A Princeton University professor canceled a free speech course after complaints stemming from his use of the n-word, according to a Tuesday report.
Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen, who teaches anthropology at Princeton, used the word multiple times in a February class, reported Fox News. Two students complained to school officials and Rosen canceled the course, despite the university coming to his defense.
“Which is more provocative: A white man walks up to a black man and punches him in the nose, or a white man walks up to a black man and calls him [the n-word]?” the professor asked the class.
Multiple students demanded Rosen apologize for using the slur. The professor refused and a group of students walked out of the class; two students filed complaints. Rosen reported using his n-word example in previous iterations of the course, and said this is the first time it has elicited such a reaction.
But Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber defended Rosen’s instructional method.
“I think it’s very important for our culture to have academic freedom that allows people to have pedagogical choices on how to teach difficult subjects,” said Eisgruber, according to Fox News. “I respect Professor Rosen’s decision about how to teach the subject in the way that he did by being explicit and using very difficult words.”
The school’s black anthropology chair, Carolyn Rouse, also agreed with Rosen’s approach.
“I feel bad for the students who left the class not trusting the process,” Rouse said. “Rosen was fighting battles for women, Native Americans, and African-Americans before these students were born. He grew up a Jew in anti-Semitic America, and recognizes how law has afforded him rights he would not otherwise have.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Rosen for additional comment, particularly concerning why he decided to cancel the course after support from the administration, but received none in time for press.
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