by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Classics professor Joshua Katz, one of the few academics who spoke out against the extremist mobs that formed in the wake of the George Floyd slaying, has been targeted for loss of tenure and firing by Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber. …
… Katz ran afoul of the hard left after he wrote:
“The Black Justice League, which was active on campus from 2014 until 2016, was a small local terrorist organization that made life miserable for the many (including the many black students) who did not agree with its members’ demands. . . . Recently I watched an ‘Instagram Live’ of one of its alumni leaders, who—emboldened by recent events and egged on by over 200 supporters who were baying for blood—presided over what was effectively a Struggle Session against one of his former classmates. It was one of the most evil things I have ever witnessed, and I do not say this lightly.”
Katz added, “the BJL went after one fellow black student with particular vigor, verbally vilifying her in public at every possible opportunity, calling her all sorts of unsavory epithets and accusing her of ‘performing white supremacy.’ Other students, as well as faculty and administrators, were accused, without evidence, of being ‘racists’ and ‘white supremacists.’”
Because Katz has tenure, he (at least in theory) can’t be fired for ideological nonconformism, but Sibarium suggests Eisgruber has found a pretext: bringing up a long-settled question of a consensual sexual relationship with a student more than a decade ago. Professors are barred from dating undergraduates, but Katz was already disciplined for this after an investigation in 2018, and agreed to take a year of unpaid leave as punishment.
After Katz spoke out against the Black Justice League, Eisgruber said he had “unfairly disparaged” Princeton students and announced an investigation in July 2020, but the matter was dropped that month. Later that year Princeton tarred Katz as a racist at a mandatory presentation to freshmen.