A professor at St. John’s University was allegedly fired for reading aloud a racial slur from “Pudd’nhead Wilson”, an anti-slavery novel written by Mark Twain.
Hannah Berliner Fischthal, an adjunct instructor at the Catholic college in Queens for 20 years, uttered the N-word once during a remote class Feb. 10 — after she first explained to students the context of the word and said she hoped it would not offend anyone, the New York Post reported.
The professor had been with the University for 20 years. She uttered the N-word one singular time during a remote class session.
Twain uses the word in places of dialogue. When two or more people are verbally communicating, and where that word would be spoken. In the pre civil war south. Twain however does not use the word in his own narration.
After the word was spoken a student immediately left class and began writing emails to the schools administration. The student claimed that the use of the word was unnecessary.
The Daily Caller reported, “most students in the class expressed their support for Fischthal, explaining the term was used in context of the reading rather than in a racist manner. The professor was suspended in March, then notified of her firing in late April.”
The context in which a word is very important. The word “pen”, in one instance it may mean a holding area for animals, and in another refer to an ink based writing utensil.
If there is not an intent behind the word that is racist, it means nothing.