Five cancelled professors speak out about facing the online mob and where they are today

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The New York Post recently spoke with five professors who’ve faced at least one, if not two or more, attempted cancellations during their career. Some of the professors survived cancellations. Others did not.

Peter Boghossian

Peter Boghossian, one of the founding members of the University of Austin, suffered multiple cancellation attempts during his tenure at Portland State University in Oregon, one of the country’s most left-wing states.

It started as early as 2012 when he began pushing back on the growing campus culture of identity politics and intolerance by inviting ideologically diverse speakers to speak on campus.

“Digital vigilantes infiltrated his social media accounts, calling him a ‘bigot’ and a ‘Nazi’ and contacting old friends in search of dirt. By 2016, an allegation from a former student triggered a Title IX investigation into whether Boghossian beat his wife and children, and he was horrified to learn that the university interviewed ‘witnesses’ about the claims,” according to the Post.

Portland State eventually found the charges to be baseless, so Boghossian survived this first round. But then came round two.

“In 2017, he took his fight off-campus, teaming up with two other academics to produce satirical hoax papers about race, gender and fat theory and submit them to academic journals to ‘expose the corruption in scholarly literature.’ The team had seven papers accepted,” the Post notes.

After the hoax went viral, the left-wing hatred commenced.

“Portland State’s school newspaper slammed Boghossian with a hit piece, signed by an anonymous collective. Swastikas were found scrawled next to his name in his department’s bathroom. A bag of feces was left at his office door. Meanwhile, the university charged him with three counts of research misconduct for submitting hoax papers, including a citation for plagiarizing Hitler’s work,” according to the Post.

Boghossian ultimately survived this second round and decided to voluntarily leave the university last year to join the University of Austin.

Sue Bergin

After a 28-year stint at Brigham Young University, a Mormon school, Sue Bergin was fired without explanation this year reportedly because of her tolerance toward the LGBT community.

“[A]s a Mormon with two gay brothers, Bergin wore a rainbow flag pin in solidarity with her family, and added her name to a list of ‘affirming faculty members’ compiled by an LGBTQ student organization not officially recognized by the school,” according to the Post.

“When asked, she said she shared her stance on gay marriage, but made sure to say she ‘respectfully disagrees’ with the church’s position. ‘I was always careful to tell my students this is my personal opinion and that they should come to their own conclusions,’ she said.”

The problem is that the Mormon Church is staunchly against same-sex relations.

“This semester, Bergin, 64, was slated for a promotion at the business school’s writing center. Although she secured approval from her supervisor, department chair, dean, and bishop, she said a December call from her supervisor left her unemployed without warning after a higher-up at the school reportedly disapproved of her appointment,” according to the Post.

Bergin is confident she was ousted because of her LGBT views.

“There’s no other reason I can possibly think of,” she told the Post.

J. Angelo Corlett

Longtime San Diego State University philosophy professor J. Angelo Corlett has been barred from teaching any of his courses ever since the school received complaints this past March that he’d verbalized some slurs during a lecture about offensive language.

The Post notes that he said the words to emphasize a key point of his curriculum, which is that “racist language requires racist intent on the part of the speaker.”

“It’s a very simple point, but not everybody seems to want to accept the linguistic science of it. Apparently they think just the mere appearance or saying of racial epithets makes me racist,” he told the Post.

Indeed they do. Thanks to student complaints, he’s no longer allowed to teach his courses on racism and critical thinking. Worse, he’s reportedly been denied due process, which is to say he hasn’t had a chance to refute the allegations against him.

Moreover, the school’s student government has demanded he be fired. The good news is that many of his fellow professors think otherwise.

“[O]ver 150 professors have signed an open letter to the university, urging it to reinstate Corlett into his courses, stating: ‘We worry that failure to [reinstate Dr. Corlett] will have a prolonged chilling effect on faculty expression and send the signal to your faculty that they teach difficult and controversial material at their own risk,'” according to the Post.

Sophia Nelson

Although Sophia Nelson is a black woman, to the “woke” she’s the wrong type of black woman, namely the Christian type.

The former quickly rising Christopher Newport University professor and scholar-in-residence became the target of cancel culture after she dared to criticize DC Comics’ decision last year to make Superman’s son bisexual.

“I don’t get why this is necessary. I don’t! What if Christian parents of children reading comic books don’t want their kids exposed to bi-sexual characters? This is being pushed on kids,” she tweeted.

The tweet triggered massive outrage.

“A fellow professor, who is bisexual herself, e-mailed the university president and fellow faculty members to complain about Nelson, alleging that her Christian faith was a cover for her homophobia. After that, students and faculty rallied against her, smearing her on social media, organizing protests and circulating a petition for her termination with around 500 signatures,” according to the Post.

“They called me a racist and a homophobe. But my whole life as a black woman has been a journey towards helping to create more diverse environments. It’s very hard to have people defame you,” Nelson told the Post.

She tried afterward to make amends for her supposed offense, but her efforts ultimately failed and the university dropped her.

Dorian Abbot

Last but not least, University of Chicago geophysicist professor Dorian Abbot made the mistake of believing in merit, not racial quotas and affirmative action.

“Abbot was thrilled when MIT invited him to deliver their prestigious annual John Carlson Lecture last September. Although he planned to speak about planets orbiting stars, it was ultimately his views on affirmative action that prompted MIT to call off the event,” according to the Post.

It turns out that a month earlier he’d penned a joint column for Newsweek in which he’d stuck up for merit and warned that the “diversity, equity and inclusion” dogma of the left is illiberal.

When students learned of the op-ed following his invitation to MIT, all hell broke loose.

“[P]ressure to cancel the lecture exploded on social media, and within a week MIT had caved to the mob. Abbot, 40, said he received a call from MIT’s department chair, Robert van der Hilst, to tell him the lecture had been called off, citing his article as the reason,” according to the Post.

“The goal was to silence me, to force me to retract my views, and to intimidate everyone else from sharing any views like that. Just because you disagree with me doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be able to participate in science,” Abbot said to the Post.


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Vivek Saxena


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