By Zainab Iqbal
Published: October 10th, 2018
Hundreds of students and faculty rallied last Thursday, Oct. 4 to get Professor Mitchell Langbert fired from Brooklyn College following his statements on his blog post.
“If someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex,” the Associate Professor of Business Management posted on Sept. 27.
A while after the post went viral, Langbert said it was meant to be satire. In fact, he updated his original post to include statements saying it was indeed satire. But students and faculty were not amused.
“We unequivocally condemn Mr. Langbert’s sexism, glorification, and promotion of sexual assault, and his calls for violence- as well as all legitimate threats of violence from any member of the campus community,” a statement by the Young Progressives of America (YPA) read. “Professor Langbert’s statements must be taken as a credible threat to the safety, security, and rights of the campus community, and be acted on swiftly.”
YPA, one of the organizations that hosted the massive protest, listed some demands. Here’s what the demands include: Full public investigation of Langbert’s conduct during his tenure and termination of Langbert, in accordance with evidence from the investigation; a public statement from the college president and business department condemning his message; a mandatory, in-person, anti-sexual assault and sensitivity training for all Brooklyn College faculty and administrators; the opportunity for all students currently enrolled in his courses to drop or swap without academic or financial penalty; and a campus forum, facilitated by college president Michelle Anderson, to address the threat of sexual assault and violence on campus, and to respond to and review disciplinary policies for employee misconduct.
Shortly after the protest, Anderson (who attended the rally), released a statement without mentioning Langbert’s name.
“I find his words repugnant to our values as an institution of higher education,” she said. “His remarks contravene our commitments to diversity, equality, and intellectual respect.”
The Classics department at Brooklyn College also released a statement signed by many Classics professors, saying, “Brooklyn College faculty and staff need to step up as leaders who refuse to tolerate a culture of victim-blaming and shame.”
Langbert is getting himself a lawyer because “there are several First Amendment and contractual issues,” he told the Excelsior.
He also said he has been receiving threats of sexual assault by students on campus.
“It is ironic that a movement that claims to oppose assault has members that threaten me with assault. I wrote the blog as a satire,” he said. “There is no evidence that refutes my claim that the allegations about Kavanaugh are lies. I find the blog funny, and I still laugh when I read it. I’m sorry the humorless left wing is intolerant of alternative views, and I’m sorry that Democratic Party students are intolerant of those who do not agree with them.”