Home / General / Glenn Reynolds (a Professor of Law) suggests his Twitter followers “run down” Charlotte protestors

Glenn Reynolds (a Professor of Law) suggests his Twitter followers “run down” Charlotte protestors



Gets his account suspended.

Glenn Reynolds, a conservative USA Today columnist and University of Tennessee law professor, was suspended from Twitter on Wednesday for urging drivers to hit protesters blocking a highway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Reynolds tweeted a link to a live video stream of demonstrators stopping traffic on I-277 during the chaotic second day of protests over the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. His comment read “Run them down.”

Twitter suspended his account shortly after the tweet went up and outraged commenters accused Reynolds, who also runs the Instapundit website, of inciting violence. Several users preserved screenshots of the tweet.

Wednesday’s protest began as a prayer vigil in downtown Charlotte but became more volatile later in the evening, with one protester hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound and camera crews getting knocked down during live shots. Police fired tear gas and flash grenades at protesters in the city’s downtown.

Murdering protesters is, strictly speaking, illegal, but Reynolds has a history of taking a creative approach toward extra-legal killings of people he doesn’t like.

It might (or might not) be worth mentioning that in addition to being a tenured professor at a flagship state university Reynolds is a columnist for USA TODAY, so this isn’t nutpicking in the classical sense of the term, although it’s getting really hard to keep my internet categories straight these days.

….(djw) Reynolds responds. For those who’d rather not click through, he goes on for a bit about a moral distinction between peaceful protests and rioting (a distinction one can appreciate, it seems to me, without calling for immediate vigilante execution of either group) before explaining that he was making point about traffic safety or something. In a world drowning in Frankfurtian bullshit, this:

“Run them down” perhaps didn’t capture this fully

PC continuing: To be fair to Reynolds, I’m going to quote his response to all this:

[B]locking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.

“Run them down” perhaps didn’t capture this fully, but it’s Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance.

Meanwhile, regarding Twitter: I don’t even know that this is why I was suspended, as I’ve heard nothing from Twitter at all. They tell users and investors that they don’t censor, but they seem awfully quick to suspend people on one side of the debate and, as people over at Twitchy note, awfully tolerant of outright threats on the other.

Twitter can do without me, as I can certainly do without Twitter.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Erik Wemple of the Washington Post emails that “Keep driving” would have been a better formulation of what I was trying to say. It would have been, and in only two words instead of three. But I’ve had over 580,000 tweets, and they can’t all be perfect.

No further comment necessary plus it’s too early to start drinking.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE [SL]: Since the beginning of time, Glenn Reynolds has yearned to kill his political enemies.

[PC] . . . and just for the record, how’s this for pure hypocritical self-delusion? (Really needs to be read in conjunction with the link Scott posted just above).

ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC: Rhode Island prof demands NRA chief’s “head on a stick” — Then declares himself a Twitter martyr because people quoted what he said. Then he softened his stance to say that imprisonment for life would be enough. All for the crime of political disagreement.

The anti-NRA syllogism seems to work this way: (1) Something bad happened; (2) I hate you; so (3) It’s your fault. This sort of reasoning has played out in all sorts of places over the past century, with poor results. One would expect a history professor to know better.

h/t Warren Terra

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  • so-in-so

    Maybe Prof Reynolds needs to be very careful crossing streets in the future. Sauce for the goose and all.

    • Dilan Esper

      In many ways the lack of an apology is way worse than the original sin here.

      Human beings say stupid things sometimes. But once this was pointed out, if Reynolds had just said “I apologize, I let my anger at the protesters get the best of me. Of course nobody should run protesters over. Peaceful protesters should be allowed to protest and any violations of the law should be handled by law enforcement.” this all goes away quickly.

      Instead he starts making stupid legalistic arguments and makes it much worse.

      • BruceJ

        Because he’s not sorry.

        He really DOES want to drive his SUV (and you just KNOW he drives the biggest goddam SUV he can buy to burn as much gas as possible to piss off the dirty fucking hippies) through the crowd scattering “those thugs” like so many tenpins.

        He’s just sorry the mask covering his true sociopathic self slipped in public…

        • BartletForGallifrey

          Mask, sheet, whatever.

  • SP

    Goddamn 5th rate Ann Coulter- he hit his peak around 2003 with the “warbloggers” so he has to ratchet up the outrage to keep those sweet page views from cratering.

    • CrunchyFrog

      I’m so old I can remember when he was still posing as a libertarian independent thinker. Some of us back then realized that he was just doing a Bill O’Reilly – offering a few token non-GOP positions that really didn’t matter or commit himself to anything – to try to position himself as non-partisan.

      These days he doesn’t really try to hide his pro-GOP advocacy, even if he wouldn’t call it that.

      • CP

        I’m so old I can remember when he was still posing as a libertarian independent thinker.

        Conservatives all around love to do this. “I’m not a Republican, I’m not a conservative, I’m not really into politics, I’m just a regular guy who votes for whoever’s talking common sense.” That’s just the higher-up, intellectual-wannabe version of same, I guess.

        • los

          From only very infrequent readings of Reynolds, he impresses the reader
          1. as one the blood-thirstier RW ‘intellectuals’. In the Nazi era, (((Glenn Reynolds))) would have been top apparat in (((Goebbels’s))) Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, and would have spent off-duty time palling around with (((Mengele))), “wahhhh, I wanted to do that!”
          (((Glenn Reynolds))) in (((Pol Pot)))’s Kmher Rouge, “not enough heads!”

          2. as driven by smug authoritarian emotions.

          • JL

            Er, what’s with putting the “Jewish” echo parens around the names of Nazis and racists and other sorts who might use the parens on others?

            • los

              use the parens on others
              Put their pink armbands on their altcuck messiahs.

      • cpinva

        “These days he doesn’t really try to hide his pro-GOP advocacy, even if he wouldn’t call it that.”

        what he’d call it is irrelevant, it’s how others perceive it that matters. that Mr. Reynolds is both an attorney and a prof. of law, is simply another stick pulled from the foundation of my law/lawyer mythology; that lawyers are all, beneath their surface, honorable people dedicated to upholding the law. damn I was young and stupid! makes me start to think that not going to law school maybe wasn’t such a great loss after all.

        • petesh

          Krugman’s tweet was perfect:

          The economic anxiety of law professors

          • witlesschum

            I guess I’ll get in trouble if I don’t make clear that’s only a rhetorical kill shot.

  • CP

    “I was only KIDDING, can’t you politically correct liberal elitists take a JOKE!” non-apology apology in 3… 2…

    • Cassiodorus

      He’s already made a statement. He doubles down on the tweet, saying it was really a cautionary tale about the dangers of blocking traffic.

      • Nobdy

        Has he advocated that black men avoid and flee from the police?

        Because recent history has shown that for black men standing near armed police officers, even if your hands are in the air and you aren’t saying or doing anything threatening, is much more dangerous than blocking traffic.

        If he’s concerned for their safety you’d think it would be “avoid cops” first, “don’t block traffic” second.

    • cpinva

      “I was only KIDDING, can’t you politically correct liberal elitists take a JOKE!” non-apology apology in 3… 2…”

      you have to admit though, conservadicks all have a great sense of humor. or not. it’s so deep though, that us liberals/progressives just aren’t sharp enough to catch it.

      • so-in-so

        Deep, as in buried at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft?

        Slightly below the “bar” that determines their fitness for RW political commentary?

    • Docrailgun

      Like the Penny Arcade Dickwolves scandal?

  • Phil D.

    So on a scale of 1 to “Heads on pikes,” how likely is this to put his tenure at risk?

    HAHAHAH kidding, I know IOKIYAR.

    • Nobdy

      He’s only urging the murder of African Americans, not doing something against the wishes of a dean or a powerful state politician, so I don’t see why this SHOULD implicate his tenure.

      • Warren Terra

        More than that, he’s only ordering the murder of African Americans who aren’t obeying police orders. I don’t know about Reynolds specifically, but a whole lot of his friends think this is a circumstance under which murder is an appropriate response.

        • cpinva

          “More than that, he’s only ordering the murder of African Americans who aren’t obeying police orders. I don’t know about Reynolds specifically, but a whole lot of his friends think this is a circumstance under which murder is an appropriate response.”

          clearly a capital offense. I don’t see why anyone’s even saying anything about this, it’s so obvious. if those were white people in the street, that would be a whole other matter……………

          • Caepan

            After all, if it was white people blocking highway traffic, the first thing they’d assume is that their favorite sports team won the big match, so nothing to see here move along.

    • Regardless of the politics, it is interesting to ask whether this is something he could legitimately (under academic freedom, esp as interpreted by the AAUP) be sanctioned or have his tenure revoked for this.

      Looking at his (pretty active) research, while his home page mentions his popular work, I don’t see that his blogging or tweeting is related to his university work more than his composing and band managing is. So it’s extra-mural. To even have a case, I think that the tweet would need to rise to colorably illegal (e.g., actual incitement). Otherwise, it’s just a person who’s kinda nasty in their extra-mural activities.

      It’s clearly much worse than Erik’s tweet as the violent interpretation of Erik’s tweet requires ignoring 1) the fact that it’s an idiom and 2) c’mon, god damn it, it’s a fucking idiom already!

      Reynold’s statement is direct wishing of immediately possible violence.

      I think it might be reasonable to think the tweet was intended to incite and that the effect would be imminent and lawless. But it’s nowhere near a slam dunk. It sounds more like idle shit people say.

      So i don’t think it *should* threaten his tenure. If I were the chair of his dept, I might chat with him about it (carefully). In a personal capacity, I would be less careful.

      • Nobdy

        I also don’t think it should threaten his tenure, but I think it’s useful as a comparison point against others who have had their tenure threatened or faced other consequences for much less egregious behavior e.g. Salaita.

        • Yep! It’s clearly worse than anything Salaita tweeted or Erik’s tweet. By a lot.

          • Incontinentia Buttocks

            Absolutely. But unless Reynolds’s tweet was illegal (I’ll admit that I don’t know the law of incitement), I don’t think this is remotely grounds for revocation of tenure. Tenure also protects one against firing on the basis of extramural political speech.

            • Scott Lemieux


              • brewmn

                What would the university’s options be if a large percentage of students started refusing to take his classes?

                • Ruviana

                  Don’t know how staffing is done at law schools but if that pattern became pronounced he might be asked/encouraged to teach a required course.

                • Required course as Ruviana said. Admin work.

                  If students boycott the required course then that’s a big deal. Hard to imagine it would be sustained for any long period.

                  It’s hard to imagine that at a big state school he would be fully boycotted.

            • Patick Spens

              One of the tests incitement has to pass is “Is this speech likely to incite immanent lawless action.” So unless those drivers were checking their twitter at the time, it absolutely is not.

              • Why are you assuming they aren’t checking their twitter?

                • Patick Spens

                  Because I’m not a complete lunatic?

                • This is a very nice discussion which includes this striking example:

                  The Court also failed to find the Brandenburg test satisfied in NAACP v Clairborne Hardware (1982). The Court found First Amendment protection for the NAACP’s practice of writing down names of blacks who violated a boycott of certain white businesses, and then reading them aloud at NAACP meetings. The Court also found constitutional protection for the statement, “If we catch any of you going in any of them racist stores, we’re going to break your damn neck.” The Court said the statement fell short of a direct threat or ratification of violence.

                  Some of those drivers might have been checking twitter and were following or would have seen Reynolds’ tweet. So again it’s not impossible.

                  But is this possibility enough for Reynolds to know that his advice would be followed? That seems like a stretch. I mean, yelling at the TV “run them down” in the faculty lounge could be part of a causal chain that led someone to run someone down, but it wouldn’t, afaict, be incitement. So, it would have to be something like Reynolds reasonably believed that some drivers were watching his feed and would be induced to act. That’s more likely than the being overheard scenario, but it’s nowhere near even mildly likely.

                  Of course, (and again), a university needn’t be as stringent, but then you run a risk of less powerful people than Reynolds being disciplined for unjustifiable reasons.

                • This case suggests that some courts might be more aggressive:

                  Defendant posted messages on Twitter such that persons searching for Perrette‟s name could find his tweets. Also, by using a hashtag for the show (“#NCIS”) and the location (“#Cahuenga”), third parties searching on Twitter would also come across defendant‟s tweets. Several of the tweets were made in response to persons who had read defendant‟s tweets, and other tweets had been retweeted by third parties, indicating to defendant that third parties were accessing the information he posted and his tweets were being disseminated. The tweets leading up to the ones posted on July 4 and July 8, 2012, falsely indicated that defendant had a restraining order against Perrette and that she was stalking him and making death threats against him. The July 4 and July 8, 2012 tweets referenced the area of Cahuenga where Perrette lived. These tweets also referred to Perrette as defendant‟s “stalker,” and requested that readers “call LAPD!!!” and “report her to LAPD immediately!” if they saw her following him in the area. It can be inferred defendant knew that persons who encountered Perrette after reading his tweets could have been motivated to report her to the police for what they believed was her stalking him, or to otherwise harass her. (See Pen. Code, § 653.2, subd. (c)(1) [defining “harassment” as “conduct directed at a specific person that a reasonable person would consider as seriously alarming, seriously annoying, seriously tormenting, or seriously terrorizing the person”].) Given the nature of Twitter and the provocative contents of defendant‟s tweets, a reasonable trier of fact could conclude defendant posted his tweets with the specific intent to incite or produce unwanted physical contact, injury, or harassment at the hands of a third party.

                  I’m guessing that the unambiguously specific nature and the fact that the clear audience were people who might act (and that the window of action is indefinite) has something to do with it.

                  It does show some of the problems with false accusations of stalking (cough).

                • The Dark God of Time

                  I think you sometimes value the process more that what the process was suppose to promote and protect.

                • Of course, (and again), a university needn’t be as stringent, but then you run a risk of less powerful people than Reynolds being disciplined for unjustifiable reasons.

                  Oops! Of course UT is a state school so they have 1st amendment constraints which might make it trickier for them to use a lesser standard.

                • I think you sometimes value the process more that what the process was suppose to promote and protect.

                  I try not to but it’s possible.

                  I’m mostly arguing what current interpretations of academic freedom actually say. As I mentioned elsewhere, these are challengeable but devising a better regime is hard.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  If they’re checking Twitter while they’re driving, I don’t think that particular tweet is the reason they hit someone.

              • The Dark God of Time

                Citation omitted.

              • “Is this speech likely to incite immanent lawless action.”

                So Atrios is behind it?

      • DrDick

        I disagree, as this is incitement to murder by a professor of constitutional law with an endowed chair. This calls into question his fitness for the position, much like if I, as an anthropologist, started advocating for white supremacy.

        • Kookiness in extramural activities does not, itself, call your fitness into question. You would need some evidence that the kooky views actually showed up inappropriately in his research or scholarship. This is clearly political activity and enjoys the most latitude.

          Academic freedom protects evil people :(

          • witlesschum

            This seems right to me.

      • Joe_JP

        The usual reasoned sanity.

        I think it would be useful to see if there is a pattern. Anyone who says something this horrible is not likely doing so as a one-off.

        I’m not sure if tweeting is totally isolated from his life as a professor. It’s a public account and his job as a professor gives it cachet. They do blend somewhat even if it is unofficial. So, though I would give him a lot of rope, only up to a point. Like some police officer who tweets or something but more so since Twitter is one way professors and others express their views.

        • I’m not sure if tweeting is totally isolated from his life as a professor.

          I don’t think that’s the standard for “extra-mural” (or almost nothing would be extra-mural). As I understand the AAUP statement, this just refers to things that are not part of one’s normal university activity. That doesn’t mean you have to deidentify yourself as a professor. You’re more or less free to use your professional reputation as you see fit extra-jurally.

          Things like testifying to Congress as an expert witness is a much closer case.

          I mean, again, he has the fact that he’s songwriter on his university page. One of those is lending some sort of cachet to the other :)

          • Joe_JP

            I don’t know what the specific rules are here but from my understanding social media is repeatedly of concern for teachers of various types. I have read in the past, e.g., concern about high school teachers interacting with students on Facebook or Twitter. Sites where the students can merely see what they are saying seem like an interesting case.

            The “cachet” is a bit different for bands or whatever.

            Again, I would like to know if there is some pattern. This one comment is not something I would threaten tenure over. Even more as you suggest very well might be “extramural.” I found this:

            Obviously, the literal distinction between “extramural” and “intramural” speech—speech outside or inside the university’s walls—has little meaning in t he world of cyberspace. But the fundamental meaning of extramural speech, as a shorthand for speech in the public sphere and not in one’s area of academic expertise, fully applies in the realm of electronic communications, including social media.

            I’d need to see more but think people like him, one of various professors who tweet a range of things including opinions on legal matters of his “academic expertise” is a somewhat hazy area.

            • But if it’s inside his academic expertise, it’s probably protected as part of his research (since he’s not in a classroom or interacting with students).

              Free reign inside your academic expertise is the *start* of academic freedom. It got *extended* to extra mural stuff, in part, because it can be blurry.

              Consider the long version, “People who protest by blocking traffic break the social compact in a profound way. It is a form of criminality that should be open to vigilante justice. While illegal, the moral right to mow down such people is inalienable and we should amend the law to permit it.”

              Ok, that’s nonsense talk. Evil and super stupid. But if Reynolds blogged that with many follow ups and variants, it would all be protected.

        • Oh, and of course, there’s lots of perfectly reasonable was for the university to try to influence his behaviour even short of disciplinary action. Talking to him about it. Encouraging more separation between the more objectionable stuff and the university. This can work out poorly, but a good chunk of the time a bit of social engineering can make things better. Getting justifiably suspended by Twitter would be a good time for a chat.

          The problem with these informal mechanisms is that they are more often mobilised against the less secure or the less prominent.

      • los

        I think it might be reasonable to think the tweet was intended to incite and that the effect would be imminent and lawless. But it’s nowhere near a slam dunk. It sounds more like idle shit people say.

        plus, identifiably-linked twitter sh1t account = marginally controllable ego

        btw, people possessing reasonable psychological stability don’t live with their heads bursting with murderous thoughts.

      • cpinva

        “(e.g., actual incitement).”

        out of curiosity, what, in your mind, would rise to “actual incitement’? would he have had to identify specific people that he wanted to drive their car through the protestors who, when caught, would say that they were following Mr. Reynold’s orders? what if, instead of suggesting motorists kill the protestors/rioters with their vehicles, he had said they should shoot them, or throw explosives at them, to kill them? would that rise to “actual incitement”, or still just RWNJ humor?

        I ask sincerely, because several times, when a name RWNJ has urged his/her audience to commit violence on someone/group they don’t like, it has been pooh-poohed as being “actual incitement”, just in poor taste. so I want to know the legal standard for “actual incitement”, vs “just kidding around incitement”?

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Start with Brandenburg v. Ohio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio

        • Patick Spens

          Briefly, to actually be incitement the speech needs to be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

          So “run them down” is maybe directed to inciting imminent lawless action. But it certainly is not likely to do so.

        • I mean that it meets the legal standard.

          To justify a tenure revocation hearing, he doesn’t need to be convicted or even indicted. Unis often use weaker standards of evidence.

          Patrick has been giving some of the details, but I think it would be unlikely that this tweet would cause folks to run people down.

    • DrDick

      Frankly, this should constitute grounds for loss of tenure (he is a professor of constitutional law) and disbarment.

      • For tenure revocation, see above.

        For disbarment, assuming he’s a member of the TN bar…maybe? Of the grounds for disbarment, we have:

        7. Engaging in, attempting to engage in, or soliciting another to engage in serious criminal conduct.

        It’s not really soliciting, so it would have to be criminal incitement.

        My guess is that it would be very difficult to pin this on him, however loathsome he may be.

        • Nobdy

          As scummy as it was, and it was clearly very scummy, I don’t think it was intended as a literal incitement. He was just blowing off steam/being provocative. It doesn’t make it okay, but I also don’t think that we should be as uncharitable and literalist towards conservatives as they try to be towards liberals.

          Glenn Reynolds is an idiot and an evil man but I don’t think, in this case, he was actually advocating murder.

          • I agree. For one, it’s hard to imagine that he’d have thought that some driver at the scene was looking at their Twitter feed for direction from Glenn Reynolds. If someoe *were* he might get hammered civilly? under a strict liability standard?

            Help oh lawyers!

          • JL

            Whether he was intending incitement or not, this is potentially inciting in its effect in a way that is very different from, say, Erik’s head-on-a-stick comment, because people trying to hit protesters with their cars is something that actually happens in real life, while putting heads on sticks hasn’t been for hundreds of years.

            I’m also not sure I believe him when he says he was intending something more nuanced. I’ve been on the receiving end of the “Should run ’em down!” brigade. Their problem is not typically that they meant something more nuanced but lacked the space to express it properly.

            • Whether he was intending incitement or not, this is potentially inciting in its effect in a way that is very different from, say, Erik’s head-on-a-stick comment, because people trying to hit protesters with their cars is something that actually happens in real life, while putting heads on sticks hasn’t been for hundreds of years.

              Yep. I did point that out in some of the plethora of comments I’ve made. It’s clearly, 100% worse than anything Salaita wrote (for far less provocation) and way way way worse than Erik’s tweet (again, for far less provocation).

              I *don’t* believe he meant anything more nuanced. The “more nuanced” version is so bizarre and it sounds a bit like a cop explaining why they were afraid of the person they just shot.

            • N__B

              I’ve been on the receiving end of the “Should run ’em down!” brigade.

              So have I, for doing nothing more than walking (legally) in an area where most people drive. There’s a contingent of the ‘murcan public that thinks buzzing people on foot is funny. I expect there’s a fair amount of overlap between that group and the deplorable voters.

              • tsam

                Perhaps it was a metaphorical run down? Like hop out and get this guy so stoned he sleeps all afternoon?

                • N__B

                  Maybe it was Kasey Kasem and he wanted to run down the top fifty with a hot stack o’ wax!

                • tsam

                  Only if he does it in voice of Shaggy will I accept this proposition.

                • N__B

                  I had no idea Kasem was Shaggy.

                  I have to re-examine my life choices.

                • JustRuss

                  I actually almost did get run down by Kasem once. I was leaving Spagos, a Mercedes whips into the parking lot then brakes hard for me and my friends. And there’s Kasey at the wheel.

                • UncleEbeneezer

                  Kasey’s producers probably had to be careful crossing the road.

                • NonyNony

                  I had no idea Kasem was Shaggy.

                  Not only Shaggy, but also Robin on the Superfriends.

                • Just_Dropping_By

                  How does anyone not know that Casey Kasem was Shaggy? Next you’ll be saying that you didn’t know he did voice work for a number of the characters in the original Transformers cartoon.

                • N__B

                  How does anyone not know that Casey Kasem was Shaggy?

                  I despised Scooby Doo and never watched it. I’ve seen maybe two halves of episodes in my life.

                • witlesschum

                  I had no idea Kasem was Shaggy.

                  I have to re-examine my life choices.

                  Just say it wasn’t you who posted this.

            • Slothrop2

              It’s either likely to incite imminent lawless action (clear and present danger), or true threats. In any case, the dude is a lawyer. Pretty amazing.

            • los

              head-on-a-stick comment,
              At time of comment, were the people carrying sticks (poles, historically) interacting with whoever had the heads?

              because people trying to hit protesters with their cars is something that actually happens in real life
              Did Reynolds tweet “run them down” during currently ongoing politically-incorrect-people-in-streets context, or had the protest chaos already ended?

              Twitter is a channel of communications, popular on mobile devices.
              A slightly wiser (((Reynolds))) would have “Not-Incited” days later on his instacuck blog.

          • cpinva

            “Glenn Reynolds is an idiot and an evil man but I don’t think, in this case, he was actually advocating murder.”

            again, at what point do you draw a distinction, between “just blowing off steam advocating murder”, and “sincerely inciting someone to commit murder”?

            I’m not a lawyer, but I always thought “incitement” was doing/saying something that a reasonable person, similarly situated, could reasonably take as an invitation to commit such wrongful act, whether or not they followed up on it. is this even anywhere near close to the actual legal meaning of incite/incitement?

            • Patick Spens

              I’m just going to copy paste this throughout the comments section. If it’s too spammmy feel free to delete it.

              To actually be incitement the speech needs to be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

        • Crusty

          In this age where we all live under a tyranny of political correctness (snark/sarcasm intended) isn’t there some kind of angle on it that it creates a hostile environment for an African American student to sit in a class taught by a guy who publicly encourages the murder of protesters protesting over the killing of African Americans by the state, or at least belittles the feelings of people angered by such killings that might justify discipline or removal?

          • That’s the anti-Salaita logic. It was strongly rejected by the AAUP and, I think, rightfully so. There’s lots of extra mural stuff that, in principle, could make students uncomfortable. Heck, there’s lots of *research* or “research” that could do that.

            There are ways that he could talk about it in class that would be protected.

            • Crusty

              I’m not disputing your response but I think there’s good reason to make a distinction between research and non-research. Sure, it might be a difficult line to draw, Run them Down as a tweet is not research or academic activity, but how about an Ann Coulter style polemical book. I dunno, but eff this turd.

              • Research is protected because..research. Extra-mural stuff is protected because it’s not related.

                And, I’d guess qua U of TN employee, there’s first amendment stuff as well.

                Academic freedom (esp. as conceived by the AAUP) gives very strong content protection and sharply limited time/place/manner exceptions to that protection. Student objections have to rise to something like universal boycott to be on the table, and even then, arguably the better thing to do is to fill them up on admin work.

                • Incontinentia Buttocks


                • JL

                  Yep, this.

                  And anything used against him now is probably more often going to get used against marginalized folks.

                • cpinva

                  “And, I’d guess qua U of TN employee, there’s first amendment stuff as well.”

                  I don’t think 1A is a shield against being held accountable for a criminal act. inciting others to commit criminal acts is, itself a criminal act, not a political statement. had he said they should all be arrested and thrown in jail, with the key tossed away, because they acted in a non-patriotic way, that would be a protected statement, because it’s clearly political in nature, and it doesn’t advocate physically harming them. running them over with cars isn’t a political statement, and it does advocate physically harming them.

                • Yes, obviously the first amendment isn’t a defense against incitement. But it’s not clear that it is (legally) so.

                  If he were indited, then that’s grounds to open a tenure revocation hearing.

            • At Manchester, recently, we had a member of academic staff resign because of their “second career” as a porn star:

              A university professor whose secret life as a porn star was laid bare after one of his students recognised him in an X-rated film has quit.

              Nicholas Goddard, a respected chemical engineering lecturer at the University of Manchester , had been living a double life as an adult film actor.

              Millions watched him as ‘Old Nick’ in scores of porn movies alongside his duties as a professor.

              I thought this was really bad. I believe the technical thing they got him for was not reporting the moonlighting (I remember looking up the regulation and it was something like *if* you didn’t report it *and* it brought disrepute or something *then* it was cause for discipline).

              There was no hint of his having behaved inappropriately in class or toward students. I can understand being creeped out by it as a student if you found out, but it still seems protected. Not a shining day for Manchester.

              (I trust the problems with this stuff are obvious. All sorts of things about your personal life could potentially make some student uncomfortable. It could easily become like the morals clauses that schoolteachers had to have.)

              • Crusty

                Yes, all kinds of things can make someone uncomfortable. But there is a difference between something about you and something you do. “Run them down” is about doing physical harm to someone. Take someone who collects Nazi memorabillia- that might make people uncomfortable, but when that person tweets Death to Jews, its no longer about a personal trait or interest or inclination. Its an overt act. Professor Porn had a hobby, just like the Nazi memorabilia collector.

                • Wait, tweeting “Death to Jews” is not the act of killing Jews nor is the tweet “Run them down” the act of running them down. They are just expressive loathsome wishes. To get to action, there must be the incitement connection. If it’s sufficiently inciting, then we’re off to the disciplinary board.

                  It would be protected to write a book about how the extermination of all non-white races in the US over the next 10 years is a good idea. It would horrific and I’d be pretty upset to have such a person at my university, but it’s definitely protected by academic freedom. You can join the American Nazi Party and keep your tenure.

                  You may want to argue that academic freedom is too expansive. Or that, in practice, it does more to protect people like Reynolds (and worse) than people like Salaita. But all these (non-inciting) examples are well within the current understanding of protected.

                • The Dark God of Time

                  Fighting words is an established doctrine in American Constitutional Law.

                  In 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine by a 9–0 decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. It held that “insulting or ‘fighting words,’ those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” are among the “well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech the prevention and punishment of [which] … have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem.”


                • I’m by no means a lawyer, but my understanding is that imminence also plays a bit role there. Looking at the rest of the Wikipedia article, it seems the trend is toward words that are personalised (at least in address).

                  If you personally insult a student you will be in very hot water on most campuses.

                • The Dark God of Time

                  I’m no lawyer, but I would think that “run them down” fits within that definition.

                • Going beyond my wheelhouse, but my understanding is that the fighting words had to be directed at a given person with the predicable reaction that a reasonable person would react violently or with great distress. “Run them down” fits with incitement but not fighting words. (As the article you cite points out, it’s a slender difference.)

                • Crusty

                  My point is not whether Death to Jews or Run Them Down are fighting words, but that they are statements, which can be distinguished from interests or hobbies.

                • The Dark God of Time

                  Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

                • Patick Spens

                  Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.

                  This is of course nonsense. You can’t simultaneously call for the banning of expressing opinions and position yourself as the guardian of tolerance.

                • The Dark God of Time

                  It’s kinda dishonest to pretend that he didn’t state it quite that way:

                  and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trad

                • Patick Spens

                  And outside of narrow exceptions, doing all of that is legal. What would a version of “incitement to intolerance” that passed Brandenburg vs. Ohio even look like.

                • The Dark God of Time

                  The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Brandenburg’s conviction, holding that government cannot constitutionally punish abstract advocacy of force or law violation.


                  How is “Run them over” an abstract advocacy of force or law violation?

                • Patick Spens

                  That is not how this works. The only things that are crimes are those which are specifically forbidden. Not what can be guessed at by quote-mining a fucking wikipedia page. And if you had looked six lines down from where you had swiped that quote you would have found that the only speech forbidden is that,

                  directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

                  So again, what would “incitement to intolerance” that based the *Brandenburg* test and wasn’t already illegal look like?

                • The Dark God of Time

                  pronoun: them
                  used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified.
                  “I bathed the kids and read them stories”
                  used after the verb “to be” and after “than” or “as”
                  “you think that’s them?”
                  referring to a person of unspecified sex.
                  “how well do you have to know someone before you call them a friend?”

                  Please keep flailing and making semi-intelligent remarks, you might get up to a Dilan Esper level one of these days.

    • kayden

      Would be nice if condoning violence was a grounds for dismissal at a public university. He should face more than just a temporary suspension on twitter for his nakedly fascist comment.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        No. It would be terrible.

        Any professor of international relations who supports a war condones violence.

        Any criminology professor who supports the death penalty or stand your ground laws condones violence.

        Any political theorist who supports a right to revolution condones violence.

        Arguably so does any professor who is not a vegan.

        Inevitably, this “rule” would become a political test whereby people who support sufficiently unpopular forms of violence get fired.

        Professors who break the law can (and in many cases should) be fired.

        But legal political speech, however vile, should never be grounds for firing.

        • solidcitizen


        • djw

          + 1

        • Yep.

        • Scott Lemieux
        • JL

          Inevitably, this “rule” would become a political test whereby people who support sufficiently unpopular forms of violence get fired.

          Yep. Even if Glenn Reynolds is the precedent, most of the time it won’t be people like Glenn Reynolds on the receiving end.

      • Gee Suss

        There would be a lot of administrators fired if that were the case. For the record, I think Reynolds is odious but this is protected speech. I think the Salita case is instructive here.

      • tsam

        Yeah–I can see how that would evolve into firings for lots of other stuff. Better stick to kicking him in the dick.

        • Patick Spens

          gasp Incitement!

      • cpinva

        “Would be nice if condoning violence was a grounds for dismissal at a public university.”

        no, it wouldn’t be, and that isn’t what Mr. Reynolds was doing. he wasn’t simply “condoning” drivers running over and killing the protestors, he was advocating for them to actually commit the act, which he presumably would then condone.

    • solidcitizen

      It’s possibly disciplinable if UT has any kind of “civility” policy. Being a non-union campus, I am not sure what kind of progressive discipline or due process policies they have, and they’d have to expect a countersuit if they fired him.

      I am sure the AAUP would say this is covered by free speech protections, although I am not sure if academic freedom covers it, given that there is little-to-no connection between Reynold’s area of research and his advocating for vehicular homicide.

      But ultimately, yes, there is a 0% chance he’d lose his job over this because IOKIYAR.

      • I am sure the AAUP would say this is covered by free speech protections, although I am not sure if academic freedom covers it, given that there is little-to-no connection between Reynold’s area of research and his advocating for vehicular homicide

        Extra mural actives are covered as part of academic freedom:

        Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society.

        • rea

          Bear in mind, also, that he works for a public university. He’s protected by the 1st Amendment in a way that a professor at a private university would not be.

          • Yep.

            It’s very strongly, redundantly protected.

            I think his “explanation” probably shields him from it being incitement, which always would have been a tough row.

  • The Dark God of Time

    Don’t the canon of ethics forbids a member of the Bar to urge illegal actions on the part of others?

    • (((Hogan)))

      He doesn’t appear to be a current member of either of the bar associations to which he was admitted thirty years ago (Tennessee and DC).

    • See above. It’s grounds for disbarment to perform or attempt or solicit illegal acts.

      I don’t know if a random tweet to a non-specific audience counts as “solicit”.

      If it counts as incitement, it would be illegal. But I think that would be tough to get going.

      Plus, a Hogan points out, he may not be a member of any bar.

    • timb

      Most law professors don’t maintain active licenses

  • Twitter is doing us all a great service, by letting us know that all of the people that, we thought were assholes from their published (presumably edited) work, are in fact, complete assholes.

  • Nobdy

    This is why the Academy needs more diversity of POLITICAL perspective rather than racial diversity (which is meaningless.)

    Liberal professors like Campos will always bully conservatives when they express IDEAS like that using an automobile to maim or kill peaceful protesters is a public good if those peaceful protesters are black.

    Why is this idea so intellectually threatening to you, professor Campos?




    • los

      public good
      glibertarian: as long as running over anyone dark-looking at a protest isn’t on the taxpayer’s dime!
      ted cruz: faith-biased initiative ftw!

  • Cassiodorus

    First Milo, now Glenn. Why is Twitter so opposed to free speech people encouraging acts of violence?

  • rdennist

    Well. Isn’t that healthy!

  • aturner339

    As an African American I’d like to point out that I find the rise of Trumpism pretty disturbing outside of the man’s long shot run for an office he probably doesn’t even want.

    I was never under any illusion that racism was on the margins of American life but I don’t recall quite as much open defense of it in the political class as we are seeing today.

    • DrDick

      As an old white man, I concur, and I grew up with segregation in Oklahoma in the 50s and 60s. I am starting to get flashbacks to the bad old days.

      • scott_theotherone

        Middle-aged white guy who’s been having flashbacks almost every day to learning about the Nazis back when I was in junior high, and being reassured over and over again that “it could never happen here.”

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          One of the high points of my college education was when the students (not the university) brought Stanley Milgram in to talk with us about his experiments.

          They explain much about human history.

    • BobOso

      Agreed. Also “tells it like it is” is the new code for spewing racist things.

      • CP

        Old code, really. This is far from the first time I’ve heard that justification.

        • Race Realist (AKA a Bell Curver).

        • DrDick

          Dates back to immediately after it first started becoming socially unacceptable to spout such nonsense in public.

      • And yet they get mad when we “tell it like it is” and say that the people spewing this racist nonsense are the intellectual heirs of Nazis.

        • los

          they get mad
          Somebody hurt their feelings.
          They think that gobbling another methamphetamine doughnut will cheer them up.

          when we “tell it like it is”
          because our political incorrectness is politically incorrect.

          Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the altcuck party

    • Cheerful

      I recall as a child in 1968 being told that Wallace was a bad man, and when asking why, being told he said he’d run down protestors. But Wallace never got anywhere as close to the presidency as Trump is today.

      • markregan

        What Wallace initially said, per Wikiquote, was

        “If any demonstrator lays down in front of my car, that’s the last car he’ll ever lay down in front of.”

        After that was criticized as incitement to automotive violence, he changed it to,

        “If any demonstrator lays down in front of my car, that’s the last car he’ll ever feel like laying down in front of.”

        Positively Trumpian, but probably too clever for Instapundit.

    • njorl

      I’m hoping what we’re seeing is a last gasp of desperation.
      For the last few decades, bigots could comfortably enjoy the privileges of whiteness as long as they didn’t do anything to get themselves publicly branded as a wholesale bigot. You could hire only white employees as long as you didn’t hang a “Help wanted: White only” sign in your window.
      Also, there was enough legacy bigotry in the public school system that it wouldn’t interfere with passing on bigotry from one generation to the next.
      All that started to change recently. Some white people started objecting to racism even when no black people were around. Kids started objecting to their parents racism. White people were even willing to vote for a black president, even though no one could see them voting! Hidden bigotry couldn’t survive in the long run. Bigots decided they needed to fight for their beliefs in the open, or they would die out.
      It’s just a theory.

      • AMK

        Ultimately it’s just demographics. The looming inevitability of white plurality instead of white majority brings the divide between racists and non-racists into much sharper relief. The half of white people who don’t really define themselves or the country in racial terms don’t care; the half who believe in “white America” are losing their minds.

  • Joe_JP
  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    Wait, he’s written 580,000 tweets?! I guess this is the end consequence of tenure + minimal law school teaching loads.

    • Paul Campos

      Holy Wilt Chamberlain Batman!

      His account says he’s been tweeting since July 2012 so that’s 365 tweets per day (on average).

      But unlike Wilt the Stilt’s extra-curricular stats, these are verified by science.

      • Bill Murray

        that’s only 1 a minute for over 6 hours a day

        • Warren Terra

          Can you imagine following him on Twitter? Keeping up with that volume of tweets would leave no chance of reading anyone else’s tweets, and no time to do much else besides.

          Though it’s possible the vast majority are replies rather than tweets or retweets, and so his followers don’t automatically see all of them.

      • D.N. Nation

        It doesn’t take that long to retweet something and add “Heh,” though.

        • njorl

          The “indeedy”s start to add up, though.

      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        Makes me feel better about the number of comments I’ve left around the net. I can’t wrap my head around 580,000, and look at my pseudonym! Honestly, where does he find the time?

      • los

        unlike Wilt the Stilt’s extra-curricular stats, these are verified by science.
        but can we believe the Liberal-Leaning twitter (((algorithms)))(((???)))

    • Atrios

      jeebus i thought i spent too much time on the twitter box. 1/12 the tweets over twice as many years. i guess i’m ok

      • It’s mostly retweets.

        ETA: And he’s reinstated.

        • cato the censor

          As I’ve often said before, the fact that tools like Reynolds can devote so much time to being a reactionary jerk just demonstrates that what I always suspected in law school is actually apodictically true: law professors are just lazy attorneys who luck into truly cushy gigs.

          I don’t think UT should fire or penalize Reynolds. I think they should just jack up his course load until he’s so busy actually “teaching” that he has no time for anything else.

          • He’s pretty prolific otherwise. See his publication list.

            Some people can crank it out. And if a big chunk of his tweets are retweets, well, you can retweet at not far from reading speed.

          • SIWOTI

            Of the various law professors I’ve met, both during my time in law school and elsewhere afterwards, almost all were not lazy attorneys, though some did luck into cushy gigs. The few who were lazy attorneys were truly burnt out by their years practicing law. And then there were the small number who never were practicing attorneys.

            Reynolds was not a lazy attorney in private practice, both from the war stories he would tell in his Administrative Law class, and what he exhorted us to do when we became practicing lawyers.

            That he can devote so much time to being a reactionary jerk online is just a testament to how productive of a jerk he is.

        • los

          It’s mostly retweets.
          the bionic cucktwit.

          we can rebuild him.

          And he’s reinstated.
          saving Tennessee twitspace from the growing sinkhole.

      • Bill Murray

        you are around 1 an hour for 6 hours a day

    • los

      stand back for The Man. Instacuck has got binders vats of tweets.

  • Buckeye623

    I’ve had tens of professors, and they shouldn’t all be professors.

  • libarbarian
  • Matt

    Thought experiment for ol’ Instapundit: if you start driving towards the “mob”, is a person in the road justified in using deadly force to protect themselves from you and your car? After all, you are *literally* threatening to kill them with your vehicle, so surely they should be entitled to Stand Their Ground.

    5000 bonus points: does your answer change if the confrontation is between people seeking medical care and a mob of forced-birth activists blocking access to said care?

    • Thought experiment for ol’ Instapundit: if you start driving towards the “mob”, is a person in the road justified in using deadly force to protect themselves from you and your car?

      Why “thought”? This is a perfect example of why it’s important to have lab sections when you’re teaching the controversy!

      tl;dr: if Glenn’s grandmother had had wheels he’d have been a living, breathing trolley problem.

      • rea

        Glenn is the rebellious child of antiwar activist parents.

        • Warren Terra

          That’s sad. It’d be nicer for everyone to imagine him happily in the home of the deplorable parents he deserves, rather than bitterly at odds with parents who wonder where they went wrong.

        • njorl

          So he’s a real life Alex Keaton, but taller and more of a dick.

    • ASV

      In a post-Nice world, we must assume that all drivers are coming to run us down, and stop them before they can.

  • MgM63

    “I’ve had over 580,000 tweets, and they can’t all be perfect.”

    Really Glenn? What becoming humility.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I hope that’s hyperbole.

      Anyone who would tweet 580,000 times is beyond any help psychiatry can provide currently.

      • Nope. That’s his count according to Twitter.

        It’s a lot of retweets though.

        But yeah, a bit surprising. I wonder if he has a bot or something.

        Though, I think it should be possible to retweet in under 2 seconds (some clients might make it faster). So nearly at the speed of reading your feed.

  • CrunchyFrog

    No further comment necessary plus it’s too early to start drinking.

    IOKIYAR … from what I can tell in the airport bars.

  • However many conclusions Prof. Robot Luv reaches he’ll never get to “I should have kept my ugly thoughts to myself.”

  • Wow, his “expanded version” was astonishingly silly. I mean, not eviler than the tweet but waaaaay dumber. So dumb I have trouble taking it at face value.

    • Paul Campos

      It’s not dumb, it’s extremely cowardly. I mean it would be really dumb if he believed it, but “Run them down” has an unambiguous meaning, and it doesn’t mean “keep driving.”

      He was doing the Twitter equivalent of road raging but he doesn’t have the guts to admit it and apologize.

      • Well, it’s dumbness is why I think it’s a lie and, as you say, cowardly.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Let us agree that it was dumb and cowardly!

          • Scott…bringing diverse viewpoints into a new synthesis. Well done!

            • (((Hogan)))

              This is a both/and kind of blog.

      • Gee Suss

        Why would he offer anything but an explanation? In a week no one will remember this and he’ll be back on Twitter.

  • D.N. Nation

    Hey, remember when Ye Olde Perfesser kept posting candid creeper shots of random women around Knoxville and explained it that he was just showing off his new camera? Them’s were good times.

    Dude, Where’s My Recession?

    • tsam

      Unarmed black person gets killed.

      Random white asshole gets held up in traffic.


    • trollhattan

      Dude, Where’s My Recession?

      God, I’d forgotten about that “clever” turd of a quip–oft repeated. Oddly, as a public employee he’s in a special group untouched by the historic recession. Does that mean he was right?


  • JL

    [B]locking interstates…is not peaceful protest

    Fuck Glenn Reynolds and fuck everyone who makes this argument and their dumbshit ideas of what nonviolence means. I had to listen to enough of this crap after I got arrested, including some Twitter rando who asserted to me that blocking a highway was false imprisonment, some other Twitter randos who advocated for life imprisonment or capital punishment, and execrable state representative Colleen Garry trying to pass a law to make blocking any public road attempted murder (what she expected to happen the next time the Red Sox won the World Series was not specified).

    • so-in-so

      Any protest they don’t agree with isn’t valid, and if they are forced to notice it, isn’t peaceful. That is the sum of their argument.

      If it was a bunch of RWers with loaded firearms calling for watering the tree of liberty, he’d presumably be all for it.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      including some Twitter rando who asserted to me that blocking a highway was false imprisonment

      Elements of the tort of false imprisonment per the Restatement (2nd) of Torts, §31:

      (1) An actor is subject to liability to another for false imprisonment if:
      (a) he acts intending to confine the other or a third person within boundaries fixed by the actor, and
      (b) his act directly or indirectly results in such a confinement of the other, and
      (c) the other is conscious of the confinement or is harmed by it.

      It might not prevail at trial, but I bet it would be possible to draft a complaint that would survive a motion to dismiss and probably also survive a motion for summary judgment based on blocking an interstate highway, at least if the blockade wasn’t on the far side of an exit ramp that would give drivers the opportunity to exit before reaching the blockade. (Just because a driver could theoretically abandon their car and walk away across the highway doesn’t mean they aren’t falsely imprisoned. The driver would have to have a “reasonable means of escape without risking harm” to themself and I feel pretty sure a judge would find the reasonableness of requiring someone to abandon their car and walk along a highway is a fact question.)

  • wkiernan

    “‘Run them down’ perhaps didn’t capture this fully…”

    He’s a tenured university professor, but he’s so pitifully inarticulate that he can make a statement – a three-word statement – that he can later stand behind?

    Supposedly, neither Reynolds nor that contemptible orange moron can manage to speak English in such a way that anyone hearing or reading their words will correctly understand what they mean without a whole lot of subsequent back-pedaling and re-interpretation. In the babbling orange moron’s case, it is plausible that this may actually be true, since he doesn’t seem to ever think about what he says, and it’s common for him to issue statements which completely contradict each other all within a thirty second time frame.

    But how do you get to be a university professor when you can’t speak your native language comprehensibly? So I refuse to buy the “misinterpretation” theory. He can’t take it back. He can’t claim he’s being misunderstood. Reynolds meant exactly what he said, exactly as any English speaker would interpret it: “y’all go ahead and murder those protestors.”

  • tsam

    plus it’s too early to start drinking.

    What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

    • I am trained in gorilla warfare

      General Thade, is that you?

      • tsam

        ’tis I, sir.

        • N__B

          If you were trained in bonobo warfare you could walk around saying “I’m a lover, not a fighter.”

          • tsam

            But humans are not like bonobos because they’re not like bonobos, k?

            (Reminded me of a McMegan classic)

      • los

        It is James Yeager, with “backtracing skilz”

  • Sebastian_h

    His head belongs on a stick.

    • Now, if you’d said “he deserves to be shot,” whether out of a cannon or otherwise, you’d be damned for eternity.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        “Lined up against a wall and shot errrrrr, slapped. Yeah, that’s a thing people say. Let’s go with that, then.”

        • So: just to be clear: is a statement of the form “[relative clause of the form ‘whoever did this thing that someone or some number of people may or may not have done’] deserves to be shot” an actionable threat? AFAF (who may or may not be the kind of person who holds a twenty-year internet grudge).

  • (((Malaclypse)))

    Didn’t he join the 2 Minute Hate on Erik years back?

    • Warren Terra

      Via Crooked Timber:

      Yet that very same Glenn Reynolds is now accusing Loomis of using “eliminationist rhetoric.”

      Of course, Reynold’s schtick is to be extremely terse and let his followers leap to their own conclusions; it is clear from the brief note at the link that he has decided to smear Erik as a monster advocating the murder of NRA officials, but it isn’t clear whether he thinks this should threaten Erik’s job (though: his followers clearly did, and Erik wasn’t tenured).

      There may of course be more elsewhere; I didn’t look too hard. I certainly didn’t find anything from Reynolds defending Erik or Erik’s rights.

  • Rob Patterson

    “Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars and surrounding them is a threat. Driving on is self-preservation …”

    This is the same calculation that cops use to justify shooting a black man if they perceive the slightest danger. If I were driving on the interstate and protesters were blocking the road and surrounding my car (not sure this really happened, but even if it did) I would probably be a little freaked out but no fucking way would I run anyone down. That’s insane.

    P.s. Not sure this is mentioned anywhere yet, but Reynolds also famously called for Iranian nuclear scientists to be assassinated right?

    P.p.s. That 9/11 comment about nuking Baghdad is unbelievable. O_O

  • The Pale Scot

    Curious, how does Glenn’s school rate on the Law School Scam chart?

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  • Snuff curry

    civilian-on-civilian shootings

    Police aren’t military, however many toys designed for mass arrests and mass-killing they are given, and this “[category]-on-[category]” construction, when not discussing wrestling, is a dogwhistle getting far too much play in mainstream media.

  • Harry R. Sohl

    580,000 would be 10 an hour every single waking hour (16/day) since twitter launched.

    He wins Twitter’s Twat fer sure!

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  • Gee Suss

    It’s enough of an uproar that the dean responded

  • Gee Suss

    I hate to be that person, but would the LGMers that are academics be willing to do the (admittedly odious) task of standing up for him? It may show the left is better/more magnanimous than those that were calling for Salaita and Loomis to be fired.

    • The Dark God of Time

      Bijan seems to believe he shouldn’t be fired or even arrested. See above.

      • Yep. And Scott explicitly concurred as did other pseudonymous academics.

        If there is a colourable case for incitement (which, afaict, there isn’t) then that’s a different story.

        It is odious. And, probably unnecessary given the usual asymmetries of these matters.

        It’s esp odious because he was on the wrong side of analogous cases eg Salaita.

        • To be a bit more precise:

          The only grounds for a disciplinary case that would contemplate tenure revocation that I’ve seen thus far is that the tweet was incitement to violence. That (not just approval of violence, or wishing for violence) would be prima facie grounds for tenure revocation.

          This could be true even if he were not indicted or convicted. Universities routinely use weaker standards of evidence such as preponderance for deciding disciplinary cases connected to potential criminal activity (e.g., in sexual assault or rape cases). Obviously, and indictment or conviction would make for a strong case (though not overridable one).

          Now compared to Erik’s or Salaita’s cases, the case against Reynolds isn’t risible. The situations where Erik’s Head on a Stick or Salaita’s “Wish they would vanish” tweets would actually be taken by anyone as marching orders just don’t exist at all. Even tweeting, “I wish someone would shoot the head of the NRA” at least has the form, but it’s hard to see that anyone would take such a tweet from Erik as marching orders. I think Reynolds could make a similar argument here, i.e., that his tweet was more akin to shouting to a TV set rather than being a speaker at a rally whipping up a crowd. Plus, he will also argue (as he did in the explanation) that “running them down” in that circumstance isn’t illegal.

          If this were the case, I do think that tenure revocation is unjustified under the AAUP framework and I’d predict that the AAUP would agree. Some sort of censure might be justified (it depends on the criteria in a particular university’s system). His lack of awareness or remorse would be a factor.

          • Gee Suss

            Thanks, Bijan. I was wondering if there could be something more public than the comments section of LGM, but it looks like he’s back on and has been spoken to by the dean. I’m sure that’s the last we’ll hear of this.

            • Actually, he seems to be getting more push back.

              US Today suspended him for one month and forced him to eat some crow:

              “I didn’t live up to my own standards, and I didn’t meet USA TODAY’s standards,” Reynolds said in a statement on the newspaper’s website. “For that I apologize, to USA TODAY readers and to my followers on social media.”

              His dean came out against it:

              UT College of Law Dean Melanie Wilson told the News Sentinel that university investigators are also looking into the tweet, which she called “irresponsible.”

              “My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence,” Wilson told the newspaper.

              It’s possible that this will lead to something a bit more formal. But I would find it surprising if it led to tenure revocation. But we’ll see! It’s certainly worth keeping up some pressure and condemnation.

  • Possibly related:

    Man yells racial slurs and points gun at construction crew — COWETA COUNTY, Ga. – The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said a man is behind bars after pointing a gun at a construction crew, threatening to kill them and yelling racial slurs. — “He pulled up on us and he was like get the n-word off …
    Breanna Edwards / The Root: Ga. Man Pulls Gun on Construction Crew Blocking Way Home: ‘N-gers Off the Road’
    David Edwards / Raw Story: Racist Georgia man draws gun on road crew for blocking his way home: ‘Get the n****rs off the road’

  • N__B

    Aaaand, he’s reinstated on Twitter.

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