The Negy case is a particularly egregious example of cancel culture that is purging academia and imposing uniformity of opinion. The Legal Insurrection Foundation and Judicial Watch have filed a public records request and retained Florida counsel for possible records access litigation.
Charles Negy is the University of Central Florida professor who found himself in the crosshairs of online and street mobs demanding his termination after early June 2020 tweets disputing the concept of “systemic racism” and asserting that “black privilege is real.”
Negy became something of a poster child for cancel culture in the age of BLM, with the president of UCF participating in protests, an organized email and petition campaign, physical protests at his home, and an alleged administrative enouragement of complaints that now form the basis for an intense investigation of him. Because Negy has academic freedom and tenure, the UCF administration appears to be seeking grounds to argue he committed misconduct in the teaching of his classes.
We covered Negy’s saga on August 16, 2020, The administrative torment of UCF Prof. Charles Negy:
I had heard of Charles Negy, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). What I heard seemed like a particularly egregious example of cancel culture that is purging academia and imposing uniformity of opinion, particularly with regard to the Black Lives Matter movement. Having looked into it more, it’s worse than I realized.
Negy’s alleged crime that sparked the controversy was two tweets questioning the orthodoxy of systemic racism and white privilege.
One tweet, which no longer is available,said:
“If Afr. Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?”
A second tweet, also no longer available, said:
“Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they’re missing out on much needed feedback.”
Rather than debate the merits or lack of merits in his opinions, a particularly aggressive attempt to get Negy fired ensued.
In that post, we detail what is public about the efforts to attack and fire Negy. Read it for more background.
But the public record usually is just a small slice of what is happening. So Legal Insurrection Foundation has teamed up with Judicial Watch to obtain documents from UCF pursuant to Florida’s relatively broad public records laws. We have jointly retained one of the premier Florida law firms on public records access, including as to future litigation should that prove necessary.
We are grateful to have Judicial Watch involved in this effort, with its vast experience on public records (e.g. FOIA) investigation and litigation. You may recall that Judicial Watch helped us with litigation against the D.C. Attorney General regarding the failure to charge David Gregory with gun law violations, and the investigation of the cancellation of a conference in Israel by the Virginia State Bar.
“Freedom of speech is under attack at the very institutions that should be encouraging it,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Intellectual discourse on college campuses has now been replaced by angry mobs trying to silence and end the careers of professors who present nuanced views.”
We have received an initial batch of redacted documents pursuant to our request, and it already is enlightening as to the swarm of complaints that flowed into UCF from alumni, students, other faculty and administrators, and the general public. But we have only started our review, and most of the categories of documents requested remain to be produced.
The scourge of cancel culture won’t be cured in a matter of days, weeks, or even months. But sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we are committed to shining a light on the Negy case and other cases as well. It is the direction you will see a lot more of from the Legal Insurrection Foundation moving forward.DONATE
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