A Chicago Blackhawks hockey jersey usually inspires an abundance of team loyalty, but at Bethel University a student has apologized for wearing one to class. He was told the sweater was “offensive and hurtful,” The College Fix reports.
Student Cody Albrecht became the center of his controversy when he wore the sweatshirt to his Social Perspectives, Human Worth and Social Action class at the small Christian college in Minnesota. The course studies culture, power and oppression in America. Albrecht, who hails from the Windy City, wore the hockey jersey to class last month before quickly realizing that he had committed a microaggression gaffe “after becoming aware of the unease in his classroom because of his sweatshirt,” as the college’s student newspaper, the Clarion, described the situation.
Albrecht suggested that the turn the jersey inside out to hide the offending picture of a Blackhawk Native American that has represented the Chicago sports franchise since it was one of the first six teams in the National Hockey League.
As offended as Albrecht’s fellow students apparently felt, the class instructor, James Jacobs, really took his student’s wardrobe offense in a personal way, chiding the student on Facebook, where the teacher expressed the depth of his indignation.
“So your college professor is a Native American. A Native American who has spoken multiple times about the offensiveness of Indian Mascots. Yet you come to class with an Indian mascot sprawled across your shirt… Bold move sir,” Jacobs scolded.
The College Fix was able to view the text.
Whether shamed by the post or because of an alleged meeting between Albrecht and the head of the social work department, the student recanted his politically incorrect ways and contritely apologized to the class.
Jacobs apparently thought the episode represented a wonderful opportunity to illustrate how safe spaces can be invaded by unthinking students who can be forgiven when they see the error of their ways.
“I’m glad to say that this became an incredible learning opportunity for the student we had a lengthy conversation about it and the student really listened to why those images are offensive and hurtful,” Jacobs explained on his Facebook page.
Albrecht is seemingly prepared to let the matter rest, offering no comment on the episode, other than telling The College Fix that he did not want to affect “the reconciliation” that has been achieved through his apology.
But others are not so willing to let this “public shaming” pass without criticism, as one student, wishing to remain anonymous, described the incident. “It was not necessary to get the head of his major’s department involved,” the student said. “They were using intimidation tactics.”
There was other comment on the Clarion’s Facebook page.
“The professor needs to start teaching his students how to think instead of force-feeding them his fringe opinion,” said one student, while another asked the pertinent question: “Is this satire?”