Brandeis Curbs Your Enthusiasm

By Wendy Kaminer
        In a 2007 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David’s troubles started when he expressed outrage at someone else’s use of the word “nigger.”  Where did Larry go wrong?  In decrying the perjorative use of the word “nigger,” he repeated the word “nigger.”  His sin was not referring to it as the “N-word,” I guess.

        Who knew Larry David was prescient?  Brandeis Professor Donald Hindley’s troubles started last November when he uttered the word “wetback,” in the course of decrying its use to denigrate Mexicans.  At least that’s what Hindley recalls saying in class, shortly before he was found guilty of racial harassment -- and he hasn’t been accused of saying anything else.  Still he was found guilty of making "statements in class that were inappropriate, racial, and discriminatory." What statements? University officials have refused to say.

        The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been following this case closely; you can find a comprehensive account of it, and the relevant documents, on the FIRE website. 

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