A white professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey violated the school’s policy when he complained about other white people in a post on Facebook, according to reports.
The university says it prohibits discrimination and harassment, and judged that history professor James Livingston, who is white, crossed a line with his comments.
In the post, Livingston slammed other white people, describing them as entitled and saying they impeded “access to my dinner.”
“… this place (burger restaurant) is overrun with little Caucasian a–holes who know their parents will approve of anything they do,” Livingston wrote.
“… this place (burger restaurant) is overrun with little Caucasian a–holes who know their parents will approve of anything they do.”
“I hereby resign from my race. F— these people,” the professor added.
Facebook removed his post, he said in a subsequent post, according to NJ.com.
Livingston argues that his remarks were “satirical,” and he was commenting on the gentrification of the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, where he lives, NorthJersey.com reported
“OK, officially, I now hate white people,” Livingston wrote. “I am a white people, for God’s sake, but can we keep them—us—us out of my neighborhood?”
Since the post appeared, Livingston has faced a “barrage of hate emails, slur-laced insults and death threats,” the Washington Post reported.
Rutgers said in a statement that “there’s no place for racial intolerance at Rutgers,” the report said.
“… at Rutgers University, we also must foster an environment free from discrimination, as articulated in our policy prohibiting discrimination,” Dory Devlin, media relations director for Rutgers, told NorthJersey.com.
In a letter, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has asked Rutgers, on Livingston’s behalf, to reverse its conclusion that he violated policy, according to the publication. The letter also reportedly argued that he has the right to his opinion as a private citizen.
His appeal was denied, the Post reported, citing FIRE.
Livingston, a tenured professor for 28 years, has taught at the university since 1988, NorthJersey.com reported.
“Allowing human resource administrators to tell a professor of 30 years what he can and can’t say on Facebook means that the tradition of academic freedom in our public universities is essentially over. I respect that tradition too much not to protest,” Livingston said in a statement, according to the report.
Livingston faces disciplinary action that could include discharge, the Post reported.
“You may not agree with the faculty member, but the First Amendment exists to protect speech that challenges you or asks you to think about things in a different way.”
“I’m also a fan of the Constitution, which is equally under assault here,” Livingston said. “I very much hope the university will see its way to overturning this finding of ‘reverse racism’ and reaffirming the democratic freedoms that Rutgers has long stood for.”
Will Creeley of FIRE said the First Amendment right is particulary important for faculty members, especially because Livingston was speaking about gentrification — a matter of public concern, according to the Post.
“You may not agree with the faculty member, but the First Amendment exists to protect speech that challenges you or asks you to think about things in a different way,” Creeley said.
Last year, another Rutgers professor came under fire for his Facebook posts, which some critics said were anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
Michael Chikindas, a professor in the university’s food science department, lost his role as a school center’s director and was no longer allowed to teach required classes, Fox News reported.