Students protest professor's 'satirical' blog on sexual assault

Brooklyn College Associate Professor Mitchell Langbert wrote a blog post condemning Democrats after the Kavanaugh hearings.

"If someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex," he wrote. "In the future, having committed sexual assault in high school ought to be a prerequisite for all appointments, judicial and political."

His words, which he later claimed were satire, sparked a firestorm on campus and beyond, as the national debate over sexual assault and the Kavanaugh confirmation wages on.

"It's incredibly hurtful and makes me feel unsafe to have someone like this on campus," said Corrine Greene, a student and the president of the Young Progressives of America. 

"I could not believe that a professor would espouse these views advocating and encouraging sexual violence," Carlos Jesus Calzadilla-Paladio, a student and YPA founder, said.

Greene and Calzadilla-Palacio helped organize a large demonstration on campus Thursday, calling on Brooklyn College administrators to fire Langbert.

But Langbert, who teaches in the business department, isn't backing down.

"I said it as a satire to deliberately provoke the response that I'm getting from people who aim to suppress conservatives," he told Fox 5.

He doesn't regret writing the post.

"I'm glad I provoked them," he said of students and faculty members who have been angered. "I'm sorry though that I may have hurt some people's feelings or anything along those lines, I certainly don't have any interest in people harming each other."

Students are not accepting his apology.

"Clearly his prerogative here is to fan the flames and play victim," Greene said.

Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson wrote a letter to the campus community.

"I find his words repugnant to our values as an institution of higher education. His remarks contravene our commitments to diversity, equality, and intellectual respect," Anderson wrote. "Students have expressed deep concerns about the faculty member's statements and position at the college. We take these concerns seriously."

Earlier in the week, the college's provost said in a statement: "view the post as offensive, obviously abhorrent, and contravening the fundamental values and practices of our community. However, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects even speech that many experience as offensive, such as the faculty member's post."

Student advocates said they won't rest until Langbert is let go.

"This is not an issue of freedom of speech issue, not an issue of satire, this is an issue of advocating for violence and creating an unsafe atmosphere for students on campus," Calzadilla-Palacio said.

He said students plan to file Title IX alleging Langbert's words violate campus policy. 

President Anderson said administrators will hold a "speak out" event on the controversy next week.

Langbert told Fox 5 that he has consulted a lawyer and plans to be back on campus Sunday to teach his course.