- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

An assistant professor at New York University created an undercover Twitter account so he could blast political correctness and campus “safe space” culture without fear of reprisal from students or “social justice warriors.”

Michael Rectenwald, a clinical assistant professor of liberal studies, has tweeted since Sept. 12 under the name “Deplorable NYU Prof,” a reference to the name Hillary Clinton infamously gave to supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Mr. Rectenwald‘s Twitter bio reads, “NYU professor exposes the viral identity politics of academia and its destruction of academic integrity,” and provides a link to NYU’s Bias Response Line.

The professor came forward for the first time during an interview Monday with Washington Square News, NYU’s daily student newspaper, after he promised in a tweet that he would expose “inside stories that will blow yr mind.”

“My contention is that this particular social-justice-warrior-left is producing the alt-right by virtue of its insanity,” Mr. Rectenwald told the paper. “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.”

“What happens is that the left presents its needs to the administration in universities, and the administration seizes on these opportunities to produce power and control to actually discipline the subjects under them,” he continued. “They don’t care what ideologies — whether it’s right, left, center. My dean two years ago — I mentioned the words trigger warning, and he snickered out loud, as if it was some foreign concept. Then last year, towards the end of the semester when we had a colloquium, he was floating the idea that they would be required on the syllabi. This is what happens. Once the administration gets it, it becomes a tool — an instrument — for them. Then they are able to compute to have more leverage and control over the curriculum, which should be faculty controlled in every university.”

Mr. Rectenwald said he went undercover in an effort to blend in with the alt-right, but despite his user name, he has no desire to back Donald Trump and considers himself a communist.

“I don’t support Trump at all. I hate him — I think he’s horrible,” the professor said. “I’m hiding amongst the alt-right, alright? And the point is, this character is meant to exhibit and illustrate the notion that it’s this crazy social-justice-warrior-knee-jerk-reaction-triggered-happy-safe-space-seeking-blah, blah, blah, blah culture that it’s producing this alt-right. Now, I’m not dumb enough to go there. And my own politics are very strong — I’m a left communist. But I think that in fact, the crazier and crazier that this left gets, this version of the left, the more the more the alt-right is going to be laughing their asses off plus getting more pissed. Every time a speaker is booed off campus or shooed off campus because they might say something that bothers someone, that just feeds the notion that the left is totalitarian, and they have a point.”

In an interview with Campus Reform, Mr. Rectenwald said the “SJW left” is turning college campuses into “a minefield or a field of eggshells.”

He said “Deplorable NYU Prof” was born after he finally got “tired of withholding [his] criticism for fear of being mobbed by the SJW twitterati.”

SJWs “have these two main techniques: call out and pile on,” Mr. Rectenwald told Washington Square News. “They call out, whether it’s racism or sexism or something they don’t like, and then they pile on. It’s a nightmare.”

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