Florida Gulf Coast University is known for its basketball (March 2016), but now is in the spotlight over a White Racism class. Photo: AP
Washington (People's Daily) -Campus police at a university in Florida were stationed outside a sociology class on White Racism after the professor received numerous threatening emails and voice messages.
Assistant Sociology Professor, Ted Thornhill, who is African American, teaches the sensitive course at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Fort Myers, Florida.
“My White Racism course is not anti-white, it is anti-white racism,” explained Thornhill.
As the course introduction explained the classwill, “interrogate the concept of race; examine the racist ideologies, laws, policies, and practices.”
Thornihill's class began Tuesday and was filled to maximum capacity with 50 students.
“Not all white people are racists; some are even anti-racist. However, all people racialized as white derive, in some measure, material and psychological benefits by virtue of being racialized as white," said Thornhill.
On college and university campuses in America, professors are often threatened. In 2016, over 100 harassment cases were reported.
Thornhill said some of the hate mail he received was provocative and threatening, and he was unsure what would happen during his class.
Reports emerged that some of the FGCU students became uneasy after they saw the extra security near the classroom.
US higher-learning institutions are liberal, and many professors and students are more left-leaning than conservative.
Inspired by the so-called “anti-political correctness movement,” conservatives have taken a more pro-active role on campus environments.
Last year, protests and demonstrations happened at universities like UC Berkley in San Francisco and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Fortunately, Tuesday’s class did not offer any surprises and will continue on its same weekly schedule. It isn’t known whether campus police will be called to stand guard again.
FGCU Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan Evans said that the university's police department would determine going forward if there would be anything new that could warrant attention beyond the normal campus routine.