Serious question… is there any amount of political correctness that does not constitute “running amuck”? Why do we never observe “an extremely minor incident of political correctness that bears monitoring?” If everyone can’t say whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want, does it always signify that our entire civilization has gone off the rails and needs to be nuked from orbit to restore Enlightenment ideals to their place of rightful supremacy?
My take is that the prof wasn’t entirely blameless anyway.
Of all the words in all the languages in the world, he has to pick that one to illustrate a point? As some people noted upthread, he was probably trying to get a rise out of his students. He couldn’t not know that they would react.
Face to face, that probably worked in previous years. ‘Nega, nega, nega’, ‘Say, what?’ Then he explains.
Online, though, it’s a different story. Students are not paying attention, they are suddenly jolted by it without context, and they can’t interrupt to ask.
After saying it, he needed to explain clearly that it was not the n-word, and say something about words in different languages sounding like words in other languages. It was a mistake to throw it out without explanation. He’s supposed to be teaching communication, for godsake!
Yes, it was a very minor incident that got sorted out, but he deserved a rap over the knuckles for being an idiot.
If only that was how the OP and his news sources put it. Instead, it just said suspended and no longer teaching. If the headline were, “Professor not finishing teaching one of his several classes due to some stupid misunderstanding, but will continue teaching his other classes”, we probably would have less discussion here.
“Why did a professor who is familiar with Chinese, is associated with the his university’s US-China Institute, and specializes in Pacific Rim business relations – notably working often in China – choose as an example one of the most commonly used words in the Chinese language when talking about filler words in other languages?”
Truly this is a mystery for the ages.
It is, however, yet another case of “PC run amok” fearmongering run amok.
Meanwhile, Trump threatens to ban funding to schools that use a curriculum that upsets conservatives. How many supposed defenders of academic freedom on the right have peeped up about this blatant example of political correctness from the highest office in the land?
I’m going to guess zero. How did I do?
Unless a politically correct practitioner of Wicca came along and turned them all into crickets, you’re right!
Occam’s razor says that’s probably the right answer. Hordes of conservatives and self-described “anti-PC” people have all been turned in to crickets!