Michael Rectenwald, the New York University liberal studies professor on a crusade against political correctness, has been ousted from the classroom after colleagues complained about his “incivility”.
Rectenwald told the New York Post that he was forced on Wednesday to go on paid leave from the prestigious University for the rest of the semester.
“They are actually pushing me out the door for having a different perspective,” he told the Post.
Just last week Rectanwald gave Heat Street an interview. He called academia a mad house and “safe spaces” an existential error.
His Twitter account “DeplorableNYUProfessor” launched last month as a personal protest against social justice warriors was a “no safe spaces” zone, where Rectenwald expressed his frustration with current PC culture on campus. It claimed to “expose the viral identity politics of academia and its destruction of academic integrity.”
— Deplorable NYU Prof (@antipcnyuprof) September 27, 2016
The identity politics left: they need a safe space that is at once a hall of mirrors and a rubber room.
— Deplorable NYU Prof (@antipcnyuprof) October 11, 2016
My closing statement to Social Justice Warrior at some "elite" university: Why don't go to a safe space and tend to your obv psychic wounds?
— Deplorable NYU Prof (@antipcnyuprof) September 15, 2016
His account was anonymous, he explained, because he didn’t want to continue being attacked by social justice warriors Twitteratti.
“I remember the post I did on my Facebook account about the pronouns selection. One of the students picked “his majesty” which I thought was hilarious. I posted it without any comment and proceeded to get attacked by hundreds of social justice warriors, some of them my friends, who are now gone from my friend list.”
His posts ultimately also resulted in many of his friends accusing him of “betrayal” and of “grave injury” to students, he told Heat Street.
“If that is an injury or provocative of being an injury than these people need to be in a psych ward rather than a university. Because there is absolutely nothing outrageous about what I said, it was strictly intellectual and certainly didn’t offend any particular groups. All I am talking about is the culture that is being perpetrated.”
In his “Deplorable” account, for instance, Rectenwald thought it was insane that students are encouraged to self check their Halloween costumes or that the alt-right provocateur Milo Yannopoulos’s planned speech was shooed off by the university for “security reasons”.
Professor contends that current “social justice warrior” culture provides the very soil in which the alt right grows and lives: “It is totalitarianism because it is not allowing any other views. It is asserting that only one type of philosophy or political ideology, political ideas is allowed. And that is totalitarian.”
Rectenwald told Heat Street that he also refused to put “trigger warning” or “bias reporting line” in his syllabi, explaining that “every experience in the classroom would be subjected to a question of bias and it would turn the classroom into a state of surveillance, reporting, discipline and punishment.”
Rectenwald believes that shutting someone down with an opposing view is contrary to human emancipation—something academia should stand for.
“It is easier to buy into this. It takes more courage to stand up against it than going along with this crap. But for me it would be like living in the asylum without recognizing that there are lunatics walking around. They can have my badge, I am not doing this.”
When NYU put Rectenwald on leave, they also expressed concerns about his mental health.
“They claimed they were worried about me and a couple people had expressed concern about my mental health,” he told The Post.
The leave has “absolutely zero to do with his Twitter account or his opinions on issues of the day,” said NYU spokesman Matt Nagel also told The Post, refusing to elaborate on the reason.