Ivy League professor whines that criticizing outrageous statements by academics 'a technique of repression'

A Cornell University history professor is claiming that when statements made by radical academics, including calls for white genocide, are heavily criticized by the media, a form of repression occurs.

The College Fix:

Russell Rickford, an associate professor of history at Cornell University, makes this argument in a recent Black Perspectives piece, suggesting news coverage of academics' controversial statements is really a conservative effort to silence liberal academics.

Progressive professors are "engulfed in controversy" because they exposed "unjust power," argues Rickford. He blamed the outrage on "a collection of right-wing sites and organizations that have mastered a cynical style of attack journalism well suited for the mob mentality of the social media age."

The article, titled "Neo-McCarthyism and the Radical Professor," cites recent examples stemming from controversial comments made by professors George Ciccariello-Maher, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Johnny Eric Williams and Steven Salaita.

Professor Maher made headlines for his Dec. 2016 tweet that read "all I want for Christmas is white genocide." Professor Taylor prompted media attention for her May 2017 commencement speech lambasting Trump, a speech that called him a "dangerous … racist sexist megalomaniac" who is also targeting the black community and undocumented immigrants.

Professor Williams received attention after his comments suggesting on Twitter in June that anyone witnessing white people in mortal danger should "let them fucking die" went viral. And Professor Salaita is well-known for his frequent and vitriolic anti-Israel tweets.

Rickford describes the "widespread outrage" that these comments inspire as "hullabaloo."

"The technology is new but the agenda is not," Rickford writes. "Recall that in the wake of the social revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s, conservatives and business interests launched a protracted campaign to neutralize colleges and universities as centers of radical influence."

"We who see knowledge as more than bourgeois property must always defend our comrades against the hypocrisies of liberalism and the mechanisms of conservative attack," Rickford says, calling professors in the recent media limelight "a small cadre of insurgent professors will continue striving to transcend the ivory tower, using their expertise and energy to bolster the self-activity of the exploited."

Professor Rickford wants radicalism to become mainstream – wants us to take the outrageous, bloodthirsty statements of radical academics as being above criticism because "oppression."

But if radical speech goes mainstream and is above criticism, won't that make it "unradical"?  And if it's not radical anymore, how do profs like Rickford make a living?

There are two reasons for making outrageous statements about white people.  First, the speaker knows he will get all sorts of attention.  These people like jerking the chain of the right.  Two, the more radical the statement, the more the speaker establishes his bona fides with the radical left.  There is a strict hierarchy on the left, and the best way to move up is to be "authentically" radical. 

Rickford's striving for recognition by other crazy leftists will probably succeed.  By saying it's the fault of the mainstream audience who is repelled by these radical statements, the good professor is justifying academic idiocy, not preserving academic freedom.

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