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

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Kentucky Guard Andrew Harrison

“Fuck that nigger.”

—-Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison, muttering behind his hand into a live microphone after answering a post-Final Four game news conference question about Wisconsin player Frank Kaminsky, whose heroics had contributed greatly to Kentucky’s 71-64 defeat by the Badgers,  ruining  the Wildcats’ undefeated season and the favored Kentucky’s hopes of another NCAA basketball tournament championship.

Stay classy, Andrew.

Stay classy, Andrew.

We are constantly told how college sports builds character, sportsmanship and life skills, and that the experience itself is a valuable education that will serve students well in their future careers.


Harrison later said, in multiple tweets apologizing on Twitter, that his remark was a misunderstood “poor choice of words”—well, except for the word “that”—and that he really admired and respected his rival. Harrison did not explain why his admiration and respect did not extend to shaking hands with the team that had just beaten his, as NCAA practice dictates.

If, by some chance, Harrison does not succeed in his imminent NBA career (that will prevent him from actually getting a degree) or does not make enough millions before flopping that he has to support himself with less lucrative pursuits, his lack of basic manners, civility and judgment will prove to be quite a handicap, I imagine. Too bad he didn’t learn any  of that in college.

But I look forward to having it explained to me once again why a black man calling a white one a “nigger” following a vulgarity should be excused as simply a charming cultural expression of respect that one can only appreciate in the context of the larger African-American experience, while a white man saying the same about a black player would become an instant national pariah and risk having his house burned down.

Side note: It took me 15 minutes and visits to six web sites before I could find out exactly what it was that Harrison said.  Most sources vaguely reported that he had uttered “an expletive and a slur,” or plunged readers into a game of “Hangman” with the statement being reported as “_ _ _ _ that _ _ _ _ _ _.” The Washington Post settled on “[Expletive] that [N-word].” Which expletive??? This is ridiculous, and as inexcusably bad journalism as refusing to show the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that caused the Paris massacre.  The story is about what Harrison said, and it is impossible to inform readers about the incident without saying exactly what was said.