James Livingston, Rutgers University

From May 2018 to November 2018
Rutgers University (Public college or university)
New Brunswick, NJ, United States

Identity of Speakers

  • James Livingston

    James Livingston is a tenured professor of history at Rutgers University.


Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Social media
  • Incident Political Orientation:
  • Incident Responses:
    University investigation not issuing in sanctions
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


James Livingston is a tenure history professor at Rutgers University. On May 31, 2018, Livington posted comments on Facebook that included the line, “OK, officially, I now hate white people. I am a white people, for God’s sake, but can we them—us—us out of my neighborhood?” The comments were widely shared on social media and covered by local and national news media. Members of the public complained to Rutgers, prompting an investigation by the Office of Employment Equity.

The university concluded that Livingston violated its discrimination and harassment policy. Livingston faced disciplinary action up to and including discharge. However, in August 2018 Rutgers President Robert Barchi asked administrators to reevaluate the ruling, noting that “few values are as important to the University as the protection of our First Amendment rights—even when the speech we are protecting is insensitive and reckless.” In November 2018, officials notified the professor that they had reversed the decision.