White professor investigated for quoting black author's use of the N-word Watch

AngeryPenguin
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Professor and pulitzer-nominated poet Laurie Sheck is being investigated by her university for using the N-word during a discussion about James Baldwin’s use of the racial slur.

Sheck told Inside Higher Education that a white female student had objected to her language. According to Sheck, she questioned the student about her objection, who said she had been told by a previous professor that white people should never use the term. At the end of term, the student gave a presentation about racism at the New School.

In June, months after the class, Sheck says she was called to a meeting where she was questioned about her choice of reading assignments, and how she had prepared students for discussing Baldwin’s essay. She told the university that graduate students on a literature course “should reasonably be expected to be able to discuss painful or offensive language and the various implications of altering the words of an iconic writer”. As the meeting ended, she was given the university’s guidelines for dealing with issues of discrimination and told to familiarise herself with them.

But Sheck told the Guardian that the university is proceeding with an investigation despite its regulations stating that complaints of discrimination must be lodged within 60 days of the incident, which had passed by the time the complaint was made against her.

“I have been left completely in the dark with the accusations against me still actively in place, and classes starting in two weeks,” she said. “Having taught at the New School with an impeccable record and consistently stellar student evaluations of my classes for nearly 20 years, this drawn-out approach appears to many as an unnecessarily callous and insensitive treatment of a devoted and long time faculty member.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...d-laurie-sheck

What does TSR think? Should white people be allowed to use racial slurs against black people? Should students be expected to have a 'thicker skin'? Was there an ulterior motive for reporting (as it went beyond the 60 day limit)?
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That'sGreat
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‘white female student’ is the first warning sign. ‘been told by a previous professor that white people should never use the term’, who said university teaches you to think for yourself?
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SuperHuman98
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Professor gets **** for quoting the word from a book, but when its in movies and music no one cares. What a joke
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Kinyonga
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This is completely ridiculous. The professor was quoting the term, and discussing its use in literature. She was not using it in an offensive manner, she was not aiming the slur at anyone. What on Earth is the matter with people nowadays...
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joey11223
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So basically the study of History is going to become some sort of thought crime right? I mean that's the next logical step. You look at offensive propaganda in history, you will look at whatever language/terms were used at the time.

I mean recently I was having a discussion about how it's interesting that some words can be offensive to some but mean the opposite to others depending on when you grew up. In North America on their census you can elect to be a Negro, about 30,000 choose this as some older black citizens consider the term inoffensive, but consider "black" offensive, because originally the Portuguese who initially used the term Negro did it purely to identify the colour of their skin, not as an offensive term, and no one considered it an offensive term until the mid 20th century/Malcolm X times, including those who already identified as such.

But I guess if I lectured on that...I'd just be sacked? Honestly I don't get what the world is coming to, it's some weird circle jerk of the middle-upper class white, mainly female, "liberal", vegan, insert todays fad term for a sexuality which they don't even have, brigade. I jest but, honestly it's starting to become a serious problem for critical thinking/serious debates that university and adult life should be able to contain.

It's like that teacher who got disciplined, maybe even removed, for asking students to identify any positives Hitler/his regime did for Germany during his leadership. Such people lost their minds over it, but it's literally just a simple question of fact. You're not exonerating the man or his regime if you state as a fact employment figures improved vastly, or if hospital/medical care improved. It is what it is, you need to be able to learn to look at things from every angle, every point of view etc, doesn't mean you agree with it.
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ThomH97
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Looks like history should be taught where black people were only referred to as 'African-American' and never the victims of racial slurs. Then kids will wonder what all the fuss is about.
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TrentBoyett
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I remember saying the N-word in class when reading of mice and men.

I didn't like it, I kinda paused a second and I was thinking uh should I actually say this or am I meant to say n-word..


Yeah pretty dumb that you can't even quote others using the word now.


I'd rather just stop calling it he n-word and use the full word but probably against rules. Whats point? N-word, everyone knows what it is. What pops into your head when you see n-word? the full word.
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z-hog
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One of those where there are no real victims of anything but everyone has to put on an act for sake of appearances, it's all a wicked construct.
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Napp
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God some of these people are pathetic these days. I mean how can you get offended by such a thing? She neither used it at someone nor with any sort of malice ..
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Just my opinion
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I understand why in the past black people decided to claim the word and own it but today if black people ( mostly men) stopped using it you wouldn't hear the word from one years end to the other.
The hyper usage of the word by them in all forms of media (and itrw) is beyond a joke.
You see some talking and it's literally every fourth or fifth word out of their mouths.
By comparison you never see white people use it at all.
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mgi
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Yes a bizarre incident. But what is your point about black versus white usage of the word?
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fallen_acorns
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the least shockign thing was that it was a white girl who complained.
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mgi
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
the least shockign thing was that it was a white girl who complained.
What do you mean?
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mgi
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(Original post by Napp)
God some of these people are pathetic these days. I mean how can you get offended by such a thing? She neither used it at someone nor with any sort of malice ..
That is precisely why i am never afraid to articulate an unpopular opinion- otherwise the lunatics will start running the asylum! That professor needs to consult an employment rights lawyer asap. The foolish decision will then be reversed. Society is not yet ready for white people to use the N word- unless- as in this case- it is during academic debate or instruction. It matters not one jot if the N word is used by African descent people. It has a different' ring' to it than if a white person uses it. That is the reality.
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by mgi)
What do you mean?
in my time in higher education, I have seen far more white girls outraged about offense against a certain group, than the group itself. Its been my experience that people of a minority/persecuted group tend to complain when they actual face discrimination or prejudice or cruelty.. whereas white(mostly girls) complain about something that 'could' be deemed offensive or problematic, even if no one has actually been offended or upset, or no negative consequences have even happened at all.
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