“The Indefensible ‘Nigger’ Double Standard,” The Sequel!

From Princeton comes exactly the same scenario that I wrote about in March of 2016.

This time, it was anthropology professor Lawrence Rosen who used “nigger” multiple times during a lecture this week in his Anthropology 212 course, “Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy and Pornography.” “What is worse, a white man punching a black man, or a white man calling a black man a nigger?” Rosen said, in the context of describing “what is acceptable as free speech and what is not.”

Several black students walked out of the class in protest, two registered a complaint, and now Princeton has vowed to sponsor “a dialogue” with students. This gives far  too much legitimacy to their objections.  The students enrolled in a course about hate speech, blasphemy and pornography, and protested when the professor said an offensive word?

The school’s response should be “Stop looking for ways to be offended and to put others on the defensive, learn the meanings of the concepts of ‘intent,’ education,’ and ‘context,’ and grow the hell up.

As the 2016 post about the identical nonsense at the University of Kansas concluded, “Context matters, and in the case of nigger, the only context that matters is what the word was intended to communicate. The “context” of the speaker’s skin color does not matter.”

I am happy to be able to post that clip from “The Life of Brian” again, in which an official condemning a man for uttering the taboo “Jehovah”is executed for saying the word in order to condemn him.

I wonder if those Princeton students would get the joke.

[A related post is here.]


Pointer: Other Bill

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

Are Universities Ethically Obligated To Tolerate Professors Who Embarrass Them By Saying Idiotic And Offensive Things?

Apparently the answer to the above is “Yes.”



If the university is a state school, then for it to fire a professor who makes ridiculous, foolish or hateful statements that make people wonder why they should ever entrust the minds of their tender charges into an institution that would knowingly hire cretins and jackasses to pollute student RNA, then this is probably a First Amendment violation, since it amounts to the government punishing speech and chilling free expression. If, on the other hand, the university involved is not a state school, then to send a professor packing because he or she has rammed his or her foot down his or her throat up to the knee is a violation of the crucial principle of academic freedom, which is, in brief, that to encourage the free discussion of ideas on a college campus, education being the purpose of the institution, literally no idea, point of view or position should be blocked or chilled by substantive negative action.

Three cases of recent vintage illustrate the university’s plight: Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Prof. David Guth

Guth Tweet

With this brain-jarring twitter offal from University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth—and if you marvel at the abysmal quality of today’s journalists, there’s a big clue right there—Ethics Alarms launches a new category, the Unethical Tweet of the Week. Clearly, Twitter has a magic ability to make even reasonable public figures and professionals engage in irresponsible, hateful and idiotic discourse, though I seriously doubt that this particular tweet’s author needed much of a shove.

What’s the matter with the tweet? Well, how long have you got? Let’s see: Continue reading

Your Incompetent, Biased, Lazy, Untrustworthy News Media At Work: A Case Study

Remarkably, Norman Rockwell accurately predicted how news would be reported in 2013!

Remarkably, Norman Rockwell accurately predicted how news would be reported in 2013!

Last week, the Huffington Post breathlessly reported that McDonald’s could double its workers wages, thus giving them a “living wage,” by raising the price of a Big Mac by a mere 68 cents. This obviously had appeal to the HuffPo’s liberal sensibilities, more proof of how a big corporation was needlessly lining its pockets while exploiting the lowest rungs of the workforce. The “proof” was in a study that had been represented as a being run by a “University of Kansas researcher.” The study results looked so good that the fine progressives at the site just knew it had to be right—after all, it perfectly confirmed their own beliefs. This, I’m sure you have guessed by now, is confirmation bias in its purest form.

The Huffington post writer and editors didn’t check the source, and didn’t check the study. And as some non-biased, at least in the same direction, reviewers quickly found out when they did, neither held up. The “researcher” was an undergraduate (Arnobio Morelix, whose wonderful name alone would have made me want to check him out) , and the “study” might have been a term paper. The paper’s assumptions, conclusions and math didn’t hold up, as is fairly common for undergraduate papers. The Huffington Post had to retract its story, five days later.

Alas, too late! Continue reading