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A white Fordham University professor who made a minor error of mixing up two black students is now out of a job, but reportedly not necessarily because of his mistake.
The school’s student paper, the Fordham Observer, reports that the mix-up occurred during a Composition II class being taught on Sept. 24th by since-fired English Department professor Christopher Trogan.
After class, the two affected students, both black, sent an email to him saying “that they felt disheartened and disrespected, and believed the mistake occurred because they were both black,” according to the Observer.
In response, Trogan sent out a lengthy class-wide email that the two students say went way beyond what they’d been expecting. Some critics now say the email is the true culprit behind his ouster.
Professor Christopher Trogan’s fired circumstance can be explained this way: You get pulled over by the authorities for a broken taillight, then through nervousness, you wind up confessing to a murder. Why he wrote this elongated & defensive letter is puzzling. pic.twitter.com/t374nPdgL0
— Richard E. Stone (@StoneRicharde1) December 11, 2021
“It seemed a little excessive. Like, all you needed to do was say sorry and it would have been fine. We were not actually that upset about him mixing up our names. It was more so the random things he would throw into the response,” one of the two students, Chantel Sims, told the Observer.
The other student seemed a bit less congenial. They “said their experience in Trogan’s class prior to the incident was not great” and “that Trogan repeatedly got their name incorrect over the course of four classes.”
“I felt really disrespected. I did not feel heard because every time he (misnamed me) I would tell him, and it just seemed like he would brush it off or that he did not care,” the paper quotes them as saying.
As for the class-wide email, in it Trogan started by claiming the mix-up had been an “innocent mistake” prompted by his “confused brain,” not by the students’ races.
“The offended student assumed my mistake was because I confused that student with another Black student. I have done my best to validate and reassure the offended student that I made a simple, human, error. It has nothing to do with race,” he reportedly wrote.
But he then proceeded to virtue-signal about his focus on “issues of justice, equality, and inclusion,” tout “everything he has done for minorities” (according to Sims), vow to quit his job if the students desire it and then encourage the students to report him to school officials.
Sims told the Observer that the email made Trogan sound like someone suffering from a “white savior complex.” Put differently, he sounded like a “woke” white liberal.
‘Woke’ white liberals need to stop projecting their racism and guilt onto everybody else.
They assume that because they are racist and obsessed with skin colour, that everybody else must be.
Nah fam. That’s just you. 😂
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) July 6, 2020
But to be fair to Trogan, he wasn’t the one who’d injected race into the conversation. Though on the other hand, he was the one who’d decided to involve everybody in the conversation and then virtue-signal about so-called “racial justice.”
Two days after sending the email, he was reportedly suspended by university official Eva Badowska pending an investigation. About a week later, he and a union representative held a teleconference with Badowska. About four weeks later in late October, he was officially terminated, meaning no “salary, health benefits, life insurance and retirement fund.”
He’s understandably not happy with the decision.
“Badowska may have carried things out legally, but definitely not morally and certainly not justly,” he told the Observer.
However, he also admitted something pertinent. Namely, that the termination letter hadn’t even mentioned the original mix-up.
“According to Trogan, in Badowska’s letter of termination, she did not focus on the original name mix-up. The email he sent to his students on Sept. 24 was the catalyst for termination. He also said Badowska ruled that he had not exhibited ‘proper development’ from the Oct. 5 conversation, which also contributed to the decision,” the Observer notes.
As noted earlier, this has some convinced that his own “woke” behavior is what cost him his job:
I just read the article and it seems the two students were not that upset but the teacher jumped on the cross and started talking about SJW and his fight for blah blah and over reacted. People need to chill (My Bad) could have ended all of this
— 3ECMJ (@jmceknives) December 11, 2021
Sounds like he got fired for bizarre response to an innocent mistake and not the headline. A lot of people mix up names. Guess that’s why I call most people bud
— Dude, Duder, His Duderness, El Duderino (@TheRainking63) December 11, 2021
Sounds like the woke are eating themselves
— James McMack (@JamesMcgrae) December 11, 2021
Not everybody agrees.
Others have attributed his termination to the wider trend of “cancel culture” run amok and argued that he shouldn’t have been ousted, period.
Cancel culture strikes again. It was an honest mistake that happens regardless of race. Good job, cancel mob.
— Art Vandelay (@tankeroffof) December 11, 2021
Big deal. He deals with hundreds of students every year. Unreasonable to expect anyone to remember every name and every face. Yeah, his response was a bit odd and rambling, but harmless. Certainly nothing he did merited being fired from his job. Scapegoated.
— Mark Lee Allen (@MarcosLee1210) December 11, 2021
Wow. Mistakes aren’t allowed, this story has me shook. This is getting ridiculous.
— Mariella Martinez (@Mariell90662007) December 11, 2021
Incidentally, one of his students agrees.
Student Pradanya Subramanyan “said she understands that the mass email may not have been necessary, but she did not think it was worthy of punishment,” according to the Observer.
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