Before the pandemic, the US was consumed by a different type of epidemic—Wokeism. It’s been a long road for UCLA teacher, Gordon Klein, but he’s finally going to make the folks who tried to cancel him, pay.
Klein was an educator at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management after the death of George Floyd which sparked a racially driven movement. Klein was pressured by the school administration to judge students, not on their work, but on the color of their skin. In short, Klein was ordered to give his black student extra points in light of the death of Floyd.
Klein refused and found himself at the center of a completely unnecessary controversy.
“Gordon Klein, who joined the Anderson school in 1981, is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees in a lawsuit filed with a state court in Los Angeles on Tuesday.”
This is the exchange that led to the defamation of his character.
“On June 2, 2020, Klein received a student email, which read:
“The unjust murders of Amhaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, the life-threatening [sic] actions of Amy Cooper, and the violent conduct of the UCPD in our own neighborhood have led to fear and anxiety which is further compounded by the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on the Black community. As we approach finals week, we recognize that these conditions will place Black students at an unfair academic disadvantage due to traumatic circumstances out of their control.”
“We implore you to mandate that our final exam is structured as no harm, where they will only benefit students’ grades if taken,” the letter continues. “In addition, we urgently request shortened exams and extended deadlines for final assignments and projects.”
“This is not a joint effort to get finals canceled for non-Black students, but rather an ask that you exercise compassion and leniency with Black students in our major.”
The letter further asked Klein to allocate high letter grades to black students in a course graded “on a curve,” which necessarily would have required Klein to give correspondingly lower grades to students of other races.
Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota.
Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we’ve been having online classes only?
Are there any students of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half?
Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis? I assume that they probably are especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a white student from there might possibly be even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they’re racist even if they are not. My TA is from Minneapolis, so if you don’t know, I can probably ask her.
Can you guide me on how I should achieve a “no-harm” outcome since our sole course grade is from a final exam only?
One last thing strikes me: Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the “color of their skin.” Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK’s admonition?”
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.