Professor at SDSU Disciplined for Using ‘N-Word’ Says it Was Taken Out of Context and Not Meant with Racist Intent

Cancel culture, depending on how you look at this story, appears to be rearing its ugly head yet again. That is if it is true what the professor claims, he meant no ill will in this scandal being reported.

Professor of philosophy and ethics J. Angelo Corlett at San Diego State University was removed from teaching two courses, Philosophy, Racism and Justice, and Critical Thinking and Composition, on March 1st after student complaints of the use of the n-word in his lectures.

Corlett claims that he used the slur to show the difference between racial language, and racist language.

According to the Daily Aztec a former student who filed a complaint, Amanda Malawski, stated she had reported the professor in 2020.

“I reported him last fall for the language and stuff, and nothing was done,” Malawski said.

The aspiring lawyer thought the class would touch on topics relevant to her career goals. However, the “offensiphobia” lecture was given after the add/drop deadline, and from that point forward she said she hated attending the class. 

“He always said because he experiences racism he understands…I get that he experiences racism but it doesn’t justify using the n-word,” Malawski said… 

He would justify that if a white person is offended by him saying the n-word like why are you offended, you’re not a Black person, and he would be like ‘the only people that should be offended are Black people,’” Corlett said. “But when people said he shouldn’t say that, he would go back to his ‘offensiphobia’ bullshit lecture.”

The SDSU Afrikan Student Union shared on Instagram a statement after the professor’s removal from teaching the courses.

In the statement, that can be seen below, the organization claims Corlett, ”participated in acts of racism… this has caused students… to feel uncomfortable.” It goes on to express its support for the University’s decision to remove him from the classes.

They conclude their statement with a quote from Angela Davis, ”In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racists.”

In support of the professor, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released an article that some found offensive. They also released a petition defending Corlett and his teaching methods signed by College faculty who support the professor from across the country.

FIRE sent a letter to the college, addressing its punishment of the professor violating his first amendment.

The professor said he was not made aware of the complaints before his removal. Thus not w him the ability to address them or defend himself.

With pushback coming in against the actions of the university, it remains to be seen if anything will change in their actions or if they will stick with their original decision. The offended students seem to have a lot of power in getting what they want.