University of North Carolina-Wilmington Professor Mike Adams made a colleague “uncomfortable” by discussing his columns. He was told not to discuss his writing in the office in front of those who might be offended by his opinions.

Now he’s writing a list of all the ways his colleagues have made him uncomfortable over the years.

*My first year at UNCW, a faculty member in our department objected to a job candidate because he was “a little too white male.” Such comments make me feel really uncomfortable, being a white guy and all that.

*My second year at UNCW we removed a white woman from our interview pool in order to make room for a black woman. When the university forced me to discriminate on the basis of race, I felt really uncomfortable.

*My third year at UNCW someone suggested that we should reject a job candidate because he was “too religious.” It sure makes me feel uncomfortable when people say things like that.

*My fourth year at UNCW someone objected to a job candidate because she felt that the husband played too dominant a role in the candidate’s marriage. It also makes me feel uncomfortable when people say things like that.

*Then there are all the times that the name Jesus Christ has been used as a form of profanity in the office. That makes me feel uncomfortable. By the way, I am especially offended by the phrase “Jesus F***ing Christ!” I mean, no one ever says “Mo-F***ing-Hammed!” or “F***ing Buddha!,” do they?

*Then there was the time that a gay activist in our department suggested that I switch to bi-sexuality in order to double my chances of finding a suitable “partner.” That made me feel uncomfortable and she knew it. After I started to blush, she asked, “Whatís the matter, are you a little homophobic?” . . .

*And how about the time that a faculty member called another faculty member a “mother f***er” in one of our meetings? That was before he said that he should have climbed over the desk and “slapped the s*** out” of him. These sociologists need to start getting along with one another if they plan to build a Utopian society. Plus, it makes me feel really uncomfortable to hear about these threats of violence in the workplace.

Since his columns can’t be discussed at work, Adams has offered to meet critics for coffee outside the university, where free speech is protected.

About Joanne


  1. Wow. A professor with wit and common sense. I thought they were extinct!

  2. No, Jim, there are still a few of us around.

  3. Apologies, Amritas. That was a pre-caffeinated statement and should be taken as hyperbole, not sarcasm.

    I meant that we never seem to hear about professors or teachers like Mr.Adams in the news. The only instructor types that seem to make print are the progressive reformists and touchy-feelgood anti-common sense proponents.

  4. I’m curious as to how someone like this was hired in such a hostile department in the first place?

  5. I am appalled.

  6. Mad Scientist says:

    Appalled at what? The denial of his free speech rights, or his free speech?

  7. By speaking out, the good professor is making himself a target of the forces of mediocre conformity that have taken over the university. But speaking out is the only thing a person of conscience can do in such circumstances.

  8. Well, I’m appalled that supposedly-adult, educated people (Adams’ colleagues) think it’s acceptable to call each other “M.F.” in faculty meetings.

    I don’t know – maybe my school is just very provincial – but people in my department actually strive to LIKE each other and to WORK TOGETHER. Or is that just hopelessly old-fashioned?

    if someone used the m-f term in front of me in a “formal” meeting setting (which I regard faculty meetings as being), I would get up and walk out. Even if the word were directed at someone other than me. I wouldn’t waste my life energy in a room full of people who want to behave like children.

    (I will admit, as a political conservative in a largely-liberal department, I am kind of dreading campaign season. That’s the one place where otherwise reasonable and tolerant people get a little unhinged, it seems)

  9. Dr. Adams was hired as an athiest and a liberal. He has since come to his senses, and become a profound disappointment to his coworkers.

  10. I hope he’s exaggerating the hostile environment of his environment.

    It’s silly to worry about making others uncomfortable, but i would find those other things he wrote about very detrimental to a productive research and teaching environment.

  11. No one who is unable to think of a better insult than M–F– should be on a college faculty.

  12. What’s really sad is that he has brought up multiple instances where actions were taken that are illegal, yet supported in his place of work. But discussing issues that are disagreeable to some is not protected.
    How f***** up is that?

  13. I’m appalled by the whole “I’m not comfy” mind-set. And by the search committee member worreid about the state of a candiate’s relationship with her husband, as well as all the rest of this mess.

  14. Insufficiently Sensitive says:

    Then where were all the forthright public complaints against the codification of ‘hostile environment = uncomfortable’ in University codes of behavior? The logic of Dr. Adams’ complaint is impeccable, but those codes have oppressed candid speech and behavior since they were invented. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that was a few decades ago.

    Of course, those codes were erected, wink wink nudge nudge, against those horrible heterosexual male people of non-color, who by definition had no feelings worth considering. Hopefully Dr. Adams will secure legal representation and bring his uncomfortability to the Administration, hammer and tongs.

  15. I’m with Kate about the “I’m not comfy” argument. What? Are you toddlers? I am unimpressed by “adults” who go all gooey when they hear opposing viewpoints. Then they reveal themselves for the children they are by using juvenile invective when disagreeing. Now I’m seeing how these people can’t get hired for any respectable job.

    Perhaps they should be put into institutions where they are safe from the outside world, and where the outside world is safe from them. Alas, universities satisfy only one-half of the requirement.

  16. David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy has an excellent post on “‘Hostile Environment’ Blowback”:

    Is there any escape? Drinkers Purgatory

  17. Jim,

    Nothing to apologize for. I thought your line was a joke and I deliberately went along with it, though I wasn’t kidding.

    Can you imagine if Adams tried to pull any of the same stunts in reverse? Like telling a gay activist to “straighten out” to increase her “chances of finding a suitable ‘partner'” since there are more heterosexual males than lesbians?

    (NB: I’m an atheist professor who does not share Adams’ worldview, but I still believe in mutual civility. And fortunately I’ve never heard any comments like these from my colleagues.)

  18. “I thought your line was a joke”

    I meant “was funny.” Sorry, Jim. I didn’t take what you said personally, because I myself say such things all the time, and I AM a professor! Sanity does seem to be in short supply in the humanities, though apparenly the sciences are a lot healthier.

  19. Jim: “The only instructor types that seem to make print are the progressive reformists and touchy-feelgood anti-common sense proponents.”

    Perhaps that’s because journalists are more sympathetic to touchy-feelgoodness (that almost sounds Orwellian) … and/or because professors like Mike Adams tend to be more modest, weaker at PR, etc.? Whatever attracts the press’ attention is not necessarily representative.

  20. Sean Kinsell says:

    Miss Manners had a killer column about this a decade ago–by “this” I mean the comfort-at-all-costs issue–explaining how in the old days, “rather than merely missing one’s expected comfort, one could be racked by passions of all kinds.” I think that’s a direct quote; I’ve always loved that line.

    “Like telling a gay activist to ‘straighten out’ to increase her ‘chances of finding a suitable “partner”‘ since there are more heterosexual males than lesbians?”

    LOL. I hope your civility never wavers, but if it does, let me know so I can watch the fun.

  21. Caffeinated Curmudgeon says:

    Quoted from the article:

    >I am especially offended by the phrase “Jesus F***ing Christ!”
    >I mean, no one ever says “Mo-F***ing-Hammed!” or “F***ing Buddha!,” do they?

    I think the commonly used form is “Bohdi-F**king-dharma on a bicycle!”, but I haven’t visited alt.buddha.short.fat.guy in quite a while.

  22. Steve LaBonne says:

    “What? Are you toddlers?” Yes, I can tell you from experience (oh God, those interminable general faculty meetings full of blowhardiness) that many academics are very much like toddlers, only far less cute.

  23. Mike Adams has become quite the columnist and his columns are carried on Townhall here
    I don’t think that it is his PR that is inadequate it’s just that the liberal outlets ignore him. They don’t even want to criticize him for fear of drawing attention to his columns.

  24. tom scott,

    I realize now that I was being ambiguous. When I said “professors like Mike Adams … tend to be weaker at PR” I did not mean that Adams was weak at PR (he is out in the public eye through his columns), but that others sharing some or all of his views were. This is not necessarily a fault on their part, for they may simply prefer research and teaching to activism.

  25. Although I attended the Chapel Hill campus of UNC, I can assure you that the various campuses are as “liberal” as they come, and it takes a lot of guts for someone like Dr. Adams to be as vocal a gadfly as he has been. I’m not at all surprised to hear the “uncomfortable” statements that have been unthinkingly made about whites/men/heterosexuals; at UNC-CH it was even more of the same.

    I’m very happy to see him posting at TownHall, and I hope he attains a wider audience soon.

  26. I’d be much more impressed by Dr. Adams if he wasn’t shilling for charlatans like Phillip Johnson.


  1. sisu says:

    Too white male for comfort

    University of North Carolina-Wilmington Professor Mike Adams was told he made a colleague “uncomfortable” by discussing his columns, reports Joanne Jacobs. “He was told not to discuss his writing in the office in front of those who might be offended

  2. Parablemania says:

    Morality and Causing Discomfort

    Professor Mike Adams has been banned from discussing his political views with colleagues who might be offended by them. Then he notes the clear hypocrisy here. The very same colleagues who are offended by his views, who want him no…