Apartheid at NYU? Prof. Michael Rectenwald Is Afraid So
By Joan Brunwasser
My guest today is Michael Rectenwald, who is on the faculty of New York University in the Global Studies Program as well as being the founder and chair of CLG [Citizens for Legitimate Government]. Welcome to OpEdNews, Michael. This week, you wrote a disturbing piece called ” Apartheid at NYU “. What did you mean by that title?
MR: Well, I know that the word “apartheid” is extremely dense with signification, and I debated using it, given its usual allusions to South Africa and other regions of enforced ghettoization and oppression. But the word’s denotation is merely “separation.” I mean by the word the denotation of “separation,” but also with some of the allusion to places where segregation has taken place and been normalized.
NYU, I believe, after having spent five years here, is such a place — where a vast chasm exists within the community itself, a chasm pertaining to rights, privileges, wealth, representation and information. (The fact that we have to find out about the lavish salaries and lifestyles of our own rich and infamous in the New York Times makes clear that there is a poverty on our side of the chasm that includes a lack of information, as well as all of these other elements.)
There is a real gap between the powerful and wealthy and the rest of the community, the kind of gap one would not expect in such an educational institution. Behind the veil of secrecy, the top administration has, with the Board of Trustees’ approval, handed themselves and a few favored faculty luxury homes and vacation homes, extravagant salaries and bonuses, indulging in every kind of self-satisfaction materially and culturally, while the vast majority of the laboring professoriate live hand-to-mouth, and while students struggle to make tuition and leave university with significant debt.