Deplorable NYU Prof reveals his identity

‘Trigger warning, safe spaces and bias hotline reporting is not politically correct – it’s insane’

Deplorable NYU Prof of  twitter handle @antipcnyuprof revealed his identity to Washington Square News’ Diamond Naga Siu on Monday, October 24th. The twitter handle started on Monday September 12th. The twitter account is ran by NYU Liberal Studies Clinical Assistant Professor Michael Rectenwald. The aim of the twitter is to critique politically correct culture, safe spaces, and trigger warnings. His bio states: “NYU professor exposes the viral identity politics of academia and its destruction of academic integrity.”

Taken by Diamond Naga Siu for Washington Square News http://www.nyunews.com/2016/10/24/qa-with-a-deplorable-nyu-professor/#prettyPhoto

Taken by Diamond Naga Siu for Washington Square News

Rectenwald explained that he isn’t exactly anti-pc but the left has still gone too far.

Frankly, I’m not really anti-pc. My contention is that the trigger warning, safe spaces and bias hotline reporting is not politically correct. It is insane. This stuff is producing a culture of hypervigilance, self-surveillance and panopticism.

If one were to take a quick glance at Rectenwald’s twitter, they would assume he is just another bigoted member of the alt-right. But he is against the “social justice warrior” left and how its flaws have essentially produced the alt-right. He disagrees strongly with Donald Trump. He hides within the alt-right to avoid “social justice warriors.” Rather than be actually an anti-leftist member of the alt-right, he himself is a strongly left leaning communist against the identity-politics left. Rectenwald believes the new left doesn’t believe in solidarity and diversity, it believes in divisiveness through identity politics. “How can you have solidarity when you have all these little fissions with every little identity group with all their little niche ways of identification?” He believes that diversity is good but is against the university using it “as an ideology to make themselves look ethical.” Rectenwald explained to Campus Reform that his critiques of the “pc college culture” are because it “curtails academic freedom and freedom of expression because it caters to this supposedly beleaguered population.”

While writing this article I wanted to explore the opinions of actual NYU students on Deplorable NYU Prof. I made a Facebook post asking for the opinions of actual NYU students. I received various comments such as

He’s not hiding in the Alt Right and he probably doesn’t understand what it is. He identifies as anti-pc but there’s a lot of space on the political spectrum that is anti-pc, only a very small minority of it is in the alt right.

-Jarred Duke Schwartz

He’s entitled to his opinion and I’m glad he has a voice that’s different than the majority of NYU. Even if it’s contested, his viewpoint is very appreciated.

-Aiden Sangjun Bae

Aiden and I continued our conversation.  Aiden is a third year NYU student.

How do you feel about him identifying as a left communist?

It’s either a choice of owning up to your reputation and embracing the identity given to by everyone else of sounding like a hypocrite.

Do you think he’s right about the left being too obsessed with identity politics?

There’s a stereotype that the left is completely obsessed with identity politics and trigger culture, but I think it holds a grain of truth to it

Do you think he’s using an efficient method by ‘hiding within the alt right to expose social justice warriors?’

The line between the left and the alt right is an extremely broad one that should accommodate for nuances. So it isn’t accurate to say he’s pretending to be alt right to accomplish an agenda.
The NY Post reported Sunday October 30th that NYU administration has placed Rectenwald on one week paid leave. The news came after Washington Square News published their interview with him. Rectenwald responded to the Post on his paid leave that  “they are actually pushing me out the door for having a different perspective.”  The Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group published a letter to the editor in Washington Square News on October 26th finding 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 same day Rectenwald says he was summoned to a meeting with his department dean and an HR representative where he was given leave.

NYU spokesman Matt Nagel insisted to The Post that the leave had “absolutely zero to do with his Twitter account or his opinions on issues of the day.” He also stated in a email to NYU Local “It is NYU’s long-standing practice to not publicly discuss the private details of employees’ employment records, however, I can assure you that the timing of Professor Rectenwald’s leave has nothing—absolutely zero—to do with his Twitter account or his opinions on issues of the day. We look forward to his return.” He also stated  “Speaking generally, and without regard to a specific individual, leaves of the kind you’re asking about are typically granted at the request of the employee, not required of the employee.”

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