USC prof no longer teaching after using Chinese word that sounds like racial slur

A University of Southern California professor is "taking a short term pause" after video of a recent class lecture surfaced.

In the video, the professor is heard saying a Chinese filler word, which sounds like an English language racial slur.

A communications professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business is on a short-term break after saying a Chinese word that sounds similar to an English language racial slur.

During a recent online class, Greg Patton, who is an “expert in communication, interpersonal and leadership effectiveness,” according to his faculty bio, explained the usage of a Chinese filler word for “that,” comparing it to the usage of “like,” “um,” and other American filler words.

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On Tuesday evening, the USC Marshall School of Business provided Campus Reform with a statement, confirming that Patton is no longer teaching his course.

“Recently, a USC faculty member during class used a Chinese word that sounds similar to a racial slur in English. We acknowledge the historical, cultural and harmful impact of racist language,” the statement read.

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Patton “agreed to take a short term pause while we are reviewing to better understand the situation and to take any appropriate next steps.” 

Another instructor is temporarily teaching the class.  

USC is now “offering supportive measures to any student, faculty, or staff member who requests assistance.” The school is “committed to building a culture of respect and dignity where all members of our community can feel safe, supported, and can thrive.”

Campus Reform reached out to Patton for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft