Mike Adams

First, the university can handle the abusive email from (name deleted) by breaking into her email account to read some of her personal emails.  Such a search can determine whether similar messages, which may have a) defamed me and, b) violated my constitutional right to feel comfortable at all times, were sent to others.

For those who are new to the Board of Trustees, that is the way the university dealt with me in 2001 after I sent an email to a student saying ?The constitution protects your speech just as it has protected bigoted, unintelligent, and immature speech for many years.? The recipient of my message said that she was defamed and intimidated (read: made uncomfortable) by the message so the university took a peek into my email account. They wanted to see whether I had sent that same message to others. Now that I am feeling defamed and intimidated, I demand equal justice.

As for the sign and the missive, I have carefully stored them in a plastic bag to make sure that any fingerprints are preserved for police analysis. The state Bureau of Investigation (SBI) can come by the office to collect them any time. Then, they can ?swatch? my office door to see if our suspect left any other fingerprints.

I know it sounds strange to the Board, but that is what the SBI did in 2002 when a professor accused me of spraying tear gas in her office. That false police report was classified as a ?hate crime.? Since we obviously have another ?hate crime? on our hands, I know that the authorities will conduct this investigation in a similar manner. Equal justice is really important here in our university community. That?s what I learned from the Director of Diversity.

If all of this seems like too much of a hassle, I have another option for the university that is much less time consuming. It simply involves issuing the following statement to the entire university community:

Hate speech is an elusive and fluid concept, which is difficult to define, and even more difficult to enforce within the university context. Universities cannot investigate and enforce every breech of the speech codes, which are enumerated in the student and faculty handbooks. The policies are simply too broad and vague for total enforcement. That is why universities opt for a policy of ?selective application.?

When deciding which instances of hate speech to investigate, universities rely upon the demographics of the parties involved. Most liberal college administrators, whether aware of it or not, like to defend blacks because they consider them to be intellectually inferior to whites. They also like to defend feminists and gays, because they view them to be emotionally inferior to their male and heterosexual counterparts.

Of course, the school prefers to protect these special groups whenever the offender is conservative, Christian or, ideally, both.

The university recognizes that the speech codes themselves violate the First Amendment. The university also recognizes that ?selective application? violates the Fourteenth Amendment. But, realistically, the university knows that students under their control are unlikely to challenge the university speech codes in a court of law. The mere threat of stigmatization as a racist, sexist, or homophobe is enough to produce the result that university officials deem best for the student, the university community, and society at large. That result is total capitulation by the accused.

Speech codes exert a chilling effect on free speech, even if no case is ever brought forward in the campus judicial system. That is why they are so effective. That is why universities have them, despite their obvious illegality.

So there are your options, Trustees. We can handle this case the easy way or we can handle it the hard way. But, either way, I eagerly await your response.

Dr. Mike S. Adams (www.DrAdams.org) occasionally uses the terms ?hate speech? and ?hate crimes? interchangeably. It is hard to know where one ends and the other begins. Several college administrators claim to know the difference, but, because it is classified information, will not share it with the general public.

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.