The student(s) who wrote that garbage have a lot to learn. Excellent response, professor.
Could’ve been shorter, though.
Premise: anyone who is offended by BLM is a bigoted douchebag.
Critique: nope, that’s absolutely true. So bite me, you appalling little shitstains.
I am flabbergasted and appalled that seemingly intelligent people think that “Black lives matter” is a racist statement.
“Privileged Lives Matter”
At its finest.
The law prof should’ve first run with this self-emphasized sentence from the students’ lament:
“We are here to learn the law.”
To which the prof could’ve then began
his her letter:
You want to learn the law? Well then, consider school officially in session.
That was beautiful. I wish that I could shake that professor’s hand.
I’m go’n work that into a song, credit to your wonderful prose.
“Things in the world have meanings that exist outside of you.”
I might just have to make a poster out of that quote and put it in my classroom.
“who wrote to a prof to object to their choice to wear a Black Lives Matter t-shirt in class”
This shows the major problem with using “their” as a gender neutral pronoun, since the sentence becomes completely ambiguous. I don’t have an answer to the problem, but I really think they/their creates more problems than it solves. The problem exists in the plural too ("they wrote to them to object to their…), but at least in the one-many or many-one cases ambiguity is avoided with singular pronouns.
[edit - just to be clear I am with the professor 100% of the way, what I was commenting on wasn’t in the response.]
I wasn’t confused because context, but taken alone it does look like someone wrote to the professor to object to their own choice to wear a BLM t-shirt ie “Prof, why didn’t you stop me from wearin that tee-shirt bro, I was totes embarrassed by me!”
But that letter! Not just first year, but bottom of the class first year.
I’ve seen better presented rants by 9th grade racists on youtube comments.
edit = I just skimmed it all again for laffs,
I conclude that there is no law professor. Instead you have here the world’s first successful alchemist!
He turned a ball of fresh drippy shit into lemonade!
If I had read that from a student it would have turned my stomach in embarrassment for the poor idiot student, and I likely would not have responded.
I’ve read it twice already, and am taking notes for the next time I have to deal with a whiny entitled brat.
And that student’s letter of complaint reminds me of some of the GamerGater screeds, where they’re so overblown with rhetoric that, when you analyze them, they boil down to “bad is bad because I say they’re bad.” Not nearly in the same degree of overinflation, but still edging in that direction. The attempt to paint a causal connection between the prof wearing a BLM shirt and decreased bar passage rate, in particular, has me just shaking my head.
Because they’re law students, college students or just because they’re clearly white?
But really, kidding aside, I find it’s usually best not to assume intelligence.
Best line in the letter. I was practically cheering.
Thank you! That’s exactly the correction needed
getting into law school and being a good person are not quite the same thing. Imagine the Venn diagram.
In some cases the gender-specific singular pronoun would remove the confusion, and would have worked here (multiple complainers but only one professor), but a more general fix would have been to write “the professor’s choice”. A bit clumsy, but unambiguous.
I was enjoying his brutal takedown up to that “addressing people by their titles matters” bit. Could not disagree more strenuously. Titles are bullshit, and ignoring them is the thing to do in all situations.
As a philosophical principle fine, in practice often very counter productive. The advice, applied to law students, is good. Lawyers are jealous of titles. Expert witnesses already probably feel that lawyers have an undeserved sense of superiority, so failing to address them by title is likely to result in a hostile witness. Your advice would negate a lot of the value of those tuition fees. And, applied to someone planning to enter the armed forces, it could be most unfortunate.