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Prominent black scholar voices support for use of “N-word” in academic contexts

Prominent African-American scholar Dr. Carol Swain says she believes it is “totally appropriate” for white professors to use the “N-word” in academic contexts.

This comes amid multiple controversies at Canadian post-secondary institutions involving white professors and lecturers being cancelled for using the word in class as part of their curricula.

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“I think it’s totally appropriate,” said Swain in an interview with True North. “Where you have free speech, I would hope that people would be able to use that (word).” 

Swain says the “N-word” has evolved to have several meanings, and continues to be frequently used by black people. 

She also previously wrote in a column for Arizona Daily Independent that it’s “impossible to teach African American history without dissecting the N-word and its complexity within and outside the black community.” 

Swain told True North, “anyone can be cancelled over anything these days,” but she would hope that “a teacher who’s been teaching a subject for many many decades would not lose their job just because they don’t conform to what the latest politically correct standards are.”

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Dr. Carol Swain
Dr. Carol Swain
Dr. Carol Swain is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a former tenured professor at Vanderbilt and Princeton universities. Her most recent books are Black Eye for America: How Critical Race Theory is Burning Down the House (Co-authored with Dr. Chris Schorr, 2021) and Countercultural Living: What Jesus Has to Say about Life, Marriage, Race, Gender, and Materialism (2021).


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