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Rutgers clears professor who said he hates white people, reverses charge of racial discrimination

Rutgers University clears a white Rutgers University professor of any wrongdoing in connection with Facebook remarks of racism. (Image source: WPIX-TV video screenshot)

Professor James Livingston will get to keep his job at Rutgers University, and will not be disciplined for racial discrimination.

Livingston embarked on a viral racist Facebook rant in June against white children and their parents after visiting New York City's Harlem Shake on May 31.

What's the history?

After Livington’s remarks were read across the web, the university announced it would launch an investigation into the professor and his inflammatory commentary.

In August, Rutgers found Livingston guilty of violating the university’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment with his Facebook remarks.

Livingston appealed the finding, but the university initially rejected the professor’s appeal and charged him with racial discrimination.

A Thursday news release from FIRE — the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — revealed that the university does not believe that Livingston's remarks were racist and reversed the charge of racial discrimination.

After Livingston appealed the university's decision, FIRE wrote a letter to the school's president, who called for review of the school's findings.

So what's being said now?

Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, FIRE's director of litigation, told TheBlaze, "FIRE is pleased that Rutgers did the right thing and reversed the charge of racial discrimination against Professor Livingston. Any other result would have undermined the free speech and academic freedom rights of all Rutgers faculty members."

In a statement, Livingston expressed his gratitude for the university's reversal.

“I’m relieved that my right to free speech and my academic freedom have been validated by this retraction, thanks to FIRE, the AAUP, and colleagues, who made this strange episode an issue to be debated and decided in public,” Livingston's statement read. “But if I may use the occasion to preach ... As a tenured professor, I have resources and protections that are unavailable to most employees. That is not just unfortunate, it is simply wrong, and needs redressing. Would [sic] that FIRE could represent all of us on the job.”

According to the organization's website, FIRE is a "nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and sustaining the individual rights of students and faculty members at America’s colleges and universities."

One last thing…
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