Mike Adams
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I want everyone who is reading this short column to try to imagine what kind of behavior could have possibly prompted a UNC professor to so harshly rebuke one of her students for comments he made inside the classroom. Was the student wearing a hooded white robe? Did he have a noose in his hand? Did he utter the ?n-word?? The answer is at the end of the column.

Dear Professor Crystall:

Could you please tell me whether you really sent the following e-mail, and, if so, what comments prompted you to do so?

Mike Adams
Associate Professor
UNC-Wilmington

dear all --

because we did not have time to respond to and discuss fully [or barely at all] the last comments in class yesterday, and because we will be unable to do so on tuesday due to the length of the film, i find myself in the unfortunate position of having to resort to email, not the best medium of expression, in order to respond to thursday's class. let me add here, up front, that i invite all or any of you who feel the need or desire to discuss any of these -- or other -- issues further, to please email me and set up an appt. also, i find myself needing to address you all and not any one individual because what happened did so to all of us.

1. let me start off my (sic) saying that i apologize to all of you for not having made clear the first day of classes what i will make clear here and now: that i will not tolerate any racist, sexist, and/or heterosexist comments in my class. what we heard thursday at the end of class constitutes "hate speech" and is completely unacceptable. it has created a hostile environment. i am deeply sorry and apologize to those of us who are now feeling that the classroom we share is an unsafe environment, for those of us who feel vulnerable or threatened. i will do my best to counter those feelings and protect that space from further violence.

2. what we experienced, as unforuntate (sic) as it is, is, however, a perfect example of privilege. that a white, heterosexual, christian male, one who vehemently denied his privilege last week insisting that he earned all he has, can feel entitled to make violent, heterosexist comments and not feel marked or threatened or vulnerable is what privilege makes possible.

3. for those of you who want to respond to and discuss further thursday's class and the comments that tim made, or anything else about this class, about yourselves, about the world, i will open the discussion board/forum made available to us on blackboard. the ground rules are: no anonymous posts are allowed; folks will be unable to delete or edit their messages after they have been posted; NO HATE SPEECH will be tolerated.

thank you, elyse

Dear Professor Crystall:

I am sorry to bother you again. I am told that your e-mail (the one I referenced in my previous e-mail to you) was sent after a student expressed his religious objections to homosexuality in your class. I understand, furthermore, that he referred to homosexuality as ?disgusting.? I am at a loss to understand why the First Amendment does not protect his strongly worded speech, while your (perhaps more) strongly worded rebuttal is protected. Is it possible that your speech is creating a hostile environment for your students at UNC-Chapel Hill? I am interested in hearing your side of the story.

Mike Adams
Associate Professor
UNC-Wilmington

Mike S. Adams ( www.DrAdams.org ) is still waiting for a response from Professor Crystall. Signed copies of 'Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel' can now be ordered at his website.

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Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.