Rutgers Professor Facebook Post: I Now Hate White People
By Brandon Chesner
In a recent publicly accessible Facebook post, Rutgers Professor James Livingston, whom I once had as a professor, went on a tirade against white people. In context, as he describes in his post, some young children were being disruptive in a restaurant. Despite being "a white people", he explains how he hates this large group of people for the actions of a few disruptive children, to whom he refers to using vulgar language.
On top of declaring his hatred for an entire race, Prof. Livingston advocates for racial segregation, and attributes poor social behavior with whiteness. "Slide around on the floor, you little s***head, sing loudly, you unlikely moron... Nobody is going to restrict your right to be white". He goes on to resign from the 'white race'. This comes mere days after Roseanne Barr's hit sitcom was cancelled over her referring to a former Obama adviser as a monkey in a tweet. Last semester, a Rutgers professor who shared anti-Semitic posts was barred from teaching required courses and forced to resign as a director. There is precedent for these actions being punished.
As someone who personally took his class, I remember spending the majority of classes discussing race relations and the evils of racism, discrimination, slavery, Jim Crow, etc., so I am shocked to see him post such a clearly racist status update, especially considering he is a professor at a university where racial acceptance and diversity is held to the highest standard.
Building off a general idea floating around in modern academia, 'white guilt' is a common trend which Livingston captures perfectly. White Americans are expected to attack their own race in very nasty ways, blaming themselves for the actions of very distant relatives. No other group is expected to continue a long term parade of self blame for crimes they've never committed. Sometimes, it escalates to comments and beliefs that are openly racist, even if it's against one's own race.
Seeing as Livingston was the original advisor to The Centurion despite being very far left, I respect his passion for free speech, but free speech can have public consequences. Attacking and generalizing the behavior of an entire group of people is never justifiable. Interestingly enough, he once attacked Trump on Twitter for being a racist, yet makes comments like this. It truly is a flat-out racist and uncalled for remark from a person responsible for educating the leaders of tomorrow.
Comments like this, regardless of who they come from, are unacceptable, and do not further public discussion on important issues like race relations in the slightest. If anything, comments like this do nothing more than deepen painful divisions in our communities and fail to unite us as Americans. With such an open expression of racism, I fear for what Prof. Livingston is currently teaching in his courses.
It is not my responsibility to decide what repercussions should come for blatantly racist remarks by an educator. If he worked at Starbucks he'd be forced into racial sensitivity training. However, when a person is in the level of power a professor is, their true feelings and potential biases should be known to those they have control over. We as students deserve the right to know what the people educating and preparing us for the work force believe. Hidden biases can not only affect grades, but more importantly, can shift the focus of the course to topics and claims built on a racist foundation. I believe all races are equal, and any injustices should be blamed on the individual, not the group as a whole. Blaming all white people with such harsh words for the actions of young children is disgusting.