How to Answer a False Accusation of Racism
This particular student is enrolled in an online criminology class taught by a leftist professor. During a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the more conservative students in her class used the phrase “all lives matter.” Predictably, the leftist professor objected. But he went even further by repeatedly accusing the student of racism. To make matters worse, the ad hominem attacks were made in front of all the students enrolled in the course. It was part of an online class “discussion.”
Although the student who contacted me was not the one attacked, she wanted to know how to confront the professor who was so clearly out of line. She was understandably reticent to express her own views after seeing a fellow student attacked in the middle of class discussion. Given the importance of the issue, I am printing my response to the student to help other students who are similarly attacked or intimidated in the classroom:
Dear Amber: The first thing to remember about responding to a false accuser is what not to do. Above all, you must resist the temptation to accuse the professor of harassment or of breaking the campus speech code. That is what leftists do and it is wrong. The best way to respond to bad speech is with better speech, not censorship.