Statement of Princetonian's for Free Speech on Princeton's firing of Classics Professor Joshua Katz, an award-winning, legendary teacher

By Edward Yingling and Stuart Taylor, Jr.
Founders of Princetonians for Free Speech

Today the mob at Princeton got its man. From the day that Professor Katz wrote his Quillette article opposing demands for illegal racial preferences for faculty of color and for a censorship committee to screen faculty research and writings, the mob of faculty, the student newspaper, and Princeton administrators was determined to have him punished. When the Princeton administration did not immediately punish him, the Daily Princetonian launched an unprecedented investigation into his personal life, while administrators used the considerable resources of the University itself to attack him for speech that even Christopher Eisgruber, the Princeton president, had said was protected. Then the administration stooped so low as, first, to doctor his language to reinforce the University website’s portrayal of Katz as a racist and, then, to reinterpret the University’s rules in order to remove Katz's speech from their protection.

The nation’s three major campus free speech organizations and the University’s own faculty appeal group all said this was wrong, and yet President Eisgruber caved to the pressure from the mob. He released an embarrassingly lame and amateurish statement that the administrators who misused the University’s website and other resources to smear Katz in the name of the University as a racist were exercising their own personal free speech rights.

A key question is whether the result would be the same if a progressive Princeton professor had said something much, much  more inflammatory and had exactly the same personal issues. The answer is not a chance.

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