What with the alarming recent pseudotrend of racism permeating college campuses, we'd be remiss if we didn't bring you up to speed on this late-breaking story from Friday: Mark Wattier (pictured, atop horse), a political science professor at Murray State University, has decided to retire after being suspended by the school for allegedly making a racial remark to two black students who, he said, showed up late for class. The student says:
"And then he said, ‘Well, it's OK, I expect it of you guys anyway,'" Johnson said. "We asked him, ‘What did that mean?' And he said the slaves never showed up on time, so their owners often lashed them for it. He just didn't have the right."
That would indeed reflect poor judgment—or even outright stupidity, nastiness, and calcified racism!—on Wattier's part. But the departing professor says it wasn't as bad as that:
After a class early last semester, Wattier said, two students approached him asking for a course syllabus. Wattier concluded the students had shown up late for class, but he said he did not know if Johnson was one of them.
"Then, I made a mistake," Wattier said in the e-mail. "I did say, 'Do you know why you were late? There's a theory that a way to protest their master's treatment was for slaves to be late.'
Ohhh. Well in that case.