Professor at Jesuit university suspended for anonymously criticizing reparations

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Gregory Manco, a math professor at St. Joseph’s University, has been suspended for criticizing racial reparations on his private and anonymous Twitter account, continuing a disturbing trend of universities silencing any disagreement over issues relating to race.

 

Quick Facts

 

 

Universities across America are taking action to silence debate regarding issues of race and policy. Manco is just the latest example.

 

Writing under the pseudonym “South Jersey Giants,” Manco made comments about racial reparations and racial bias training. In one of the tweets in question, Manco said, “Suppose your great-great-grandfather murdered someone. The victim’s great-great-grandson knocks on your door, shows you the newspaper clipping from 1905, and demands compensation from you. Your response? Now get this racial reparation b******t out of your head for good.”

 

 

In another tweet, Monaco implied that racial bias training actually creates division and worsens race relations.

 

 

A third post in question was Monaco’s response to a woman who said black people and Native Americans “have been hurt horribly” in America. He replied, “Yet here you still are.”

 

As Monaco noted, the St. Joseph’s Faculty Handbook says that personal speech is free from censorship. He later said, “Cancel culture is now knocking on my door.”

 

In a statement, the university responded,

 

“We thank our students for bringing to our attention a possible violation of our values. The University launched an investigation into a report of bias. The faculty member will not be in the classroom or in a coaching role while the investigation is conducted.”

 

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley weighed in on this latest example of censorship on his blog, writing,

 

“In this case, Manco was writing on a personal and an anonymous account as ‘South Jersey Giants.’ Yet, he was still targeted because he expressed his opposition to reparations as well as racial bias training. A professor should be able to voice such views not just anonymously but directly as part of a national debate on such issues.”

 

Turley noted that there is a double standard as several liberal university faculty around the country have voiced hatred for Trump supporters and those who disagree with them, even advocating for the killing of Trump supporters, without the same repercussions as professors like Manco.

 

Turley also linked to several accounts of professors being suspended simply for posting any disagreement or questioning of Black Lives Matter and issues regarding racism.

 

He added,

 

“The silence of other faculty at the university (and faculty at other universities) continues to be both conspicuous and alarming. There is a palpable fear that speaking out in defense of the free speech rights of professors like Professor Manco will only make you the next target of criticism or some cancelling campaign. The result is bone-chilling silence from most faculty when fellow professors are targeted for expressing conservative or opposing views on these sensitive subjects. That silence is as damaging as the campaigns targeting faculty members.”

 

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has called on St. Joseph’s to end its suspension and investigation of Monaco. FIRE sent an eight-page letter to university officials, claiming the Jesuit school has violated its promise to “respect freedom of expression and academic freedom.”

 

 

Censorship has catapulted into the forefront of the American conscience due to the breakneck pace at which censorship has increased. Those who are censored are almost always censored under the notion that their speech is offensive, discriminatory, or hateful or that it incites violence.

 

A closer examination, as Turley points out, reveals that censorship is actually an attempt to silence debate on issues such as race relations, the transgender movement, COVID-19 measures, election security, and more. The censorship isn’t restricted to conservative voices, but it is nearly exclusive to any viewpoint that questions left-wing orthodoxy.

 

Any person who attempts to question any of the left’s talking points is silenced as a racist, conspiracy theorist, or hatemonger. This is particularly concerning at universities where differing ideas and opinions are necessary for a thorough academic discussion.

 

While you may disagree with what professors such as Manco say or you may be offended by how they say it, their personal speech — and, one could argue, even their professional speech — should be protected. The idea of racial reparations is being seriously discussed and debated in Congress. That means it is not only a theoretical concept, but also a policy objective. If Americans are not free to discuss the pros and cons of a policy that affects American life and culture then we no longer have a Constitutional Republic nor a free and open society.