UPDATE: From the comments, a reader writes:
“There was no mistake at all. How gullible are you, Sassywire? There are 3 other students in the class to back up Sarah – who heard the exact same thing. In fact, the anti-semite professor never denies that he said these words. Regardless of what he claims his intent was, and regardless of his campaign to smear the student and minimize her intellect in order to save himself – these words were said. They are despicable words and should never come out of anyone’s mouth! I am your original source of information – so I’m quite shocked that you so easily cave to the pressure around you. No wonder Jews are always kicked around. When the going gets tough, they immediately bail!”
My Response: Making an accusation of anti-semitism is very serious. Until I know more about this prof and until he issues a more detailed response I will refrain from comment. The truth is, I have no idea if this guy is a Jew hater or just an idiot.
I urge professor Johnston to clarify, but I also urge the students involved to come out with a detailed statement. Specifically, I would like the students to inform us about what happened and what was said by Johnston in class after Sarah G walked out. Vague, anonymous accusations are unacceptable. This is a public blog, not some Facebook chat group. When all involved are willing to come out and tell the whole verifiable story I’ll report the truth and nothing but the truth. Simmer down folks.
Professor Johnston has replied to inquiries:
“I discussed that the course focuses on the texts and not “opinions”. In fact, I stated that for this course opinions are not relevant and I questioned the common idea that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
I pointed out that everyone is not entitled to their opinion by giving the example of someone having an anti-semitic opinion which is clearly not acceptable. This was an example of the fact that opinions can be dangerous and that none of us really do believe that all opinions are acceptable.
A good starting point for you in a course based on what we call “critical skills” is to begin by listening carefully to what is said and by responding accurately to this content.
For the record, I am also Jewish.”