Mike Adams
Recommend this article

In my first video, LaShawn, a black student, is angry about his bad grade on a paper defending affirmative action. In the video, the instructor (played by me) calmly assures the student, "This isn't a personal thing against you." Of course, the black male student responds angrily. His gaze is intense and evokes fear of a possible physical assault as he says “I think it is. You've made it very clear in your class how you feel about affirmative action and you're taking it out on me." I respond in a pleading tone, "My personal beliefs have nothing to do with the way I treat you."

In my second video, Hunter, a feminist student, is angry about her bad grade on a paper defending abortion. In the video, I calmly assure the student, "This isn't a personal thing against you." Of course, the feminist starts to cry. Her voice is barely discernible as she says “I think it is. You've made it very clear in your class how you feel about abortion and you're taking it out on me." I respond in a pleading tone, "My personal beliefs have nothing to do with the way I treat you."

In my third video, Christopher (formerly Chris), a gay student, is angry about his bad grade on a paper defending gay marriage. In the video, I calmly assure the student, "This isn't a personal thing against you." Of course, the gay man starts to cry. His voice is barely discernible as he clutches his Yorkshire terrier and says “I think it is. You've made it very clear in your class how you feel about gay marriage and you're taking it out on me." I respond in a pleading tone, "My personal beliefs have nothing to do with the way I treat you."

After I send these three videos to Penn State, I will admit that all three videos could have been seen as a stereotypical portrayal of important groups. Then I will blandly assert that I certainly regret any misperceptions the videos may have caused.

Hopefully, officials at Penn State will accept my half-hearted apology. If so, I promise I’ll accept theirs.

Recommend this article

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.