I had lots of quick reactions to this nauseating story:
- It is comforting to know that Princeton has joined Yale and my alma mater as once-great colleges that are embarrassing alumni in their embrace of racial bias and progressive oppression.
- It is also comforting to know that not all of the professors abused in this way are weenies who will grovel an apology to keep their jobs with unethical institutions.
- Colleges and universities have become a primary threat to democracy,and that is no longer an unreasonable suspicion. It is fact.
- The news media keeps telling us that conservatives present an existential threat to democracy anyway.
Just last night, I posted [Item #2]on the recent decision by an arbitrator that an arbitrator has reinstated Prof. Charles Negy with full back pay after he was fired by the University of Central Florida for opining in two tweets that the “systemic racism” claim was less than persuasive and that there was abundant “back privilege” in American society conferring special benefits while suppressing legitimate criticism. The school’s clever scheme—well, not so clever, since it ultimately was tagged as the wrongful tactic it was—consisted of searching for some other pretense for firing the non-conforming prof, since using his opinions wouldn’t work. Now, less than 24 hours later, I learn that Princeton is attempting to do the same thing to one of its professors.
“Well, we’re not some podunk state university in Florida,” its leaders are apparently thinking. “We’re Princeton! We are wise, and we know best!”
Classics Professor Professor Joshua Katz properly found fault with some aspects of a proposed anti-racism program of benefits for minority faculty and has the audacity to publicize his objections. Can’t have that, so Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber has asked the university board to fire Katz. The sinister WrongThink purveyor questioned a proposal in a faculty letter to offer special benefits for “professors of color,” who somehow were deemed innately worthy of a summer salary and additional sabbatical time because a black drug addict and petty crook resisted arrest and ended up dead in part because of the brutality of bad Minnesota cop. I know I’m being repetitious, but this really is the cause and effect that launched The Great Stupid. It amazes me every time I think about it.
In a signed piece for “Quillette” , Katz criticized some of the faculty’s 48 racial justice demands, saying in part, “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,” which is a fair description of what had been proposed. He also objected to the suggestion that the university owed a radical black student group an apology for his stated position.
Princeton reacted by attacking Katz by targeting him as a racist in a mandatory freshman orientation video. Ah, but how to get rid of the meddlesome professor? Eureka! Princeton decided to re-open a 16 year-old episode that caused him to be disciplined for having a consensual sexual relationship with a female student. In 2018, he had been suspended for a year without pay after an investigation of the relationship and an official adjudication of misconduct. With the absence of anything current to fire him for now, however, Princeton decided to open up the closed case. This time, given a “second bite of the apple” as court decisions condemning double jeopardy prosecutions often put it, the school found some new violations by Katz. Based on those, and not, nah, never, honest-to-Pete, his flagrant dissent from Diversity Equity Inclusion wokeness, Princeton’s president is seeking Katz’s dismissal.
Edward Yingling is co-founder of Princetonians for Free Speech, states,
“With the firing of Professor Katz, Princeton will have sent a message. If a faculty member or student says something that contradicts our orthodoxy, we will get you—if not for what you said, then by twisting your language, by using the extensive resources of the university to shame you before the student body, and by investigating your personal life for years past.”
And that’s exactly what it is intended to do. Harvard College fired a law school professor, Ron Sullivan, as a House faculty dean because he upset students by defending Harvey Weinstein in his criminal case. Georgetown Law School suspended Ilya Shapiro for tweeting the view that limiting Supreme Court nominations by gender and race is not the best way to get the most qualified judges on the Court. The message is being sent out loudly and clearly, and because academics are not generally the most courageous of individuals, it is a rebuttable presumption that the threats are working.
And if the occasional small potatoes progressive indoctrination center like Central Florida University gets slapped down, it’s just a small setback.
Pointer and Facts: Jonathan Turley