A Public Letter to Saint Joseph’s University | Defending Professor Gregory Manco
University was once a place of vigorous debate where competing ideologies and philosophies clash among the most prominent and serious-minded intellectuals determined to know the truth. Institutions of higher learning protected those visionary and controversial pioneers to break the mold, stand on their independent judgement, and proudly proclaim their bold new ideas to the world. Despite differences, there was a tacit admission that reason was efficacious, that men could know truth from falsehood, and the pursuit of truth was the noblest enterprise man could embark. Places of higher learning were founded on this principle; but no more. We are now a far cry from that visionary standard.
Recently, students of Saint Joseph’s University identified the owner of a semi-anonymous Twitter account called “South Jersey Giants” claiming he is a virulent racist and should be fired immediately. They uncovered that professor Gregory Manco was the owner of this account. I have linked photos of their complaints on Twitter made to the university.
I will not defend Manco from these accusations, as he has done so himself in the following Twitter thread. To any honest person, it’s clear they are not actually offended by what Manco said. They are using their “offense” as a battering ram to ramrod their own political agenda. They have no interest in dealing with the ideas honestly; they demand university officials enact their requests, rather than intellectually engaging the professor. They offer no case for their demands, as their emotions substitute any rational cognition. The mere existence of their offense is sufficient and to claim otherwise is “problematic.” They are quintessential “crybullies.” The only thing worse than these “crybullies” are the spineless university officials appeasing their demands.
I am calling on the Saint Joseph’s University to immediately end their investigation of professor Gregory Manco. I am also calling on the university to formally and publicly apologize to him for starting this investigation to begin with. Furthermore, they must realign their function toward the actual purpose of university to begin with: rational inquiry and freedom of expression. Capitulation to an anonymous and cowardly mob that hide behind crude Twitter avatars is moral treason against their profession. Those of us who care about freedom of speech must use their voice to condemn this cancel culture trend. Eventually, it will come for you.