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Princeton Professor Cancels ‘Hate Speech’ Class After Backlash from Offended Students

Students yelled expletives at Lawrence Rosen during class

PrincetonPatrick NouhaillerRemember the Princeton University professor whose students walked out of class after he used the N-word in order to make an important point about hate speech? The class, "Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography," is now cancelled for the rest of the semester.

"I have reluctantly decided to cancel this year's offering of Anthropology 212," Professor Lawrence Rosen wrote in an email to students, according to The Weekly Standard. "This is a time to reach out to all those who came into the course, and beyond—to do what we do: to listen, to converse, to grapple with the categories by which we create our own experience. I wish you all the best."

Rosen did not respond to a request for comment as to why he decided to cancel the class. A Princeton spokesperson told The Weekly Standard that the administration had put no pressure on the professor to do so. But a student in the class had more information:

One student in the class tells TWS that he believes the course's cancelling may have had something to do with an interaction that happened "about halfway through the first seminar." A male student of color stood up, inches from professor Rosen's face and shouted "FUCK YOU," this witness claimed. Just before that, a female student of color had shouted at Rosen, as the first was approaching, "do you feel safe right now." "There was no physical contact," this witness claims, though at the time the student feared there might be. During that class, "nobody except Rosen defended Rosen," the student told me. Another student in the class confirmed this account to TWS.

What was that about students having very little real power?

Photo Credit: Patrick Nouhailler

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  • damikesc||

    "I have reluctantly decided to cancel this year's offering of Anthropology 212," Professor Lawrence Rosen wrote in an email to students, according to The Weekly Standard. "This is a time to reach out to all those who came into the course, and beyond—to do what we do: to listen, to converse, to grapple with the categories by which we create our own experience. I wish you all the best."

    So...he surrendered. Completely.

    I cannot think of a reason why activists should stop doing this stuff. Colleges AGREE with them and will give them whatever they want every single time.

    I sure hope people faculty DOESN'T agree don't decide to do the same...

  • ||

    That's the thing. All we need is some fucken courage and balls. If there would be more Jordan Peterson's this problem would subside and eventually whither.

    AND NEVER APOLOGIZE.

    Hold the line.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, too many people just trying to keep their jobs and not piss off the easily pissed off. It's a fool's errand. The only way this shit stops is more people like Peterson not taking it anymore. I think that the majority of students are scared into silence too. They need to start telling their asshole peers to cut the shit too.

  • Griffin3||

    So...he surrendered. Completely.

    Dr. Rosen is 77 years old. So:
    [1] Big man black student for threatening an elderly scholar who is older than my father.
    [2] Maybe he didn't surrender, he just decided, 'I'm too old for this crap. If these people wish to remain ignorant, let them'.

  • Zeb||

    [2] probably counts as surrender. But sometimes surrender is the rational choice. Especially when you are an elderly scholar who doesn't need that shit.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    That was my take also.

  • damikesc||

    A male student of color stood up, inches from professor Rosen's face and shouted "FUCK YOU," this witness claimed. Just before that, a female student of color had shouted at Rosen, as the first was approaching, "do you feel safe right now." "There was no physical contact," this witness claims, though at the time the student feared there might be. During that class, "nobody except Rosen defended Rosen," the student told me. Another student in the class confirmed this account to TWS.

    That college kids are pathetic pussies is hardly news.

    I do love that the black guy decided to threaten violence to get his way. I bet that doesn't live up to a wide array of lovely stereotypes of his people and all.

    They need faculty who aren't pathetic shits also. "Do you feel safe?" "Very. You aren't going to hit me. Now sit down or leave."

  • Ecoli||

    Expulsion for the students threatening violence seems reasonable. Don't old men deserve a safe space?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Depends.

    Did the professor report the threat? Then yes.

    Did the professor shrug off the threat, and it was reported by another student? Then maybe. Generally speaking, if the "victim" is able but unwilling to "prosecute", I'm inclined to trust their judgement and let it slide.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Winning.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    So, this one seems awfully close to crossing over into actual threat of violence. Especially with the "Do you feel safe?" line. That's clearly a threat and I would be interested to see how Princeton reacts to this, if they react at all.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    they'll sanction the professor for inciting it.

  • Juice||

    Why the hell would anyone pay $40k+ per year to go to Princeton and then take shit classes like "hate speech 101" and garbage like that? For that kind of money, you better be going for medicine, engineering, or at least something lucrative.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Just getting a degree is a lucrative. That and the contacts you make.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Off the cuff, it's probably a humanities elective, and general degree requirements probably require something like nine or twelve humanities credits (meaning three or four classes).

    Gotta remember that until you get to the three hundred level courses, most folks in a class probably aren't majoring in that field.

  • IceTrey||

    Well it's actually Anthropology 212.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Sounds like they did actually learn a lot about anthropology.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "If you can afford to go to college, you probably shouldn't" -unknown attribution

  • DarrenM||

    For an easy grade, of course. Students are pretty much the same in any college. Some will work. Others just want the degree.

  • timbo||

    These pussy students have absolutely zero chance of being worth a shit in life.

    They are Tonys.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Harsh, but fair.

  • ||

    Yeh they're condemned to a life of victimhood and violence - or producing shitty Presidential paintings.

  • In Time Of War||

    I don't disagree with the "being worth a shit" part, but they will be successful. They'll get government jobs and someday one of us will be sitting across a desk from them and realize they have the absolute power to destroy our lives, and are begging for a chance to use it.

  • Jon Rowe||

    That sounds nice but probably isn't true.

  • Trollificus||

    Actually, I'm pretty sure it's about...oh, let me do the math...yeah, 100% true. If you were to check out the educational backgrounds of government employees, from interns, on up to better-connected middle-managers, to the successful ones, the heads of various agencies (whose responsibilities they have zero special expertise regarding), I bet, and I would actually bet my very own real money, that you'd find TONS of anthropology, psych and sociology majors amongst the public administration and political science majors.

    Give it 10 years or so and you can add 'gender studies' and 'critical race theory' majors in there too. My old Dad was in Civil Service (with a very atypical background, so atypical that it was used in training material as proof you didn't HAVE to be a connected, East Coast Ivy-grad to succeed in government service, because "Hey! This guy!"). He saw this coming and made predictions that I dismissed as the rantings of a grumpy old white man. He was right, though. He saw things were bad and predicted they'd get worse, for reasons that are obvious, in hindsight.

  • Jon Rowe||

    What I meant was there are some well paying high level civil service positions that people with IVY League credentials might seek out. But there are probably better paying private sector positions that they could seek. For instance, investment banks in NY disproportionately recruit from East Coast Ivy League schools. See my other post about Alan Keyes and Thomas Jones.

  • Zeb||

    Tony is worth a million times what these shits are.

  • Jon Rowe||

    I doubt this is right. But I guess it depends on how you define the term. If the students go on to get their degrees from Princeton, chances are they will have lots of opportunities based on the value of that degree. Caplan's thesis confirms this. The signalling effect of education confers value to these degrees.

    Students of color from the Ivy League like all students from the Ivy League want to live the "good life." And Ivy League degrees gives them far more opportunity than anything else to do so.

    Big investment banks strongly prefer these degrees and recruit from them, for instance.

    The students need to mature; because if they pull this shit on the job it will derail their career plans. But to give you an example, Alan Keyes, who I don't care for at all now, had this pulled on him -- it was actually much worse -- by fellow Cornell student of color, Thomas Jones. Look at where Jones is today.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Just read about Thomas Jones. Interesting story, was hard to swallow how a man could say and do things like he did and rise to where he is now.

    The longer I am alive the more I feel like a chump for following the rules and keeping my head low.

  • DajjaI||

    At the risk of getting banned again by Reason, I would like to emphasize that the problem isn't hate speech, but the people who are silent and stand back when it happens. It must be confronted - even if you end up getting banned because of it. I will support you, even if no one else does.

  • ||

    Why in the world would this comment induce banishment?

  • ||

    He's been hoping something or other would for months, now. Just let him have it.

  • GILMORE™||

    speaking of which, does anyone know a working replacement for FASCR/Reasonable?

    I tried the ffox Greasonable script in Tampermonkey, but it wasn't working either

    its not that i don't love hihn and trueman and tony and.... actually well, i hate them all, really.

  • JWatts||

    "its not that i don't love hihn and trueman and tony and.... actually well, i hate them all, really."

    I don't hate them, but they do bog the forum down in a useless mire of fact light drivel.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Greasonable is working for me. Reasonable is not.

  • GILMORE™||

    what browser? latest FFox?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Chrome

    I hadda reload it several months ago. But it's been working ever since.

    Not a computer nerd, but I was under the impression that Greasonable wasn't browser specific, but I may be wrong.

  • GILMORE™||

    thanks

  • silver.||

    So I'm running latest FF with both "Full Reason / Greasonable 0.9.6" (http://github.com/sthgrau/greasonable) and Monocle 2.01 (https://glibertarians.com/2017/02/monocle/) and it half-works. I've no idea why both need to be active to half-work. It also starts working after a random arbitrary amount of time - independent of page refreshes or browser restarts.

    Basically it'll tell me how many comments are new, box new posts in orange, and box replies to my posts in green. The filters also work so Tony, et al. are hidden by default.

    It has tools for HTML, but if you click anything it'll just post whatever you've currently written. The function is totally broken, but I can manually type HTML faster than I could use those tools anyway.

    Just pasted both into empty scripts in GM since the magnet links weren't working.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It has tools for HTML, but if you click anything it'll just post whatever you've currently written. The function is totally broken,

    Really?

    Test

    Test 2

  • GILMORE™||

    this was my problem as well. if you try using the HTML tools, it would just post.

    test

  • GILMORE™||

    double test

    (checking to see if monocle disable makes a difference)

  • GILMORE™||

    nope

  • greasonable||

  • greasonable||

    Async might be broken, though.. Testing that.

  • greasonable||

    ttt

  • greasonable||

    uu

  • greasonable||

    vv

  • greasonable||

    w

  • greasonable||

    xx

  • greasonable||

    y?

  • greasonable||

    zzz

  • greasonable||

    aaa

  • greasonable||

    bs

  • greasonable||

    c

  • greasonable||

    doh

  • greasonable||

    eoperatic

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    How about an honorary ban? Would you accept that and drop it?

  • DajjaI||

    The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen.

    – Albert Einstein

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure that everyone here agrees with your initial comment.

  • Griffin3||

    ¡Pouf! You are banned. Are you quite happy yet?

  • DarrenM||

    Anyone who claims to be a victim of hate speech chooses to be hurt or offended. It's all in their own minds. No one makes them feel hurt or angry. People need to learn how to handle it; not be coddled.

  • In Time Of War||

    There was a brief, shining moment in human history when it was assumed that adults were capable of controlling their emotions. Being unable to do so meant you were still a child. That time has passed.

  • Trollificus||

    You know what would be really cool? If you never posted again, and left all these libertarians wondering if REASON really DID ban you for making unpopular posts! That would teach us!

  • ||

    But conservative snowflakes are just as bad, right?

  • Zeb||

    So what you are saying is that conservatives all deserve to be murdered?

  • LynchPin1477||

    You forgot the hashtag!

  • Tony||

    They don't take these classes and are unlikely to be triggered by all the ledgers and trendy buzzwords they encounter in college.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Not everyone deserves a safe space.

  • Louis Lucky||

    I think it's fine that the classroom wannabe thugs demonstrated to Princeton and the rest of the country what a wimpy, worthless instructor Mr. Rosen is.

  • Tony||

    People are entirely too emotional about things.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU HEARTLESS MONSTER!!!!

  • LynchPin1477||

    So do the students still get course credit? If not, are they getting some tuition refunded? What happens if they needed those credits to graduate?

    If they are getting credit, how does that work, since they didn't have to put in a full semester's worth of work and, presumably, didn't learn all the material that a course credit and passing grade would imply they had?

    From the University's perspective this should be a totally unacceptable outcome.

  • DaveSs||

    Easy

    full refund, full credit awarded and bonus gpa points for having endured a safe space violation

  • SQRLSY One||

    But what I wanna know is...

    Does "...having endured a safe space violation" qualify these students to practice law, build bridges, do open-heart surgery on me, build computers that actually work... Or, does it merely qualify them to "teach" the next generation to be a BUNCH OF WHINING PUSSIES?!?!?!?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Sort of?

    None of those fields are humanities fields, so the relevant degrees (pre-law†, civil engineering, pre-med†, variously computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, or some other variant) probably offered by Princeton probably don't require that course specifically, they probably just have a general degree requirement for X hours of humanities that it would help fill.

    So it might (if folks get credit) count towards graduation requirements, but as an elective, not an enumerated course.
    ________
    †Not sure about Princeton, but pre-med and pre-law aren't really degrees on their own, though some degrees are better suited then others.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, thanks, I'll bet you are correct... The OTHER relevant question then becomes, "Just HOW MUCH of this crap is taking up the instruction hours? 0.05 of the heart surgeon-in-training is taken up by political correctness training, I can stomach... 3/4 of of the heart surgeon-in-training is taken up by political correctness training? Then I am going to want to go to Mexico or Stanstanstanstanistan to get my heart surgery!

  • EscherEnigma||

    It's been a while since I got my undergrad, but I think I got something like 180 credit hours. If you count all my social studies and humanities as "political correctness training" (a characterization I disagree with, but let's run with it for the moment) that was probably a total of 21 credit hours. So for my undergrad it was probably around 11.6% of my "training". And that's if you count all of my social studies/humanities (which was only seven classes total, or about one a semester).

    For law and medicine, my understanding of their post-undergrad studies is that such "general degree" requirements fall away, so at that point their "training" will become 100% focused. So the more advanced a degree we're talking, the less percentage "political correctness training" is of their classroom instruction.

  • EscherEnigma||

    After I clicked "submit", I remembered that one of my 300 level courses was on professional ethics. And while I wouldn't qualify that as "political correctness training", you might. If you do, that bumps my total "political correctness training" to 24 hours of my estimated 180, or 13.3%.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Thanks for your detailed response!

    I do recall reading comments on these pages right here, about recent health consumers in mainland China. These consumers pay VERY careful attention to, just WHEN did their doctor get their degree? If they got it well before or well after the "Great Cultural Leap Forward", then, OK. If the doctor got his or her degree during the "Great Cultural Leap Forward", then they shop for a different doctor!!!

    I sure hope this CRAP does not snowball till we get to this place as is exemplified by the "Great Cultural Leap Forward"!!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hells Bells... In case it is not clear... During the the "Great Cultural Leap Forward", there was a TON of time devoted to "political correctness"... I think, on the order of 1/3 of class time, if not more, but I would have to research it...

    "Political correctness" then and there was, Mao Tse Tung loves us more than we love ourselves, basically.

  • silver.||

    Right, like EE said, for most focused degrees, especially in STEM, there isn't much fluff. I actually had 0 fluff by doing AP/dual-enrollment (college classes in HS), having my humanities classes waived in community college, and I had all non-major courses waived at my 4-year for having an Associate's, so I even got out of the senior year humanities elective (sociology, language, etc).

    All together I'd say 21-30 credits, same as EE. And we had to have 180 credits while most majors only need 170 precisely because my uni has 3 necessary classes for all majors, but my curriculum didn't have room for it.

  • Griffin3||

    I hope they get dropped, and it's a required course. One that is the pre-requisite for a half dozen other nancy courses.

  • silver.||

    This type of shit happened a few times for me. Generally seniors will get credit with the class as pass/fail and everyone else can just retake another class. No refunds; are you crazy? Do you want people to die?

    My school is never ever ever getting a penny from me. Or a single fucking word that isn't literally pH 0.1.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Off the cuff, I'm going to guess... no, only if they were part-time students†, if they waited until their senior year to finish off their humanities credits they're idiots but the dean will probably have mercy on them anyway.

    If they are given the credit anyway, it's probably on the basis that the teacher dropped the course, not the students. It's possible that they'll get moved into some sort of "independent study" if they're in the "needs this credit to graduate" situation.

    And from the university's perspective, this may be "unacceptable", but what are they going to do, tell the guy he isn't allowed to drop the class? He's almost 80, he probably doesn't need to teach. They've got no real leverage there.
    ________
    †In my experience, part-time students pay by the credit hour, while full-time students pay a flat-rate regardless of how many classes they take.

  • silver.||

    Full-time thing is something I forgot to mention. Same price for 12-18 credits.

    Now if they were paying the overload fee for 19+ credits...

    Nah. They still wouldn't get a refund. I doubt the school personnel even know how to perform a refund. And my overload fee was about 5% of the tuition price, so it wouldn't be worth fighting. I'd spend twice as much on Excedrin trying to find the sole competent person in the entire administration.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    in order to make an important point about hate speech

    [citation needed]

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    To prompt discussion of the topic of the course, and discuss how the language is used which is the topic of the course. So he used it in service of the topic of the course.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And clearly there's no way to accomplish that without actually saying the slurs repeatedly.

  • Tony||

    If it were me, I'd prefer they just say it, because I think vulgarity is good for the soul. But I get twitchy about words for other reasons, such as common misuses and the word "queer" meaning anything other than "weird."

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    queer is also a verb

  • Ecoli||

    Given the current political climate, your odd linguistic quirk is rather queer.

    You are probably a niggardly bloke as well.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Hey, he may be niggardly, but no one calls Tony a bloke on my watch.

  • Brandybuck||

    I know Larry Rosen. Not personally, but we have communicated via email. He's great guy, a reasonable guy. Has a MacArthur fellowship, something that's not handed out to just anyone.

    This just makes me sick to the bottom of my stomach.

    The barbarians have won. We are the last civilized generation.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    We are the last civilized generation

    Because you know, using racial slurs is just so civilized. Only a barbarian would refrain from slurring people.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The context of this being part of a discussion in a course on hate speech is lost on you, isn't it?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So in the criminal law course at Princenton law, does the professor actually murder one of the students in front of the class? Because I don't see how you could possibly have a classroom discussion of homicide without actually committing one.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hey, no How to Get Away With Murder spoilers please. I mean sure, I watched the first episode of season 2 and wasn't that interested in watching the rest, but I'll probably get around to it. Eventually.

  • GILMORE™||

    This is why i need FASCR to work again. the world would be better off if i didn't have to see this.

  • Ecoli||

    Good grief, how is it possible to be so obtuse? You're a queer sort, Stormy.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Do you really believe that people discussing a word using the word in the discussion, is the same as people discussing a crime doing the action of the crime?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    No, but neither do I believe it's impossible to discuss the hate speech controversy without saying racial slurs repeatedly as others here are suggesting. The professor wasn't doing it because it made some important point. He was doing it to be provocative.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    And you know this how ?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Since when is being provocative a NAP violation?

    Are you actually claiming you have a right to not be offended?

    Seems to me, the entire point of the class is to be provocative as to promote critical thought. Maybe, maybe not, but if you're offended by my words, tough shit.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Just how "civilized" can your generation be if your (grand) children are such "barbarians"?

  • nicmart||

    Terrible, but what has this got to do with anthropology?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Also, if this is how he was teaching the "hate speech" part of the course, I shudder to think what he was planning for the "pornography" part.

  • barfman2018||

    Eek barba durkle. Somebody didn't get laid in college.

    *barf*

  • Jon Rowe||

    It's funny my First Amendment class at Temple Law, taught by Burton Caine, ran a lot this course. In fact Caine asked the very same question that caused this incident in that class. There were no African American students in that particular class and it also went down without incident.

    We discussed pornography and obscenity standards; but he showed NO visual hard core porn in class; but he defended the genre and even mentioned to the class that he saw "Deep Throat" (which at the time was the highest grossing moving of all time when you accounted for dollars spent to produce it and produced a ratio) in Africa with Hebrew subtitles.

    He also read some graphic Eldridge Cleaver to the class. That was about it.

  • zeitguest||

    Hold on one sec, time to print up a bunch of "Do you feel safe right now?!" posters.

  • Longtobefree||

    Please make them a size that will fit on a rifle stock.
    Thanks.

  • IceTrey||

    So much for the Ivy League being the last bastion of intellectualism and civility.

  • Ecoli||

    Their diversity is their strength!

  • creech||

    I decided when I reached a certain age that the best way to handle an enraged someone who was in your face was to grab your chest, moan, and collapse with a pretend heart attack.

  • Trollificus||

    The Fainting Goat Gambit. Nice.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Everyone should just chill the funk out!

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    If I were a student, I would sue the other students who disrupted class for theft.

  • Longtobefree||

    And be expelled as a racist.

  • Mac61||

    I don't think any of this is a problem.

    All universities should offer the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Justice Studies.

    Classes can include SJW 340, Manufactured Self-Righteousness.
    SJW 121, Shouting Down Offenders. (A Basic Pre-requisite to most other classes.)
    SJW 243, Independent Study in Your Marginalization.

    By creating the Department of Social Justice Indignation,
    these students can be quarantined into their own cluster of major classes,
    freeing up the rest of the university to return to inquiry, critical thinking and debate.

    No, on second thiought, it won't work. Indignation majors will simply be assigned
    to crash other classes and scream obscenities at random professors, including
    chemistry professors, you know, because mariginalization and hegemony.

  • Trollificus||

    Or computer science classes, because 'slave' and 'master'.

    But they WILL get jobs with such degrees. Government jobs (I mean, look at the EEOC and the TItle IX Enforcement division of Justice), also "activist journalism" (yes, an oxymoron, but also a paying job), and work in charities, which latter is a much underexamined co-option of giant piles of money to use for purposes often antithetical to the wishes of the be-monocled, orphan-abusing, top-hatted endower.

    Also academia. You would think the power of such people would be limited by the fact that they produce nothing...but between media, government, Big Charity and academia, they've managed quite well in the "wealth is power" area.

  • Trollificus||

    It cannot be reiterated enough times that the problem with "doing something about hate speech" is that it is ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE. If you intend to protect people from the bad feelz they get from certain terms, or statements, do you then have to protect the MOST sensitive, the MOST easily-offended?? Because, as we often see, the ability of people to find offense shades from reasonable to very sensitive to overwrought, to "wait, what's offensive about that?" to people who are clearly insane.

    To come up with a definition of "hate speech" that should be disallowed AND that accommodates all points on that spectrum is a ridiculous task. Full stop.

  • inoyu||

    I usually describe the obviousness of power plays like this one. Some of the leaders of these seeming irrational scenes will be highly successful in the future. That's because fixtures like the professor will soon be gone, There will be vacancies.

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