Rutgers professor taken for psych evaluation after “threatening” anti-Trump tweets
On Tuesday evening, Kevin Allred, a lecturer on gender studies at Rutgers University, was reportedly taken by NYPD officers to the Bellevue Hospital psych ward after criticizing president-elect Donald Trump on Twitter and in his lectures. The Rutgers lecturer was taken for psychological evaluation upon the university’s request, when a student reported Allred for making comments they alleged physically threatened Trump supporters and white people.
In one tweet in question, Allred wrote the day after Trump’s victory: “If I see any Trump bumper stickers on the road today, my brakes will go out and I’ll run you off the road.” Additionally, in class, Allred posed the question of whether or not conservatives would care as much about the Second Amendment if gun violence killed more white people, The New York Daily News reports.
As The Daily News points out, statistics reveal 82 percent of black gun deaths are homicides, where 77 percent of white gun deaths are suicides. Especially due to the heightened relevance of gun control issues after Trump campaigned, with strong conservative support for eliminating gun-free zones and suggested that gun control could make former rival for the presidency Hillary Clinton vulnerable to assassination attempts, the question was worth posing.
Allred suggested that the involvement of NYPD police was indicative of the effect Trump’s election was already having on free speech rights. Trump has previously run into criticism for attempting to suppress the press at his rallies to silence criticism of him.
Additionally, he tweeted about how his treatment highlighted a double standard in the application of free speech rights, tilted to force women and people of color to accept threats and harassment, and favor the sensitivity of white people. “GOD, white people’s feelings are so fragile. (We all know this and everyone’s been saying it for decades, but jesus…),” he wrote. As Allred points out in a Thursday morning tweet, white supremacy and gendered threats are often enabled on social media on the basis of First Amendment rights, but for his exasperated criticisms of Trump and white Trump supporters, Allred had to be psychologically evaluated.
Despite Allred’s suggestion that his experiences directly relate to a Trump presidency’s war on free speech, the NYPD has affirmed that it only came to Allred’s apartment, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the psych ward, upon Rutgers University’s request. Campus police in New Brunswick, New Jersey, asked the NYPD to conduct “a wellness check … on the professor based on comments he made in the classroom and on Twitter about killing white people,” according to the NYPD.
“The Rutgers University Police Department … took all appropriate action,” Rutgers spokesman Jeffrey Tolvin said in a statement. “We have no further comment.”
Allred claims he spent just two hours at the ward, where doctors unanimously agreed he had no psychological issues. “The doctors were like, ‘This is ridiculous, why did they bring you here?’” Allred recalled to The Daily News. “And I said, ‘That’s what I thought, but they told me they had to do it.’”
Allred, who teaches a course entitled “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé,” has fortunately managed to have a sense of humor about things, taking to Twitter to highlight the bizarre nature of his experiences with jokes, but has stopped talking to the press.
In a series of tweets, Allred argued that Trump was the one who needed to be evaluated for psychological issues, and argued that “pathological narcissism” was a “best case scenario” for the president-elect. I would leave diagnoses to professionals, but if you look up the signs, Allred may be on to something.
At any rate, if being critical of Trump and white nationalism is a symptom of psychological issues as Rutgers’ police seem to believe, maybe we all need to get checked out.