A Princeton professor has canceled a class on hate speech after a handful of students walked out in protest last week when he used a racial slur multiple times during a lecture, the University Press Club reports. Students tell the Daily Princetonian that during a Feb. 6 class for "Cultural Freedoms—Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography" professor Lawrence Rosen asked, "What is worst, a white man punching a black man, or a white man calling a black man a [racial slur]?" Students say he used the slur twice more in the ensuing discussion. One student says the lecture was about "what is acceptable as free speech and what is not." Four students reportedly walked out of the class as others demanded an apology from Rosen that wasn't forthcoming.
“The professor saw how uncomfortable the students were with his language,” says one student. “If he doesn’t respect the students’ opinion, then it’s not worth learning from him.” Two students filed a complaint with Princeton officials, but the university issued a statement defending Rosen, the AP
reports. "The conversations and disagreements that took place in the seminar led by Professor Rosen are part of the vigorous engagement and robust debate that are central to what we do," the statement reads. Christopher Eisgruber, president of Princeton, says he respects Rosen's use of the word and stresses the importance of conversations that make people "uncomfortable." Faculty members say Rosen often used the racial slur during lectures and had never gotten such a negative response. Rosen announced the cancellation of the class on Monday.
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