This is a continuation of my article Political Correctness Run Amok at Mercer Law School where some hypersensitive students, administration, and faculty completely overreacted over the use of the n-word in a pedagogical environment in a teaching moment over a lesson about Thurgood Marshall, Brown V. BOE, among other subjects. Oedel claims that he was using some quotes from works by Professor Leland Ware that contained the offensive word in question which caused such manufactured outrage.
In the recent Macon Telegraph attack piece they quoted Professor Anthony Baldwin who wrote that he contacted professor Leland Ware, who Oedel said made the remarks he was quoting. Ware told Baldwin he never used that epithet and was “deeply offended” by the suggestion that he did.
Your apology can’t be genuine if you continue to sit on a false representation and facts that are not true,” Baldwin wrote to Oedel.
This presents at least three possible scenarios. Either Oedel, Baldwin, or Ware are lying. Now I fully understand there are other possibilities as well considering few people can remember what they said a month ago let alone a decade or more ago. Perhaps Ware actually believes he never used the word or perhaps he remembers he said it and is afraid to admit it now. Irrelevant as I have now found multiple instance where Leland Ware wrote the word.
I present exhibits A, B , and C which are attached as PDF documents that were written by Leland Ware.
I found many other examples of his writing where the word in question appears but I think this should be sufficient to make the point. Each document has multiple instances of the word in question.
Here is one example of one the PDF’s included below written by the very same Leland Ware who gave the speech at Mercer.
This alone exonerates Oedel at least in terms of the question of whether Leland Ware has used this in his teaching materials. The likelihood that he also used it in speeches has a remarkably high probability given the abundance of the occurrence it his written work. Why would he write multiple works that focus on the impact of this word, include multiple instances of the word in his writing, and then choose to give a speech without using it? That makes no sense. In any case, Oedel could have been quoting the written work and not one of Ware’s lectures.
To Professor Anthony Baldwin I would like to ask why you would fail to give the benefit of the doubt to a fellow faculty member. Baldwin presumably knows how to use a computer and has access to Lexis-Nexis and could have taken the 30 seconds it took me to verify this for myself.
This question would be equally applicable to Phillip Ramati and the Macon Telegraph that also seem incapable of doing even basic research. Had they done so they could have found the quotes in question and might have also discovered that Oedel had worked for the NAACP and the legal defense fund. That tidbit of information would have certainly offered a little more balance and perspective to the story.
But then again, had they bothered to do research this might have conflicted with their preconceived narrative. It is far easier to impugn someones character and raise FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) 😕
After all what do decades spent helping and working with black people have to do with the hypersensitive overreaction of a few students. Dean Daisy Floyd’s response should have been one of calm, cool, and reserve but she instead chose to hit the panic button and raise the moat instead.
On a personal note, I have had college students curse at me and other students in several languages with far more graphical terms. Usually, after I handed out exam results. Not a great idea to curse at a professor who also happens to be a polyglot. But none of these incidents ever made the news or cause a campus-wide crisis. Instead, it was handled then and there and became a valuable teaching point.
A little advice to the Macon Telegraph, Daisy Floyd, Anthony Baldwin, hypersensitive students who weren’t even in the class, and anyone else that got their panties in a wad over this non-issue, I have a friend named Google I would like to introduce you to. He is my friend, why isn’t he yours? By the way, instead of grabbing your pitchforks and yelling rabble, rabble, rabble in the streets looking for blood, next time try and act like adults and look at the sky and you will notice an absence of cats and dogs falling from the sky above.
The word “nigga” is not an appropriate lexicon to use in any environment or context. Just because a person is considered a scholar in his field doesn’t make him right, just saying. My suggestion to the instructor in the future is to make the topic an individual reading assignment, to be addressed in class for a more intellectual/in-depth dissection of the topic and the word……….if it is a word that must be used to grasp the subject matter.
Proof is good, but awareness and knowledge is good too.
I have heard from several students that were in the class and the reports in the Macon Telegraph about his multiple use of the term at all were incorrect. He read some documents that contained the word and in fact had warned the class prior to reading that the text contained it as well. The outrage was manufactured by students not in the class and a hypersensitive African-American who is a new law professor (also not in the class) with a bee in her bonnet by the accounts I heard from students in the class.
This was simply a hit piece by the Telegraph likely inspired by a vendetta from Charles Richardson. Search his name on this site if you care to dig deeper. This was an attempt by the Cotton Avenue mafia (search this term on my site) to discredit one of the few people in Macon digging into corruption.
I imagine professor Oedel will avoid the subject entirely in the future given the politically correct maelstrom that prevents any serious discussion on race at Mercer and indeed most of the country. Thanks for your comment.
You would remain anonymous with such absurd, weak-willed comments…
My prior comments were directed to “Anonymous”, not Mr. Wood (for some reason I replied to the initial comment but it appears my post was directed to Mr. Wood). For further thoughts, see the following link,
where I wrote:
I was a student of Professor Oedel’s at Mercer Law and I have collaborated with him recently in conjunction with consumer protection (banking/mortgage) matters. He is genuinely one of the kindest, supportive, intelligent and reasonable people I’ve ever known. I just heard about this ridiculous matter last night – at a dinner for Mercer Law alums. Suffice it to say it is one of the most absurd, unfair, unreasonable and misplaced accusations I’ve EVER heard! And I am SO glad to have attended Mercer years before this kind of sissification, politically correct BS ever permeated the school.
I don’t care what the alleged circumstances or context or tone or whatever are said to ostensibly have existed, the fact is I am 100% certain that Oedel had and has not a racist or prejudicial or even mean spirited bone in his body! And the fact that any students of my alma matter are at all offended by this, or believe that Oedel should be sanctioned or even rebuked, is more than mildly disconcerting.
What in the hell is this country coming to? I mean seriously folks. That the word “NIGGER” cannot be said in any context without this kind of wussified backlash and widespread weak minded complaining is beyond perplexing and sad. The sterilization of society, and now the grad school intellectual classroom, must cease!
I (and most colleagues I know) wouldn’t dream of hiring any attorney who would be offended by this kind of thing – particularly a black person (most black intellectuals believe that giving the word this kind of attention only serves to perpetuate its power). Can you imagine what kind of representation one would receive from a litigator with such a weak-willed, politically correct, hyper-sensitive, uptight disposition? Having spent 18 years as a successful trial attorney – educated by Professor Oedel and others like him – I can assure you that any such student-turned-litigation attorney would be eaten alive in a New York minute!
What I AM deeply disturbed by, however, is the RESPONSE to this incident, and I do not intend to give another dime to Mercer if it takes any formal action whatsoever against Dave Oedel. As it stands I am literally astounded and ashamed to be associated with the institution for giving this kind of nonsense even a modicum of dignification.
Buck and toughen the hell up people and grow some BALLS! Then MAYBE you can entertain the notion of waging war in the trenches of the civil litigation battlefield with even a hint of hope for success…
Auden L. Grumet, Esq.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I wrote another article here that covered more details of the incident in question but suffice it to say that the Macon Telegraph article was a hit piece because Mr. Oedel used to write a column (for free) at the Telegraph and exposed a massive conflict of interest by the senior opinion editor named Charles Richardson. Soon after that Richardson “fired” Oedel. This n-word controversy was much ado about nothing. No one in the class complained. It was only people outside the class who heard distorted versions second and third hand that caused a stir.
You can say hi to Mr. Oedel at his new website. I also write a column for his new site. http://maconmonitor.com
Good piece! Thank you!!
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