Petition demands UNCW fire conservative prof over op-eds
An online petition is calling for the firing of a University of North Carolina-Wilmington criminology professor, claiming that he harassed and threatened a student by publishing her name in an op-ed.
The petition, which has more than 2,000 signatures, claims that Mike Adams, a high-profile conservative professor and columnist, violated the Seahawk Respect Compact and has “a history of spewing misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, racist rhetoric.”
"Sometimes I wonder whether LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Thespian."
“UNC Wilmington actively fosters, encourages, and promotes inclusiveness, mutual respect, acceptance, and open-mindedness among students, faculty, staff, and the broader community,” reads the Seahawk Respect Compact, a sort of mission statement put out by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
The student Adams allegedly harassed in his op-ed is Nada Merghani, a UNCW social justice activist who left several ominous Facebook posts in August, saying, “Expect to see me at the Trump rally on Tuesday. Y’all are not prepared for what I’m about to do,” and “All I can say is pray I make it out of this alive.”
The posts were enough to earn her a visit from the Secret Service, which ultimately determined that she was not a threat, but nonetheless encouraged her not to attend the rally.
Merghani then reported that she was on the receiving end of “at least one threatening message” that she later deleted, and intended to sue the school for failing to protect her from “trauma” because they denied her request for “armed escorts.”
Nearly two weeks after the entire incident, Adams penned a tongue-in-cheek op-ed for The Daily Wire, titled, “A ‘Queer Muslim’ Jihad?”
In the article, Adams claims that although the student is “confused,” he does not believe her threat to the rally was credible, noting that he “had the displeasure of meeting this upstanding SJW,” and that she appears to have “a condition manifesting itself in compulsive conduct meant to draw attention toward oneself at all times.”
“Her claims to be a 'queer Muslim' are probably part of an act designed to fit into as many victim categories as humanly possible,” Adams elaborates. “Sometimes I wonder whether LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Thespian. So much drama, so few letters in the alphabet."
According to the petition to fire Adams, Meghani has decided to transfer schools because “Adams's followers have since begun sending death threats to the student.”
Mehani responded to Adams’s op-ed on her personal blog, writing that Adams “insists on comparing me to ISIS, sending his students and supporters after me to make death threats, writing blog posts about me claiming it’s not possible for me to be queer and muslim, slandering me in his classes, and ultimately doing everything he can to use his power, privileges, and platforms over me to make my life hell.”
In a letter provided to Campus Reform, a UNCW doctoral applicant writes to Chancellor Jose Sartarelli expressing outrage over Adams’ articles and urging him to “reassess” whether Adams is a good “fit” for the university.
“[Adams] is correct that free speech is his prerogative in the classroom, as it is a right for leftist professors as well,” the applicant writes. “But mocking this, saying that those who disagree with him (primarily social justice activists) are ‘emotionally damaged’ and have a ‘promising career working at Starbucks upon graduation,’ and that by contrast his class is ‘actual subject matter’ as opposed to political indoctrination…This is utterly appalling.”
However, the university has refused to condemn Adams’s editorial, explaining in a statement that speech is not “threatening” just because it is upsetting.
“I have previously shared my position that speech we do not agree with, or which may upset us, does not equate with speech that is threatening,” Sartarelli asserted in a statement. “Our students and faculty have the right to share their opinions, both on and off campus. We as an institution do not, and should not, regulate or respond to those opinions. There is often misinformation involved, unfortunately, and even language many would consider ugly, but this comes with the territory of free and open expression.”
Adams succinctly responded to the petition on his Facebook page, taunting his antagonists to “Keep petitioning ... You're increasing my income.”
Adams previously won a seven-year lawsuit against the university after he claimed he was denied a promotion and tenure due to his conservative political affiliations, and was awarded $50,000 in back pay.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey