NYU's self-appointed "anti-P.C. professor" has invited alt-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos to speak to his academic writing students about the "politics of Halloween," as part of the professor's ongoing campaign to prove a point about the young people he is paid to teach. (This point apparently being: tuition-paying students should silently accept that their classrooms will occasionally become a venue for publicity stunts featuring white supremacist sympathizers, or else risk validating their professor's outrage). [Predictable update below]
In a tweet posted on Sunday night, Professor Michael Rectenwald announced that he was bringing the former Breitbart Senior Editor to his 14-person class in order to "challenge the censorship of the university." The invitation—which is surely unrelated to the promotion of the professor's newly-released treatise on campus "snowflakes"—should not be read as an endorsement of Milo's views, Rectenwald added.
"When people try to tar me with other, disgusting and inapt labels," the liberal studies professor cautioned, it should be remembered that he identifies as an "anti-PC cultural and social libertarian" (who, incidentally, hates identity politics). He also noted that the talk would be live-streamed, "provided the admin. doesn't shut it down." According to the Post, neither Rectenwald’s students nor NYU were informed of the special guest before it was announced.
I'm an anti-PC cultural and social libertarian. Remember my views, which are in the public sphere, when people try to tar me with other, disgusting and inapt labels. I'm having Milo in my class not as an endorsement of his views, but to challenge the censorship of the university.
— Michael Rectenwald (@antipcnyuprof) October 29, 2018
You may recall Rectenwald's infamous Twitter handle from when he made national headlines in 2016, after claiming the university suspended him for posting truth bombs on the account. The media ran with the story, even after NYU published emails revealing that Rectenwald actually requested a leave of absence ("I thought you needed permission to publish people's emails, but I guess not," he told us at the time.). In the wake of sustained public outcry about the perceived censorship, Rectenwald received a promotion, and later filed a lawsuit against his colleagues for allegedly ostracizing him.
Two years later, fresh off a week of mass shootings and political assassination attempts, Rectenwald's classroom will play host to a semi-professional troll— a person who lamented the fact that no one was killed by the mail bombs, who regularly makes racist and anti-Semitic threats under the guise of triggering the left, and whose views on statutory rape are so extreme that even Breitbart decided he was bad for their brand.
The students will be expected to soak up the wisdom of this messenger without betraying a shred of anger. If they do, they'll have only demonstrated their close-mindedness, further advancing the impenetrable logic of a 59-year-old man's free speech crusade. Take that, snowflakes.
UPDATE: NYU has postponed the classroom appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled for Wednesday, after Mayor Bill de Blasio intervened to request it be rescheduled "in light of the nearby Halloween parades and NYPD assessments of risk," Washington Square News reports.
Reached by email, Professor Rectenwald told Gothamist that he still plans to meet with Milo on Wednesday to discuss plans for a future date. "I would like to point out that while Milo Yiannopolous is blamed for the threat to public safety, leftist protesters are the ones who pose the actual danger, with their proclivity for violence," he said, predictably. "I was merely trying to arrange a cultural exchange between my class and a harmless person from the center-right."
Asked about specific comments made by Milo—his belief that all Muslims should be deported from Western countries, or frequent harassing of Jewish journalists with Nazi symbols—Recetenwald replied that he was "not going to defend every utterance that Milo Yiannopolous has made, nor am I even familiar with all of them."