of the neoliberal academia and the discourse of diversity. I particularly admire the work of Sara Ahmed.

    Nevertheless, I don’t see how trigger warnings and safe spaces are incompatible with other social and global justice efforts. Safe spaces may seem trivial to you but they might mean the difference between life and death for a trans person studying in a small public college in the South. You may find trigger warnings to be unnecessary but they might save a rape survivor from having to watch a violent rape scene, which can be great teaching material for other students. However, I don’t think anybody is claiming that such initiatives can or should replace social security or social and global justice efforts.

  20. Jason Andrews on October 27th, 2016 12:40 am

    Dr Rectenwald,

    Thank you very much for your warning but I believe my posts make it quite clear that I have a very good idea as to what I am talking about.

  21. Darin Clements on October 30th, 2016 12:21 pm

    I think libtards, like Mr. Andrews, really do need safe spaces and protection from “trigger words”. Not to mention, from abstract thought and non linear thinking. And large individuals who would love to throat punch him.

  22. David Creighton on October 30th, 2016 4:14 pm

    If you try to take my right to free speech you will lose your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in my eyes. Be warned.

  23. John on October 30th, 2016 4:22 pm

    If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

    Sound familiar?
    That’s right George Washington.

  24. Mister Onion on October 30th, 2016 4:31 pm

    What we’re seeing today is the world conforming to the majority of people’s inability to properly deal with themselves. It’s turning the West in one big self-pity party where you’re always welcome as long as you have enough self proclaimed (and self limiting) labels and sad stories about yourself. And because so many people are actively limiting their capacity for properly dealing with themselves to feeling sorry for themselves instead of working on themselves this phenomenon keeps developing further.

    Your personal experience of yourself is about you, how you view yourself; what thoughts you believe about yourself. That is what creates the experience you have of yourself. How many video’s are out there where someone says ‘’I was at [a place] and there were [could be anything] and then I felt [a personal experience]’’ as if those external things somehow magically gives someone a personal experience. Your experience of yourself = your responsibility. If you feel that you’re not good enough it’s because you believe thoughts that create that experience. If you feel insecure that means you believe painfully negative thoughts about yourself and are scared of other people commenting on those things. If you get anxious around people then that’s because you see yourself as someone who isn’t able to deal with other people. Feeling offended or hurt by words? That are the painfully negative thoughts you believe about yourself resonating with someone else’s words. Your triggers are your triggers, triggers aren’t things outside of yourself, they’re your internal struggles and those struggles are yours to fix. Feeling self conscious? That’s you actively focusing on negative thoughts about yourself. You have a lack of self confidence? That’s you believing degrading thoughts about yourself.

    It’s called SELFrespect and SELFworth not ‘’what do other people think about me’’ respect/worth. It’s your task to value and respect yourself, for yourself. If you don’t your existence will always be tainted by the underlying negativity you create for yourself.

    What you think about other people is about you. What other people think about you is about them. How you experience and react to other people’s opinions about you is about you. Your pettiness, your judgments of others, your mean internet comments, your need to respond to mean internet comments about you; it’s all you. It’s the idea you have of yourself.

    Never has there been a time where so many people are completely obsessed with themselves and combining that with taking no responsibility for themselves. You’re basically looking at people with the emotional development of a 4 year old; they can get upset, they can be loud about being upset and then blame someone/something else for how they feel. They’re the victim and thus need to be saved. Needing to be saved means you won’t have to work on learning how to safe yourself. It’s a dangerous copout to support for obvious reasons.

    That’s the problem with these modern day ‘activists’; they’re not activists, they’re people who want to control others because they don’t know to control themselves. They’re not activists; they’re little dictators. SJW’s aren’t dedicated to causes; they’re dedicated to how sorry they feel for themselves because of how some causes make them feel. And since their ability of dealing with themselves is limited to blaming others for what they experience and then trying to oppress them they have to keep looking for new ‘causes’ to be outraged about. These people are so completely absorbed with projecting their own personals problems and struggles that they lose the ability to let others be as they are.

    Forcing people to stop using certain words because you are unable to adequately deal with how those words make you feel is the real oppression. Censorship is the real oppression. That you’re frustrated or your feelings are hurt doesn’t mean you have a point; it’s means you ability of properly dealing with yourself is limited to being frustrated.

    What is getting deformed is the notion that people deserve to feel safe in the world they live in. This of course means safe from physical threats. Feeling unsafe because you’re afraid of getting confronted with all the painfully negative believes have about yourself is something completely different.

    No one who truly values him or herself would limit themselves to going through life with such a negative attitude towards themselves and live, and that’s where the problem lies; most people would rather be outraged (yelll away their feelins) than face the real problem of not caring enough for themselves to make things really better for themselves. And when they do talk about their low self esteem they blame on the past and other people without acknowledging that is what they believe about themselves today is what creates the experience of low self esteem.

    Schools and other institutions should provide standards for people to uphold, to strive to , and things like safe spaces completely undermine those values. If you can’t deal with getting confronted with yourself then you have some work to do; work on yourself. It’s up to you to free yourself from negative and limiting believes you have about yourself. It’s on you to rise above those things. If you’re not up for that then don’t try to take others down with you. If you don’t see yourself as worthy of working on then work on fixing that believe first. Stop blaming other for how you feel and stop blaming your feelings for how you act. It’s how you react to what you feel that matters. Get help. Learn how to observe thoughts instead of getting caught up in them and learn how to create room for working on yourself. Don’t expect the world to adapt to you if the state you’re in isn’t something that will help the state of the world for the better. Have some decency.

  25. Go fuck yourself on October 30th, 2016 4:34 pm

    The only hate speech that makes sense is to hate you evil, fascist Orwellian “safe space” lovin’ college administrators. You guys are intellectual bigots and Stalinists.

  26. Sofia on October 30th, 2016 4:41 pm

    Congratulations on your fight AGAINST free speech , very progressive of you, reminds me of … I don’t know , dictatorships ! Congratulations on your insanity and on beeing so weak minded you need to license everyone so you won’t have to deal with your PERSONAL problems .
    I will remind you that it’s impossible to offend someone . Offense is never given , always taken, you are offended because you want .

    Sincerely , from Portugal , a contry not long ago ruled by dictatorship where free speech now reigns .

    And be warned , you reap what you sow.

  27. Ruth on October 30th, 2016 8:57 pm

    This definitely has all the trademarks of mobbing right right down to this little group going over Dr. Rectenwald’s twitter feed and deeming it not to their liking.. There is nothing wrong with criticizing the workplace or in this case the classroom. When I attended university it was not a place for babies. Lots of exciting conversation and debate and you were made stronger by seeing superior debaters in action.

    A generation that needs safe spaces is a generation that needs to give their heads a shake. People such as Dr. Rectenwald are a reality check and should be appreciated for his diversity. I say get rid of this self-righteous group and bring in more educators who won’t baby students but rather challenge them. And stop trying to ruin this man’s life, career, mental health and finances all because you hate. Shame on a university that will allow that to happen albeit that mobbing is common place in academia. Rise above it.

  28. David on October 30th, 2016 9:19 pm

    Faulty Claims? People who signed this letter all well know Michael Rectenwald is speaking the truth vs self-encoring out of cowardice and, therefore, perpetuated “mutilation” of their free expression. It sure might feel safe now, but in no time your cowardice will bite you right back, when not being able to formulate your speech freely becomes absolutely unbearable. Don’t be naive. You’re not doing the world favor. You’re setting up a big trap for yourself and others.

  29. Lee Jussim, Dept. of Psychology, Rutgers University on October 30th, 2016 9:19 pm

    When NYU Professor, John Jost** writes that conservatives are driven by fear, anxiety, threat, pessimism, intolerance of ambiguity, closed-mindedness, and that conservatives are happier than liberals because they “rationalize inequality,” this is good, sound, scholarship.

    When NYU Professor Michel Rectenwald Tweets that SJW, safe spaces, microaggression and bias reporting schemes, and the like “insane,” which is (or should be) obvious hyperbole, he is considered “guilty” of incivility and is, ultimately, suspended.

    Shoot me now. (Dear Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group, given your literal reading of MR’s tweets, I feel the need to explain: I am not actually encouraging you to purchase firearms, find me, and project your ordinance at me; “shoot me now” is an expression, a colloquialism, a sarcastic comment suggesting “this situation is so ridiculous and depressing, I’d rather be put out of this misery than have to endure it any longer”).

    ** References
    Jost et al, 2003, Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin, volume 129, pp 339-375.

    Napier & Jost, 2008. Why are conservatives happier than liberals. Psychological Science, volume 19, pp. 565-572.

  30. Mike Hunthertz on October 30th, 2016 10:06 pm

    “The cause of his guilt is the content and structure of his thinking.” I’ve found that you just need to let these sjw people dig their own grave. Evil finds it’s true form. The one(s) who wrote this article very manipulatively use words like ad hominen, gaslighting, and straw man to paint a bad picture of who they’re writing about.

  31. Jason Andrews on October 31st, 2016 12:30 pm

    Just stopping in for my daily 4000 word passive-aggressive treatise projecting my own intellectual insecurities onto a nonexistent boogieman, which I have the time to do because there is no actual bigotry, even theoretical bigotry, for me to fight.

    Do you think I can make the Torch Club a “safe space” for free lunches for my cadre of bullies?

  32. Jkwo on October 31st, 2016 2:50 pm

    “If Professor Rectenwald is not, as he notes in the interview, against diversity, then why doesn’t he use language that substantiates his professed point of view? ”

    Do you guys realize how mind-numbingly creepy and Orwellian this sounds?

    I image a room full of robed acolytes with blank stepford wife stares on their faces chanting “You aren’t a bigot, are you? There’s no other possible reason you could choose to not adopt all of our words. Don’t think any aberrant thoughts, professor – that’s dangerous. Come to the safe place, where we all think – in the right way – together.”

  33. Mark Neil on October 31st, 2016 3:10 pm

    “Professor Rectenwald’s rhetoric repeatedly suggests that mental illness invalidates the ideas and feelings of those who live with it.”

    Except this isn’t what he’s said… what he’s said is that the ideas themselves are insane. Being mentally ill doesn’t invalidate ones ideas (and feelings? why does the left always place feelings as being on par with ideas in importance?), but an idea that can only be attributed as a consequences of being mentally ill does.

    “We categorically reject such rhetoric and its stigmatizing effects.”

    Yet, ironically, they use the accusation of mental instability (for daring express an opposing set of ideas) to invalidate his ability to teach, and thus, eject him. Hypocrites.

    “We reject, too, Professor Rectenwald’s efforts to gaslight those who would disagree with him”

    Accusations of Gaslighting… such a foundation of logical arguments. You can’t actually find a direct infraction, so you simply imagine his motives and intent in order to project some imaginary insinuation… and then condemn him for that fiction you’ve created. and you call this logic and civility?

    “and to silence responses to his incendiary rhetoric by dismissing claims before they are reasonably made. ”

    Only person silenced here has been the professor (for fear of them losing their jobs/futures too). Only ideas being dismissed here are the professors, and those who share his opinions. Why is it the left consistently accuses others of the very things they themselves are doing?

    “Liberal Studies faculty governance structures preclude any imposition of policies without strong faculty consent.”

    AKA Mob rule.

    “are not interested in trigger warnings: we are interested in addressing historic, continuing inequities and in helping ensure that Liberal Studies is a community in which no one is marginalized by reason of their identity, whether tacitly assumed by others or actively claimed.”

    AKA safe spaces. A rose by any other name…

    What was that you were saying about dog-whistling? What was that about civility? Isn’t treating people like their stupid, and incapable of seeing through such a pathetic wordplay, kind of insulting? hardly civil.

    But i’ll play along… how exactly do you intend to accomplish this task, and how does it differ from the concept of safe spaces?

    ” We seek to create a dynamic community that values full participation.”

    except the professors, and people like him, who share his ideas. They need to be ejected, right? by full participation, you mean agreeable participation. And once you’ve bullied and intimidated everyone into silence, into being too afraid of losing their jobs and educations to ever speak up, you’ll claim to be the majority, claim to hold a consensus.

    “Such efforts are not the “destruction of academic integrity” Professor Rectenwald suggests,”

    When expressing legitimate ideas runs afoul of those efforts, resulting in one getting ejected from their job… yes, actually, it is the “destruction of academic integrity”. The reality is, you proved his concerns were valid the moment you too action to silence him through the intimidation tactics you used, including his expulsion from his job. even if you bring him back, you’ve already demonstrated that ideas not approved by you will not be tolerated at UNIVERSITY. And to assert ideas must be approved to be discussed at UNIVERSITY, you’ve assured the “destruction of academic integrity”.

    ” but rather what make possible our program’s approach to global studies — the examination of sites where cultures, politics, economies, histories, ecologies and values converge and sometimes conflict.”

    “Politics”…. any politics? or just YOUR politics? We’re seeing it more and more, the right being no platformed on campuses, globally. Opposition to extreme leftist ideals and globalism (which you appear to be pushing in this very sentence) are openly censored (and yes, that’s a legitimate term. universities, including NYU are government funded, and so SHOULD be protected by the first amendment. It’s a shame it doesn’t appear to be the case.). The right on campuses is increasingly being marginalised and driven underground, for fear of losing their livelihoods. You demonize the right, and rile up your leftist base, that any expression of right wing ideas can actually result in having violence perpetrated against you, justified by the HATE that you have projected onto those right wing ideas. And you’re continuing this trend, promoting it, justifying it, not making life on campus safer for students.

  34. Mark Neil on October 31st, 2016 4:27 pm

    Jason Andrews on October 26th, 2016 11:33 pm

    First off, I’d like to commend you, after four posts, you finally actually (try to) address someones argument, rather than just attacking their character and/or credibility, as if that alone is sufficient to discredit their arguments. Amusing given the letter above specifically condemns ad hominem. but whatever…

    “Your attempt to argue that diversity initiatives are irrelevant to safety,”

    I welcome you to show where Moderadem asserted anywhere that diversity initiatives (a woefully undefined term, I’ll note. does this include every diversity initiative, including policing Halloween costumes?) are “IRRELEVANT” to safety. Hell, point to where he mentioned “diversity initiatives” at all. Given you first paragraph was whining about being misrepresented, to then begin your own arguments by misrepresenting him is a little underhanded, at best.

    “To give the most obvious example, bullying or stress-related disorders are bodily harm, and they may also lead to self-harm.”

    By who’s standard? Let me guess… you’re one of those “words are violence” people, and can make anything into some kind of victimisation. Fine… how, exactly, is your diversity initiatives helping to address the bullying and stress related disorders the professor is experiencing from this counsel? Do you honestly think destroying this guys livelihood because he was critical of the ruling political ideology, isn’t bodily harm, but someone dressing up as a native is? Or is your concern for “bodily harm” committed by words reserved solely for a select group? Which seems kind of bigoted to me.

    “In that sense, providing an educational environment where scholars and students of minority backgrounds feel (and ideally see) that their diverse experiences are recognized is also an attempt to provide freedom from bodily harm.”

    “of minority backgrounds”? Ah, so the assertions that diversity is just a euphemism for non-white stands here as well, it seems. It also seems that diversity only means superficial diversity. The diversity of skin colour. Diversity of ideas is not accepted. There must be a hegemony on that end of things. because, lets be honest… you don’t seem to give a damn about “recognising the experiences” of professor Rectenwald, or protecting him from bodily harm (including ACTUAL bodily harm, not the watered down, meaningless version you’ve created***)

    ***Since you like definitions so much, here is the definition of bodily harm. It doesn’t include hurt feelings. Oh, and this definition is from the oxford dictionary, not pintrest, like you definition.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/actual_bodily_harm

    “Since you don’t seem to be capable of using a dictionary, here is a definition of “nurture” for you:
    nur·ture
    ˈnərCHər/
    verb
    1. care for and encourage the growth or development of.
    help or encourage the development of.”

    Pintrest is not a dictionary https://www.pinterest.com/smaclaughlin/nurture/ your choice to use it is very telling.

    “I don’t know if you have ever met a student or been to a college but no educational institution can “create an imaginary [world] where [students] are free from all the unpleasantries of everyday life” anyway.”

    Not stopping you from trying though, is it?

    “Students (and scholars) are constantly in contact with the outside world, especially in a digitized age. Rape survivors read rape jokes on Twitter. Asian men get “No Asians, thx” messages on Grindr. Fat people see ridiculing memes on Facebook.”

    Correct. And those will always be there. If they can’t learn to cope with that in school, they’re not going to be able to do so in the workforce.

    “Moreover, diversity initiatives can neither erase the traumas people already have nor the reflections of structural racism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, etc. from their everyday experiences.”

    Again, not stopping you from trying.

    “They just aim to create an environment that will be as beneficial for people of minority and underprivileged backgrounds as it is for others so that they will gain the necessary skills to survive “the unpleasantries of everyday life.””

    Except that’s exactly the opposite of what you do when you ban things they might not like. You ensure they don’t experience those things, don;t learn how to deal with them in an adult manner, in an environment that is compassionate and understanding. Ensuring that when they get out into the real world, and run into those things, they are going to melt down trying to shut them down, like you’ve been doing for them for ages. How does this help them develop? It seems to me that it does more to stunt them than help them grow.

    And who exactly are you talking about when you assert “people of minority and underprivileged backgrounds”? Because if I was to do what you’ve been doing to this point, and presuming motive, based on the motives of people espousing similar views to you, I would think you’re pushing a non-white, non-male rhetoric here. But I’ll give you the opportunity to actually explain your position, rather than assume it… a civility you haven’t shown to professor Rectenwald.

    “To give an example from my personal history, in my freshman year, as a 17-year-old gay man, I had to deal with a professor who made irrelevant homophobic jokes.”

    NO! Although, I’m left to wonder, what exactly falls under the term “homophobic” for you, given your apparent tendency to stretch definitions such that criticism seems to fall under the rubric of “bodily harm”. but do continue…

    (PS. I note you don’t seem to give us a timeframe on this analogy. was it 5 years ago, or 50?)

    “I was studying at an urban campus and spending about three hours a day at school. I had to deal with enough homophobia from my family and coworkers, and those jokes made my first semester at college unbearable.”

    You poor thing. And so your solution was … to curl up into a ball and swaddle yourself in ideology, and then force that ideology onto everyone around you. ironically, you never grew up, hence why you’re still in school. You don’t see how these things may be connected? You don’t see how you’re inflicting your own emotional weakness onto everyone else?

    What I find truly telling is that, instead of trying to fix your family, you instead turned your college education into a college career, so you could force “diversity” onto both professors AND co-workers as the same time. Rather efficient, though highly totalitarian.

    “It also affected my academic success.”

    Imagine your inability to cope, had you actually even been forced out into the real world, instead of cocooning yourself in academia? Now realise that you’re teaching today’s students how NOT to cope, and then sending them out into that real world that you so desperately avoided.

    “So yes, I do think there should be policies to prevent that from happening to other people.”

    So it’s personal for you. Question: How are your actions against professor Rectenwald any different, aside from the distinction that stands out for discrimination (you being gay, him being supportive of free speech and free expression. hell, him being white and male is enough to justify discrimination… you’ve practically asserted as much twice now.)?

  35. John Bickmann on October 31st, 2016 10:32 pm

    Censoring a professor who objects to the censoring of free speech is the epitome of the New Stalinism we see on campuses today: a cool blend of cowardice, abject hatred toward the other, and a raging intolerance for opinions that differ from those deemed “acceptable,”

    Moreover, as someone who edits academic papers for a living, I can attest to the decreasing standards of students in all fields related to rational construction of arguments, theoretical conceptional thought, and a base level of understanding documentation and citation. The New McCarthyism so rampant within university cliques has now infested higher learning to the degree that lazy, profoundly irrational graduate students can no longer write compelling and well-constructed papers. Perhaps the Stasi bureaucrats of NYU who take it upon themselves to censor free speech should instead focus their energy upon actually educating their students in rudimentary research and sound writing.

  36. Kalle Christiansen on November 1st, 2016 1:56 am

    The way in which you go about mischaracterizing Rectenwald’s statements suggests to me that you are deliberately doing so. For example, via contextual clues, I am able to properly discern that by “crazier and crazier” the intended meaning is “more absurd,” and not meant to denigrate anyone with a mental illness. However, you proceed to analyze his statements with complete disregard for the context, and end up wildly misrepresenting his intent. I find it humorous that, with your claims of Rectenwald’s strawman and the implicit moral superiority this would grant you, you then (quite obviously, I’ll add) erect your own.

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you to have good intentions, but I would caution you to carefully examine the means you are willing to employ in pursuit of your goals. If you destroy free speech and rationality on the way, what will you be left with besides sophistry? I suspect you never cared much for the former anyway.

  37. Rika Davis on November 1st, 2016 10:19 am

    Jason Andrews, you say that your professor’s homophobic jokes made your freshman year “unbearable.”
    Are you kidding? I know a woman who was brutally kidnapped and raped by a stranger – she was a virgin – and she was traumatized but didn’t complain that her freshman year was “unbearable.” And you couldn’t even handle a few bad jokes?
    Wow, just wow.
    You’ve proven the Professor’s point a million times over. Maybe someone should have put you in a padded room so your delicate snowflake feelings wouldn’t be hurt by bad jokes.
    BTW, the terrorists who slaughtered the staff of Charlie Hebdo also were triggered by bad jokes. Is that who you aspire to become?

  38. Concerned Observer on November 1st, 2016 11:11 am

    “Identity politics on campus,” he goes on to say, “have made an infirmary of the whole, damn campus. Let’s face it: every room is like a hospital ward. What are we supposed to do? I can’t deal with it—it’s insane.” And later still: “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.” Professor Rectenwald’s rhetoric repeatedly suggests that mental illness invalidates the ideas and feelings of those who live with it. We categorically reject such rhetoric and its stigmatizing effects.

    Wow! The above to me shows that the SJWs are finally admitting they are mentally ill. They are saying that the people who came up with these “ideas and feelings” are living with mental illness. I agree, and I hope they can get the help they need, but for obvious reasons society can not be ruled by the mentally ill.

  39. John Andrews on November 1st, 2016 12:55 pm

    I have said what I had to say in my earlier e-mails and received accusations instead of solid arguments. I find it shocking however that somebody actually used my name to scapegoat me. Obviously, I did not write the post starting with “Just stopping in for my daily 4000 word passive-aggressive treatise projecting my own intellectual insecurities onto a nonexistent boogieman, which I have the time to do because there is no actual bigotry, even theoretical bigotry, for me to fight.” This shows how poorly the self-proclaimed proponents of “free speech” understand the concept and the atrocities they are willing to commit in order to silence their opponents.

    I also have to say that I have no doubt that many of the posts written under the post after the discussion was more or less over were typed by the same person. The timestamps and the language support this idea.

  40. Jeremy Andrews on November 1st, 2016 1:02 pm

    I would like to say that I did not write any of the posts under my name but I agree with the opinions expressed.

  41. Atrocity Exhibition on November 1st, 2016 1:32 pm

    Jason is a victim everyone. What a vicious, vitriolic display of hubris to type his name in an open forum for an over-the-top, obviously satirical post. For shame, person with keyboard.

    Now allow me to post my bi-daily victimhood screed about how the “atrocities” of humor belittle my huffing and puffing. They are trying to SILENCE me, whateverhisfirstnameis Andrews, a modern day freedom fighter, one 30-second mockery at a time. Did they even read my unsolicited diatribes previously?!?! Won’t someone feel sorry for me!?

  42. Laurence Deutsch on November 1st, 2016 2:55 pm

    “Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.”

    Today, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s cabin would be considered “hate speech” and deemed unworthy of publication, if not actively censored. A book that did as much to influence popular opinion against chattel slavery as the political process of the day.

    We have regressed greatly in 150 years.

  43. Nullifidian on November 1st, 2016 3:13 pm

    I love how they claim that trigger warnings couldn’t be imposed “without strong faculty consent”, as if such consent would be difficult to obtain now that the university has booted the one person who was publicly speaking out against them. I yearn for the days when most professors understood what a “chilling effect” was and why it was an issue.

  44. Lee Jussim, Dept. of Psychology, Rutgers University on November 1st, 2016 3:20 pm

    Is this group as incivil as Professor Rectenwald? Should the whole Liberal Studies Group be Suspended as well?

    Go here for one view:
    http://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/11/01/which-of-these-academics-got-suspended/#comments

  45. Jess Andrews on November 1st, 2016 10:36 pm

    “Won’t someone feel sorry for me!?”

    Oh, I do feel very sorry for you, Dr. Rechtenwald, I can assure you that.

    I feel sorry because you could not get what you imagined that you were entitled to by virtue of being born.

    I feel sorry that you thought accusing scholars of minority backgrounds would help you achieve anything in life.

    I feel sorry that as a self-proclaimed “left Communist” you are trying to build a new life at your old age by retweeting Fox News stories about yourself.

    I feel sorry that you have such horrible arguments in your support, including those coming from a person who implies that rape is somehow a more traumatic experience for virgins.

    And I will do my very best not to be like you.

  46. Jeremy Andrews on November 1st, 2016 10:45 pm

    By the way, I think I am a fan of “Mark Neil.” (I think we all know who that really is). He thinks the definition of a word must be borrowed from Pinterest if it is there—as if Pinterest only features original content. This level of ignorance in a debate about higher education is really entertaining, especially given the pathetically arrogant tone of “Mr. Neil’s” comment (which, surprisingly, is also present in a number of other comments above).

  47. Mark Neil on November 2nd, 2016 10:13 am

    I find it amusing that the number of J Andrews keeps increasing. Started with Jason, then added Jeremy, John and Jess. Even the ones claiming to be offended by the use of his name are not consistent with each other, and likely spurn on more trolls to do the same. Unfortunately, this doesn’t exactly help push dialogue further,as I can not be certain if the original Jason Andrews has, in fact, responded to anyone beyond the first few posts (under one of the other J Andrews names. which he appears to have, given the language used (ether that, or it is a really good troll), but it is difficult to know for certain), or if he’s just done what most ideologues like him do… lecture at people and pretend he was sufficiently correct that he doesn’t need to come back to the table.

  48. Jeremiah Andrews on November 2nd, 2016 1:35 pm

    Dear Dr. Rectenwald,

    I started using different names after you or one of the trolls affiliated with your little civil society organization started posting under my name. I am pretty sure any person who has basic critical reading skills would be able to tell which posts are mine and which are not. I have no idea how someone who lacks such basic skills and even the ability to distinguish between Pinterest and the Oxford Dictionary got a job as a writing teacher–white heteromasculinity perhaps?

  49. Mark Neil on November 2nd, 2016 2:22 pm

    “Dear Dr. Rectenwald,”

    So, you’re accusing me of being Dr. Rectenwald, and CHOOSE not to respond to any of the arguments I’ve made. What evidence do you have that I am Dr. Rectenwald? What will it mean for you’re whining and deflections when I demonstrate I am not, in fact Dr. Rectenwald? Yet, the only one confirmed here to have have been changing around their name here is YOU. How do we know that wasn’t you, as well, creating the false flag you now try to accuse others of (and then using it to justify your deflections), rather than addressing any arguments.

    You make a LOT of assumptions, and worse still, you base your actions on those assumptions. This observation isn’t limited to just the assumption that I am Dr. Rectenwald…which you base on …. Dr. Rectenwald only posted 4 times here (most VERY short posts), and on Twitter with it’s 1546 character limit. You show zero civility in your own posts, while whining about the civility of others. Such a hypocrite.

    “I have no idea how someone who lacks such basic skills and even the ability to distinguish between Pinterest and the Oxford Dictionary got a job as a writing teacher”

    What? I’m not the one who pointed to a definition defined on pintrest. I provided links to back my claims, including a link to the pintrest definition YOU quoted, word for word (without a link, I might add). So how exactly am I failing to distinguish between pintrest and a dictionary? I’m not the one using the former as the later.

    It looks to me this is yet more projection. The only argument you seem to be making are ad hominem and deflections, using accusations of being someone else to dodge the issues, rather than addressing them.

    “–white heteromasculinity perhaps?”

    You have a problem with white heteromasculinity? Sounds pretty bigoted to me.

  50. Jerry Andrews on November 2nd, 2016 2:32 pm

    Pinterest is a site where people can and do post information obtained from other sources. In this case, the original source is the Oxford Dictionary: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/nurture

    I have no idea what kind of research skills took you to Pinterest instead of a dictionary but that explains a lot about your career and your frustrations. One can only hope that this is not how you evaluate student assignments.

    Since the writing teacher gig is more or less over, I wish you lots of success with your new career as a Republican poster child, sponsored by Fox News.

  51. Mark Neil on November 2nd, 2016 2:58 pm

    “I have no idea what kind of research skills took you to Pinterest ”

    A direct word search made on google (https://www.google.ca/search?q=%22care+for+and+encourage+the+growth+or+development+of.+help+or+encourage+the+development+of%22&oq=%22care+for+and+encourage+the+growth+or+development+of.+help+or+encourage+the+development+of%22&aqs=chrome..69i57.4791j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8):

    “but that explains a lot about your career and your frustrations.”

    Still professing I’m Dr Rectenwald? Seems you’re only willing to challenge the really low hanging fruit.

    https://twitter.com/Mark_Neilg/status/793888573745397760

    What you going to accuse me of now, setting up an account almost 6 years ago, just to have an alter ego to school morons on the internet? That is,in addition to the one he’s being grilled for? You’re a hack and a bigot Jason. and you hide behind you’re sense of victimhood, with a smug arrogance, bullying people while demanding others be civil to you.

    Grow the hell up.

    To the administrators of this site, do you not have any rules about misrepresenting yourself or others? This J Andrews fellow has now gone by several different names (of which you would have a better idea how many, given you have access to emails), while also accusing others of doing the very thing he himself is guilty of.

  52. Johnny Andrews on November 2nd, 2016 3:12 pm

    “’I have no idea what kind of research skills took you to Pinterest ‘
    A direct word search made on google”

    This is obviously an excellent research method, especially for challenging a perfectly accurate definition of a word on the basis of a presumed resource. This superb demonstration of your research skills and intellectual abilities suddenly forced me take you very seriously. I apologize for my previous behavior.

    Since you have asked me on Twitter, here is what I am going to do: I will also pity this poor guy for having supporters like you…

  53. Mark Neil on November 2nd, 2016 3:35 pm

    “This is obviously an excellent research method”

    And yet, I got a very precise return. A return that matches your own definition, which you didn’t provide a link for until called on it.And I also note you haven’t actually denied taking it from pintrest, you’ve justified it.

    ” especially for challenging a perfectly accurate definition of a word on the basis of a presumed resource.”

    Except I didn’t challenge the definition, I challenged your credibility for using pintrest as a source, while damning others for not using a dictionary. I was calling you a hypocrite. And your choice to defend pintrest as a legitimate source, even if it got it’s original definition from oxford, maintains that characterisation.

    “This superb demonstration of your research skills and intellectual abilities suddenly forced me take you very seriously.”

    Sarcasm… how civil and logical of you /s

    “Since you have asked me on Twitter, here is what I am going to do: I will also pity this poor guy for having supporters like you…”

    So even in the face of evidence I am not Dr Rectenwald, and without any evidence to suggest I am (other than, it somehow, gives, in your mind, a justification to avoid engaging in anything but the lowest of hanging fruit (such as this pintrest tangent you’ve gone on…)), you continue to persist, or you think I’m somehow connected to him, other than thinking you are wrong, all on my own. That’s not both incredibly illogical, and exceptionally arrogant, not to mention dismissive of my own, personal agency. And all because I am a white heteromasculine person. I can imagine how you would respond if anyone was as dismissive and offensive as you’ve been, do a gay man on your campus. I stand by my position. You’re a hypocrite.

    If you wish to engage further, return to my first few comments and actually address my arguments. You’re persistence in calling me someone I’m not, someone you’ve clearly allowed to affect you personally, as if my being that person somehow invalidates my arguments…it’s brazenly obvious deflection. It’s pathetic. It’s lazy. And it’s a violation of the very charges found in the letter above. You can’t possibly think persisting will actually convince anyone to your argument, or away from mine?

  54. Johnny Andrews on November 2nd, 2016 4:13 pm

    I have never used Pinterest in my life except for posting a couple of images for a project three years ago. I also sent you my resource. It is a dictionary. It is also the dictionary that Google uses, so a much more obvious online resource than anything else.

    You keep claiming that I perceive and present myself as a victim but I don’t. I think the victims in this situation are you and Dr. Rectenwald, who were socialized into thinking you deserve certain things in life by virtue of being born, and became sad and bitter as you aged and the promise was never fulfilled. It is particularly heartbreaking that in your attacks on “political correctness” (a term I am not particularly fond of) you keep talking about “civility,” because you don’t think you receive the respect you think you deserve even while you are exposing your sheer ignorance. That level of ignorance and bitter anger that is indicative of a specific type of failed masculinity that you share with Dr. Rectenwald creates a very sad spectacle, which I do not desire to be part of any longer…

  55. Mark Neil on November 2nd, 2016 4:47 pm

    The projection. The accusations of the very things you have demonstrated in your posts, that are evident in the open letter. Your lack of self awareness is astounding. Hint, as one example, I’m not the one who raised the topic of civility. If you don’t get who did, that’s on you. The constant accusations of motive, of mental state, that you rely upon to maintain your sense of moral superiority, it reveals more about yourself than those you accuse. Whatever, you’re too close minded to even discuss the topic.

    PS: I’m surprised you haven’t used Jesus yet. You’ve certainly got the ego to go there.

  56. Kevin on November 2nd, 2016 9:58 pm

    How much of a worthless professor do you have to be to literally whine about the pursuit of knowledge because it offends your delicate worldview? This guy is clearly not a great catch.

    “A cis, white, straight male like myself is guilty of something. I don’t know what” Haha holy shit, white people are so fucking delusional. I’m pretty sure this guy is a disingenuous liar because white supremacy is an easy concept to understand.

    ““My contention,” he says, “is that this particular social-justice-warrior-left is producing the alt-right by virtue of its insanity.” That’s literally the same logic people used to sneer at MLK and other social justice activists, these uppity blacks are making us racist, it’s their fault for being so crazy!

    ” Let’s face it: every room is like a hospital ward.” White people love to infantilize anyone criticizing them, just look at how many propagandists talk about ‘victim mentality’, as if acknowledging systemic inequalities is something strange and irrational that needs a special name.

    ” One of his tweets goes so far as to casually support students killing themselves in response to Donald Trump’s rhetoric” Holy shit, this man is fucking disgusting, he later tweeted “This was obviously a JOKE! Only the most disingenuous could have taken it otherwise”. Reactionaries are garbage human beings that dehumanize and sneer at others and then whine and moan about how they’re “just joking” and you’re being “disingenuous” for pointing out the sheer evil of their discourse.

  57. Kevin on November 3rd, 2016 12:12 am

    twitter com/antipcnyuprof/status/793216054902263813

    It’s incredible that a professor in this high information age can be so ignorant as to “joke” about young people being so hopeless about living in this horrible world that they want to kill themselves.

    Good job, you’re literally mocking people who have no future except either a president who either wants to deport 11 million people (Trump is not Hitler, it’s not like Anne Frank died in a train! Stop having nightmares kids, it’s not like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will break down your door and shoot your dog) or a war monger, both of which seem as ease with nuclear war, let alone maintaining the status quo oppression.

    He can complain about his rights being infringed all he wants, but I for one am sick and tired of these mediocre white supremacist, sexist, rape culture apologizing tools that care more about their libertarian rights than the fact that they’re supporting authoritarians.

  58. Jackie Smith on November 3rd, 2016 12:48 am

    I agree with everything Kevin says but I don’t find the writing instructor’s ignorance shocking at all. This is actually an important part of this incident.

    In this country, for centuries, white cis straight men got jobs they were not qualified for and the trend continues. However, at this stage of neoliberalism, there are less opportunities even for them. Moreover, women and minorities have been somewhat integrated into the system. Despite systematic racism or homophobia, some people of minority backgrounds achieve things. This makes them the target of failed men, like the poor writing instructor who just can’t understand what is wrong with wearing Halloween costumes associated with people who have been massacred almost to extinction, whose lands were stolen, and whose lives are now under threat again.

    If they employ people who are so incapable of critical thinking to teach NYU freshmen how to think and write, Liberal Arts administrators should also question their own qualifications.

  59. Jordan Andrews on November 3rd, 2016 11:15 am

    O Marky Mark, I hate being the bearer of bad news but we are not living in your dream world and not everybody is Christian. I have no interest in Jesus and you are the one bringing Christianity into this discussion as you attempt to accuse me of what you imagine to be Christian fundamentalism as you seek to cover your shameful ignorance about the most basic matters of intellectual life, such as using a dictionary.

    Also, I never mentioned anything about anybody’s mental health precisely because it is always the excuse for white men’s violent behavior.

    Neither did I ever use the word civility, which you refer to in all your posts.

    I am really sorry that you never had the educational and professional opportunities that I did by working very hard for them. But it is never too late. Just open a dictionary and check how it works. That is likely to change your life.

  60. Jamal Andrews on November 3rd, 2016 1:08 pm

    Both sides here are using the same argument: that’s how you know it’s a legitimate and worthwhile, logical discussion.

    PS – the “mental health” false equivalency you both are pulling here is immensely shameful and, more pointedly, continues the pattern of not taking mental health issues seriously by deliberately misrepresenting language to condemn someone as a bigot when there is no bigotry.

    You guys are the best.

  61. Johnny Andrews on November 3rd, 2016 2:46 pm

    Dear Clone,

    I explicitly said that I never used the mental health argument, and I agree with you that it trivializes mental health issues and stigmatizes people living with them. In a number of high profile cases, it has also been employed to legitimize the violent actions of white men (especially in cases of mass violence, as opposed to black or Muslim perpetrators). Making this point is not to trivialize mental health issues but rather to acknowledge the various ways the discourse of mental health is utilized within broader systems of power.

  62. Real World CEO on November 4th, 2016 1:19 am

    Hi,

    I’m a CEO in the real world and when I read about the situation on most college campuses I have to say it is simply unbelievable and frightening.

    There isn’t time to worry about 17 different and subjective pronouns and I’m not interested in hiring people that need to be constantly told how special they are nor do I want to work with people that perceive endless micro aggressions etc.

    It is obvious to even the thickest person, that the university environment has become rigid and generally miserable. Further, it is devoid of actual diversity of thought, the kind of diversity that matters.

    This does not bode well for the US and certainly not for millennials. I certainly won’t be hiring people with this type of background, it just isn’t worth the disruption to the rest of the employees.

  63. Jon Andrews on November 4th, 2016 2:01 am

    Hi, I didn’t know CEOs did human resources work as well. Is it a grocery store that you are managing?

  64. Real World CEO on November 4th, 2016 2:52 am

    No, I run a mid-size software company. The CEO is obviously responsible for all employees and HR reports to me so I’m very aware of how attitudes impact our company.

  65. Real Life Elf on November 4th, 2016 8:12 am

    It is so exciting to meet a CEO who spends his time posting transphobic comments on student newspapers at 3 am.

  66. Mike James on November 16th, 2016 7:30 am

    Is Jason Andrews a real person? He seems more like a parody account of an angry and unreasonable social justice warrior who lacks all self awareness.

    If he is a real person, Jason Andrews needs to understand that the kind extreme, intolerant and simply dumb rhetoric that he employs has been a huge asset to Trump’s rise. The best thing that folks like Jason Andrews can do for the causes they support is to talk less.

  67. Jack Andrews on December 19th, 2016 10:43 pm

    Actually the main reason for the rise of Trump (and HRC for that matter) has been the educational system in the US. The lack of training that would foster students’ analytical thinking and argumentation skills results in heartbreaking spectacles of ignorance, such as talking about “extreme, intolerant, and dumb rhetoric” without giving any examples or producing any arguments.

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