20:47 GMT29 October 2020
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    Last June, James Livingston, a history professor at Rutgers University, has been at the epicentre of a racism scandal, as on his social media accounts he wrote that he hates white people. The university punished Professor Livingston for violating the institution's discrimination and harassment policy.

    After an investigation into the Rutgers University professor's social media posts was concluded, the university decided to revoke its earlier imposed sanctions, despite the Rutgers Office of Employment Equity (OEE) had previously confirmed that there were "numerous complaints about the purported racist content of the posts" made by Livingston.

    Calling his posts "satirical" criticism, Livingston commented on the Rutgers administration's decision, expressing his satisfaction by saying "I'm relieved that my right to free speech and my academic freedom have been validated by this retraction."

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    During the investigation process, Livingston was represented by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a civil liberties advocacy group. After reversing Rutgers' initial decision, Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, an official representative of FIRE, issued a statement.

    "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," she said.

    In late May, James Livingston wrote on his Facebook page and on Twitter that he "officially hates white people" after visiting a local café where he met people whom he described as "little Caucasian a**holes who know their parents will approve of anything they do."

    After describing everything he had to endure at the café, Livingston concluded, that he would "resign from" his race.

    James Livingston was not the first among Rutgers University employees to be disciplined after being embroiled in a discrimination-related scandal. In 2017, another professor was punished for "several aggressively anti-Semitic social media posts," according to the website Campus Reform.

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    Official representatives of Rutgers University declined to comment Livingston's excuse, saying that they do "not comment on specific personnel matters."

    investigation, racism, Rutgers University, James Livingston
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