Ex Slaves

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Sarah Wichmann
Professor Speers
WBIS 188
September 26, 2012
Journal Entry: “Racially Insensitive Language” at the University of Pennsylvania
Murray Dolfman, a law Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was teaching one if his classes and he asked his students what the Thirteenth Amendment forbade. Not a single person answered him so Dolfman said, "We have ex-slaves here who should know about the Thirteenth Amendment". After saying this, he also referred to himself as an ex-slave considering he comes from a Jewish background. The black students in the class took offense to this and eventually took it far enough where Professor Dolfman was asked to leave the University for two semesters. Dolfman’s explanation to saying those words made sense. He said that he only said it to get the students going and to try and understand the Thirteenth Amendment better. He never saw any problem in this and thought it was okay because he too considered himself to be an ex-slave. Besides the fact that Dolfman was not allowed to teach for a few semesters, he had to attend racial sensitivity workshops as well. If I were put in Murray Dolfman’s shoes and had to attend such workshops, I would be furious. At these workshops, you are automatically assumed to be racist, sexist, and homophobic. I am none of those and if people were to assume such things of me, I should have every right to assume the same about them. People now are too vulnerable and take problems like this too far. These problems wouldn’t even be problems if the same people would back off and stop being too concerned about their feelings and freedoms. If they are making those whom do not have a single issue with homosexuals, people of other ethnicity, and the opposite gender takes these classes, then they are just as bad as what they are making the people taking the class out to be. They are infringing on other’s personal freedoms.
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