Duquesne University professor encourages use of n-word in his class; he’s no longer teaching that class

And it’s doubtful he’ll ever teach any other class at the university again.

TribLive.com reports that Gary Shank committed a spectacularly bad and almost certainly career-ending move in a class on Thursday.

“I’m giving you permission to use the word, OK, because we’re using the word in a pedagogical sense. What’s the one word about race that we’re not allowed to use?” asks Shank. 

Nobody responds. 

“I’ll give you a hint: It starts with ‘n,’ “ Shank continues. “OK, I’ll tell you the word. And again, I’m not using it in any way other than to demonstrate a point. Fair enough?”

The professor then says the full N-word and begins discussing how it was used when he was younger: “When I was a young man, all right, that was a very commonly used word.”

Yes, when he was younger, it most certainly was “a very commonly used word.” But America has advanced sufficiently (at least when it comes to that word) to recognize that those who utter it deserve severe penalties for doing do.

First major call for the spring term: Cal State U system to remain online

The president of the California State University system indicates in a press release that CSU institutions will remain online this spring.

After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors – regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations – I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing.

I believe this is the first indication from any college or university as to how it will offer instruction this spring. I recognize some institutions announced a few weeks ago that some students would be allowed on campus in the fall and a different set of students in the spring, but the underlying presumption was that some on ground instruction would take place in both terms.

Information nationalism; what it is, and why it matters

Journalist Sarah Jeong reminds us that information nationalism is real, and we shouldn’t ignore it.

Here’s how I would describe its assumptions:

1. When your country acknowledges human rights abuses, you are made weak

2. You can weaken rival nation-states by exposing their human rights abuses

Later, she adds

When you play the game of information-nationalism, you don’t slander your enemies; you tell the truth about them, while hiding the truth about yourself.

Then there’s this reminder:

Information-nationalism pervades many arenas, beyond the issues of racism and political dissent. The federal government has made it harder to see numbers on coronavirus infections. The president has even said on the record that increased testing will make him look bad. The logic behind this is the same logic that drove the Chinese Communist Party to hide the pandemic in Wuhan in the very early days, much to everyone’s detriment. The similarities in their behavior will not stop the president from blaming China for a cover-up — that’s exactly how information-nationalism works.