This happened in the UK, but it’s easy to imagine something similar happening here.

The College Fix reports:

Lecturer uses word ‘negro’ from black-authored source material, university apologizes to students

Officials at the University of York in the UK apologized to students after an English lecturer read aloud the word “negro” from black-authored source material.

According to the Daily Mail, students were “distressed” upon hearing the word, which came from passages by (black) writers William Edward Burghardt Du Bois and Fritz Fanon.

One of the former’s works actually is titled “The Philadelphia Negro.”

When the offended undergrads complained to English Department Chair Helen Smith, she responded with a letter of apology. Smith noted that while the word wasn’t used “offensively,” she recognized the “considerable distress” it had caused:

I am extremely sorry that this happened, and I have written to all staff in the department to make it clear that they should not pronounce racial slurs as part of their teaching and that if those words appear in texts or on PowerPoint slides, they should be prefaced with an appropriate content warning.

Smith followed that up with a message to the department: Don’t use “negro” henceforth. (Or, as she wrote in her email, “n*gro.”) If lecturers must read aloud the term, Smith suggested the following preface:

I am going to be using quotations which feature racial slurs, in an attempt to fully explore the topic, and in no way to condone the use of such words in other contexts by those who are not members of the specific racial groups who have chosen to reclaim these terms.


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