Former NYU Professor and Thought Criminal Author Michael Rectenwald: The American University System Is Rotten to the Core

Former NYU Professor and Thought Criminal Author Michael Rectenwald: The American University System Is Rotten to the Core

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former NYU Professor and author of Thought Criminal and other titles, Michael Rectenwald in studio to promote his book signing and what makes him a thought criminal.

Leahy: We welcome to our microphones in studio, our very favorite thought criminal, Michael Rectenwald! Welcome, Michael.

Rectenwald: Hey, thanks for having me, Michael. It’s great to be here.

Leahy: You are a recovering academic. You actually had a problem in academia because you thought academia was about freedom of speech and freedom of thought and intellectual integrity. You were on the faculty at New York University. (Chuckles)

Rectenwald: Yes, that’s right. And then I actually used my academic freedom, which was my first big mistake.

Leahy: I know. Big mistake. They need to tell you, that once you get your PhD, no academic freedom allowed. You have a book signing today. I want to encourage everyone in our listening audience to go to this book signing.

It’s at 12:30 p.m. It’s at Elders Bookstore. Where is Elders Bookstore you might ask? It’s at 101 White Bridge Pike, right across from Tech College. 12:30 p.m.

Now if you’d like to reserve a signed copy, call 615-352-1562. Michael, you’ve written the Thought Criminal, which is a great book. And the other books.

Crom, you don’t know the names of these books, let me tell you. One is called Springtime for Snowflakes. (Laughter) The other is Google Archipelago, Beyond Woke, and Thought Criminal. What’s it like being a thought criminal Michael?

Rectenwald: It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous. And one feels as if one is being chased. And especially on the Internet, where thoughts are not very insidiously policed.

Leahy: Tell us some of your dangerous thoughts here.

Rectenwald: I have this idea that there’s actually two sexes.

Leahy: No.

Rectenwald: Yes. And I can’t believe it. I just can’t banish the thought that there are two sexes and not like 72.

Leahy: Michael, you are obviously a thought criminal.

Rectenwald: Yeah, it’s dangerous. I’m telling you, Michael.

Carmichael: Did you say or do something in particular that caused New York University to…

Rectenwald: Yes. I started a Twitter account called the AntiPCNYUProf. And I started tweeting about things like Halloween costumes and how you couldn’t wear a costume because it would trigger somebody.

The way they were throwing speakers off of campuses for having other than leftist views. They instituted a biased reporting hotline where the students could report their professors for microaggression or other offenses.

Leahy: Not only are you a thought criminal, but Michael you are also a microaggressor.

Rectenwald: I am.

Leahy: Crom, how can we have him in our studio?

Carmichael: But I’m interested about because you obviously you are a teacher. You are a professor because you cared about our youth.

Rectenwald: Absolutely.

Carmichael: If people like you are not allowed to be teachers and professors, if they’re not, how can our youth development intellectually?

Rectenwald: It’s an outrage. What we’re dealing with right now… And you get into this in your book?

Rectenwald: Yes.

Carmichael: Because this is why Michael, this book is so important.

Rectenwald: It really is. It’s not competence that’s being judged based on your confidence. You’re judged based on your identity and your politics.

That’s it. We don’t have competent professors. We have all kinds of affirmative action hires and advancements and promotions.

Carmichael: But what does it mean for the kids and the students?

Rectenwald: What it means is they’re not getting educated. I was just talking to my publisher last night and I said, you know, students don’t even know what the parts of speech are. They don’t know anything about writing or how to think.

Leahy: They haven’t been taught the basics. How to read, how to write, how to do mathematics, how to think logically.

Carmichael: That was the word for me. It sounds like that if you tried to teach a class on logic, on how to come to a conclusion, how to assimilate the information, to come to a correct conclusion, that would be politically incorrect.

Rectenwald: As a matter of fact, that could be an offense. Logic is masculinist and white supremacy.

Leahy: Of course logic is masculinity.

Carmichael: It’s just fascinating.

Leahy: And masculinity is one of the 72 genders and apparently the least favored.

Rectenwald: Oh, absolutely the least favorite. It’s at the bottom of the hierarchy. The social justice hierarchy takes the putative hierarchy and flips it upside down.

Leahy: You’ve got this book Thought Criminal. You are obviously a dangerous thought criminal. We are really going on the edge by allowing you in the studio today.

Rectenwald: Amazing.

Leahy: We are brave here Crom. We are being very brave.

Carmichael: Well, we’ve known that.

Leahy: Yeah, of course. But do you have any solutions for this general problem of lack of intellectual honesty at the university level and, of course, other elements of education in America?

Rectenwald: The American university system is rotten to the core.

Leahy: Rotten to the core.

Rectenwald: So what I suggest is competition from the outside, competing parallel structures and institutions to take them head on with competition.

Leahy: Competition and education. What an unusual idea.

Carmichael: I agree with what you’re saying. In theory, when one side has all the money and all the resources and all the power, I believe in competition but in order to have true competition, you have to have a level playing field.

If I were a football team and I got the top 30 draft picks every year, I probably could overcome bad coaching, so I could probably overcome a poor product. So my question is, how should people that gain power in government use that power?

Rectenwald: Excellent point.

Carmichael: To bring about a truly competitive environment.

Rectenwald: First of all, all state colleges and universities should be reviewed in terms of their hiring practices and other promotions so that you would have an oversight board over these colleges and universities to make sure that they’re actually hiring people on the basis of competence.

Leahy: We’re talking about state colleges and universities.

Rectenwald: State.

Leahy: You’ve worked at a private college, but have you worked at state colleges also?

Rectenwald: Yes, I did in North Carolina.

Leahy: Which one?

Rectenwald: It was called North Carolina Central University.

Leahy: Was there a different experience working at a public college versus a private?

Rectenwald: Well, yeah, the public one was underfunded and basically corrupt. The private one was overfunded and corrupt.

Leahy: Oh so the choice then is, underfunded and corrupt versus overfunded and corrupt. Which is more dangerous?

Rectenwald: The overfunded and corrupt.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Dr. Michael Rectenwald” by Dr. Michael Rectenwald.

Lincoln Fellow David Reaboi Analyzes the Marxist Hijacking of the American Education System

Lincoln Fellow David Reaboi Analyzes the Marxist Hijacking of the American Education System


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed national security expert and Lincoln Fellow of the Claremont Institute David Reaboi to the newsmakers line to discuss the origins of critical race theory and the hijacking of the American education system.

Leahy: We are joined by our friend Dave Reaboi, who is a very interesting Renaissance-type man. He’s a fellow at the Claremont Institute, a bodybuilder, a jazz enthusiast, and an original thinker. Dave, thanks so much for joining us today.

Reaboi: Great to be here. I appreciate that.

Leahy: So you live in Miami, Florida?

Reaboi: I do. In Miami Beach.

Leahy: Well, it’s a great place. I noticed that you had a tweet. (Chuckles) I just have to talk about this. You said I’ll take Ron DeSantis over former Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels any day. Tell us what you mean by that.

Reaboi: To be honest with you, I don’t have really much of anything against Mitch Daniels. I mean, true, it’s been a long time since he was relevant, but I think that’s the point. The point is that it’s a little weird for people to be fetishizing sort of long-departed Republican governors when you have someone like Ron DeSantis here.

Leahy: Yeah, I agree with that. DeSantis has been a leader in pushing back against the forced instruction of the destructive critical race theory. In fact, I think that under his influence, the Florida Board of Education has voted to ban its teaching down in Florida. Have you followed that issue, David? And what are your thoughts on it?

Reaboi: Yeah. I’ve been following this for many, many years, actually, decades, because this is not something new. Critical race theory is the racial component of critical theory, which comes out of the Frankfurt School in Germany in the early part of the century and then was sort of imported here before the Second World War.

And it sort of established itself around the New School in New York City. And these guys wouldn’t understand themselves. They were cultural Marxists. And they were trying to figure out a problem which is that, how do we apply the idea of class warfare to different subjects?

How do we make Marxism more palatable to more types of people? And one of the things that they came up with was a critical theory, which is using everything but economics in a kind of Marxist argument to tear apart a non-Communist society.

Leahy: I think that’s quite right. And you said something important. Crom Carmichael wants to ask you a question about this.

Carmichael: That’s a very interesting point that you’re making that they’re not trying to push Marxism on economic grounds because that’s already proven to fail. Now they’re pushing Marxism according to you, and that really makes sense, on a cultural ground to try to divide sexes against each other, races against each other, and in some cases, just the idea of truth against fiction.

For example, in all this stuff, now where you’re not allowed to use pronouns, gender-specific pronouns. They’re actually just trying to attack the truth in the name of their higher-order of Marxism. Would that be accurate?

Reaboi: Yeah. You could say that. You could say also in regards to the pronouns, I would say that they’re trying to pick fights. What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to pick fights sort of everywhere and even on the smallest tiniest thing. (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: They’re picking fights, dividing us, and that’s their intentional strategy to dominate. Would you agree with that?

Reaboi: Yes. And so you have this critical theory on one hand and critical race theory which is an academic pursuit. A very niche academic pursuit. And what happens then is it kind of married the social media explosion.

So you had very fringe ideas that were only really known on college campuses and places like Berkeley or San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin. Places like that. And then social media-enabled these ideas to spread everywhere.

So that’s really what happened. Plus, you want to add the other ingredients, which is the fact that the millennial generation has a very specific set of characteristics. They are very judgmental and self-righteous, sort of as a group, as a group characteristic. And then what you get from all of that is sort of a horrible stew is Cultural Revolution two point zero?

Leahy: Let me follow up on that. That very insightful. I think many people perceive that as well. You’ve articulated very well at your website, I want to follow up with this.

In Florida, DeSantis has banned the teaching of critical race theory. There’s a law that was passed here in Tennessee that would ban the teaching of the tenants of critical race theory.

And yet, Dave, we see many teachers in the unions that are saying, I don’t care what the law is. I’m going to teach critical race theory. Come and get me. What do you make of that?

Reaboi: Well, long ago the American education establishment went Communist. For a long time, the most important figure in the world of education theory was  Bill Ayers the former Weather Underground terrorist.

And today he’s in Chicago. And he is known across America and the world as one of the great figures in education. So it’s not a surprise. My personal opinion is that most of the time and, of course, there are exceptions, but teachers contribute massively to the problems in America. I wish there were 90 percent fewer teachers or more because we’d be better off.

Leahy: I think that’s a very good point and a point for further discussions next time you come on. Crom has a brief question for you.

Carmichael: In Florida, how effective is DeSantis in fighting critical race theory?

Reaboi: So, I mean, the laws are going to be, as you said, the teachers are crazy. The teachers are going to dissent and push this very hard. But the primary advantage of this critical race theory bill and all the things that DeSantis is doing on this issue is it’s lighting this up for parents. Parents are finally going, what are my kids learning? And they’re looking into this all around the country. And Florida on a grassroots level.

Carmichael: Can parents in Florida sue a teacher who is violating the law?

Reaboi: That’s a good question. I don’t have the answer to that.

Carmichael: That way if they could, that’ll stop it. (Chuckles)

Leahy: That would be one way to go. Hey, Dave Reaboi, on the web at Thanks so much for joining us again.

Carmicheal: Great call. A great interview.

Reaboi: Thank you.

Leahy: Crom, now there’s an independent thinker. We like Dave.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “David Reaboi” by David Reaboi.