Florida Gulf Coast University campus police were tasked with watching over a sociology course titled “White Racism” after the course’s professor was sent harassing emails and messages.
Ted Thornhill, an assistant professor of sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), said that he received over 46 pages of emails related to the controversial class, which was announced last fall. The messages ranged from FGCU parents threatening to pull their tuition to people calling him “a pitiful little boy,” “a subhuman mongrel” and an “alt-left piece of sh*t,” according to a report from CNN.
Still, the course, which is made up of 50 students, had its first class this past Tuesday and there were no incidents reported.
A course description for Thornhill’s course is as follows:
In this course we will interrogate the concept of race; examine the racist ideologies, laws, policies, and practices that have operated for hundreds of years to maintain white racial domination over those racialized as non-white; and discuss ways to challenge white racism and white supremacy toward promoting an anti-racist society where whiteness is not tied to greater life chances.
“I never at any point entertained the possibility of changing the course title to accommodate the racial bigotry of the individuals who would send me these kinds of messages,” Thornhill said to CNN. “My White Racism course is not anti-white; it is anti-white racism. Clearly, not all white people are racists; some are even anti-racist. However, all people racialized as white derive, in some measure, material and psychological benefits by virtue of being racialized as white.”