Nine students at DePaul Universityâ€™s College of Law in Chicago have complained to the dean about a professorâ€™s use of the N-word in a criminal law hypothetical about a white Supremacist.
DePaulâ€™s Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity is investigating, report the Chicago Sun-Times and Crainâ€™s Chicago Business.
Professor Donald Hermann tells the Sun-Times he used the word last Thursday in this hypothetical: A white supremacist at a funeral of a civil rights leader uses the N-word, causing the crowd to come after him. If the white supremacist shoots and kills someone, can he claim self-defense?
The answer, Hermann says, is that the white supremacist is guilty of murder because he was the aggressor. â€œMy argument was that almost every other slur would not be enough in a similar context to make the harasser an aggressor,â€� he said.
Using an alternate word to describe the slur â€œwaters down the discussion and the significance of the word,â€� he said.
Hermann told the Sun-Times and Crainâ€™s that students will encounter the Racial Slur if they pursue a career in criminal law. â€œIf this word interferes with their functioning, being a lawyer is probably not a thing they should be doing,â€� he told Crainâ€™s.
Hermann also told Crainâ€™s he regrets causing personal hurt and he is open to using alternative language.
Days before Hermann used the N-word in class, students had complained about his use of other disparaging terms.
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