The Indefensible “Nigger” Double Standard

Andrea Quenette, a University of Kansas communications professor, has been on paid leave for four months after a group of her students filed a complaint that she had used the racial epithet nigger in  response to a question in class. She was asked about  her views on the best way to talk about race with  students, and replied that as a white woman, she found it  difficult to relate to minority groups’ challenges because she has not experienced racial discrimination herself.  She added that unlike other campuses where there had been over racist incidents, she “had not seen “nigger” spray painted on walls at KU.”

For saying this, she was subjected to campus-wide humiliation, an interruption in her teaching career and an investigation, of what I cannot imagine. She was talking about the word, she is a communications professor, words are her business, and it is impossible to talk about the word “nigger” seriously without using it (and no, codes like “N-word”  are either the exact same as using the word itself, or politically correct conventions that show just how silly word-o-phobia really is. Take your pick.) Finding offense with her using “nigger” in this context is simply a “gotcha” by race-baiting students. and as nonsensical as the gag in “The Life Of Brian” where the priest who condemns a Hebrew citizen by committing the blasphemy of speaking the name of God, “Jehovah,” is stoned by the crowd because he speaks the forbidden name in order to utter the condemnation. Nevertheless. Professor Quenette, while keeping her clearly worthless job, was sentenced to mandatory cultural competency training, a.k.a. political correctness indoctrination, and to have a second faculty member work with her to ensure that her curriculum include more diversity.

If she had enough sense, courage and integrity to be qualified to teach at the college level, she would have told the school to take its job, its curriculum, its rejection of academic freedom, its craven capitulation to race-bullying and its disgusting treatment of faculty members and shove them all. But no, she’s a good, submissive  social justice zombie who just made a mistake, and it’s time for her to grovel.

Spurred by this miserable marker of how low higher education has sunk, my indispensable issue scout Fred puckishly sent me this, a Washington Post opinion piece from a year ago. The column, by  African American free-lancer Michael Arceneaux, was sparked by an incident I also commented upon a year ago, when Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison muttered “Fuck that nigga”  behind his hand into a live microphone while answering a post-Final Four game news conference question about Wisconsin player Frank Kaminsky, whose heroics had led to Kentucky’s 71-64 victory.  My position on Harrison, then as now, was this: Continue reading