'White Racism' class at Florida university sparks police presence
A Florida University was bracing itself Tuesday for the roll-out of a controversial new course called “White Racism.”
The class, set to launch as part of the spring semester at Florida Gulf Coast University, is slated to cover the concept of race and “examine the racist ideologies, laws, policies, and practices” that have allowed “white racial domination over those racialized as non-white,” according to the course description.
Assistant professor of Sociology Ted Thornhill, who will teach the course, said he’s received a slew of emails since it was announced, a few of which challenge the validity of the topic while others included racial slurs and referred to him as a racist, theNews-Press reported.
He turned nearly 50 pages of negative emails and a handful of voicemails over to the police out of an abundance of caution.
None of those reaching out to the professor threatened violence or to disrupt the class, but a few did wish him ill.
Thornhill also noted some of the 50 students enrolled in the class have expressed concern for their own safety. He told the Press people’s reactions to the course have been “upsetting but perhaps not entirely surprising given the nature of these more rabid white racists.”
The university intends to have two campus police officers standing guard outside the classroom doors as a precaution.
University officials met and developed a security plan in December, ahead of the course’s rollout — though no one would comment on whether the police presence would remain throughout the semester, according to the Press.
“We have prepared for any possible distractions related to Tuesday’s first class of the ‘White Racism Course,’” Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan Evan told NBC 2, “but we are expecting normal campus civility as our students engage in this and other courses as we start the spring semester this week.”