Troubled Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley writes in The New York Times today:
As the Republican candidate for president in 2016, Donald J. Trump has accomplished many things. He engaged in rhetorical tactics unprecedented in recent American electoral history. He was straightforwardly misogynistic. He repeatedly endorsed obviously false claims. There were frequent open discussions of the intentions behind his many odd comments, retractions, semi-retractions and outright false statements.
Well, if anybody knows about vile, hateful rhetoric, it is troubled Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley. ‘Memba this, in response to a very mild speech given by an eminent Christian philosopher, in which the philosopher mentioned that homosexuality is considered to be disordered by Christian standards (something that was not a controversial claim for nearly two millennia, until about a generation ago)?:
I am really mortified about this. My comment “F*ck those assholes”, posted on a friend’s private FB page about homophobes, was *photographed*. Even *worse*, it made it into *the right-wing hateosphere*, where it is being linked and relinked. I really wish now I hadn’t said that!! I PROFOUNDLY regret not using much harsher language and saying what I really think of anyone who uses their religion to promote homophobia, you know that sickness that has led people for thousands of years to kill my fellow human beings for their sexual preferences. Like you know, pink triangles and the Holocaust. I am really, truly, embarrassed by the fact that my mild comment “F*ck those assholes” is being spread. This wildly understates my actual sentiments towards homophobic religious proponents of evil like Richard Swinburne, who use their status as professional philosophers to oppress others with less power. I am SO SORRY for using such mild language. I am posting this on “public” so that there will be no need for anyone to violate any religious code of ethics and take pictures of private FB pages to share my views about such matters.
That’s New York Times contributor and Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy Jason Stanley, everybody. Presuming to lecture the rest of us about Donald J. Trump’s reckless use of language. Mind you, a presidential candidate who gives himself over to hateful public language that reveals his lack of character is not the same thing as an Ivy League philosopher doing it. The point to be made here is that people in Jason Stanley’s class give themselves permission to speak viciously about out groups, and pay no professional price at all. How do you think traditional Christians, Muslims, or Orthodox Jews in Stanley’s classes must feel, knowing that their professor harbors such spite in his heart for people like them? How eager will they be to speak up in class to offer opinions or even to ask questions that stand to offend him? He does not teach at Podunk Community College; he teaches at the training ground of America’s elites.
More and more, it’s not about equal justice for all but rather “who, whom?”.
One of the few good things I can imagine coming out of a Trump victory will be that it will ruin the next four years for the sitting Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy.