Activists storm Princeton

Wheelchair and shadow of person in a wheelchair with arms raised
Protesters Call for Professor’s Resignation

Disability rights activists marched on Princeton University on June 10, demanding that it denounce controversial ethics professor Peter Singer.

“We understand the importance of academic freedom,” said Alan Holdsworth of Not Dead Yet Pennsylvania, in a news release. “But Princeton has a policy of ‘Respect for Others’ which ‘deplores expressions of hatred directed against any individual or group.’

If Singer’s comments about killing disabled babies don’t qualify as hatred toward a group, then I don’t know what does.”

The most recent backlash against Singer was triggered by comments he made on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, which aired April 16. Singer stated that it would be “reasonable” for government and private health insurance companies to deny life-saving treatment for infants with disabilities.

One of the world’s most famous philosophers, Singer has advocated such views since 1980.

Most known for his animal rights activism, Singer argues that individual rights stem not from a person’s existence, but from his or her intellectual capacity, ability to use the senses, and other characteristics. Therefore, Singer argues it is more ethical in certain circumstances to kill infants with severe disabilities than animals, and is a proponent of overt rationing in health care policy making.

About 70 people attended the protests, many holding signs with messages such as “I was a disabled baby,” “Don’t play God. You’re not that smart!” and “No price on children’s lives,” according to One group carried an open coffin with baby dolls.

Similar protests were held in 1999, when Princeton announced it would place Singer on a tenure track position. He is on leave for the spring semester, in order to promote his new book “The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically.”

The protest was organized by Not Dead Yet and the New Jersey Center for Independent Living.

A video of the protest, from, can be seen here.

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