Rutgers reverses punishment for 'I now hate white people' prof
Rutgers University reversed its decision to sanction a professor who said "I now hate white people" in a June Facebook post.
The school's Office of Employment Equity originally found Rutgers history professor James Livingston guilty of violating Rutgers' discrimination and harassment policy, but went back on its decision in November, according to NorthJersey.com.
"OK, officially, I now hate white people," Livingston had posted on Twitter. "I am a white people [sic], for God's sake, but can we keep them -- us -- us out of my neighborhood?" The professor reported that a restaurant he visited for dinner was "overrun with little Caucasian assholes who know their parents will approve of anything they do."
"Slide around the floor, you little shithead, sing loudly, you unlikely moron," Livingston continued. "Do what you want, nobody here is gonna restrict your right to be white. I hereby resign from my race. Fuck these people. Yeah, I know it's about access to my dinner. Fuck you, too."
Rutgers’ policy states that they “strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment based on membership in certain enumerated protected classes. ” and one of “these class[es are] race." Rutgers spokesperson Dory Delvin said that discriminatory remarks do not count as the freedom faculty and staff have at Rutgers University.
The Office of Employment Equity began conducting an investigation and found that the Professor's comments inflicted damage on the University’s reputation and thus fell outside of First Amendment protections, according to The Daily Targum.
"Given Professor Livingston’s insistence on making disparaging racial comments, a reasonable student may have concerns that he or she would be stigmatized in his classes because of his or her race," the school stated.
Professor Livingston stated in response that the Office of Employment Equity at Rutgers “found me guilty of 'reverse racism,' whatever that is."
On Aug. 8, Professor Livingston appealed Rutgers’ investigation and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) picked up his cases. On Nov. 14, after FIRE contacted to Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, the University officially reversed sanctions placed on Professor Livingston, stating that “Professor James Livingston did not violate the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment in this matter”. Livingston responded by saying “as a tenured professor, I have resources and protections that are unavailable to most employees."
Rutgers, when reached for comment, said that it does "not comment on specific personnel matters." The university’s reversal comes after its decision in September to distribute a survey asking students about perceived racial problems. Last year, the University also punished a professor “who made several aggressively anti-Semitic social media posts” requiring them to undergo cultural sensitivity training, as well.
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