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UCLA Professor Suspended And Smeared As A Racist Sues University For Career And Emotional Damages Caused By The Accusations

A UCLA professor who rejected the idea of grading black students more leniently following the death of George Floyd has sued the school.

Gordon Klein, an accounting professor who teaches at UCLA’s business school, filed the lawsuit Tuesday. He asserts that the college’s effort to fire him hobbled his outside business interests, including serving as an expert witness in court proceedings, caused him emotional and physical distress, and undermined his chances to go teach somewhere else.

“This may become the first time people engaged in cancel culture are brought before the bar,” Klein told The Washington Times. “They act with impunity when they can be keyboard warriors and think there are no consequences. Well, maybe that is finally going to change.”

Klein’s troubles began in June 2020, when a non-black student sent him an email suggesting that he go easy on black students because of the deaths of Floyd and other black people covered extensively by the national media.

Those deaths “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,” the email said.

“We implore you to mandate that our final exam is structured as no harm, where they will only benefit students’ grades if taken. In addition, we urgently request shortened exams and extended deadlines for final assignments and projects,” the email continued.

“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.”

Klein responded by asking what he should do about mixed-race students. He also questioned what action should be taken for white students from Minneapolis, where Floyd died in police custody, because they might be unjustly viewed as racists. He also inquired about how a “no harm” final would work, since that was the entire basis for a class grade.

Klein added, “One last thing strikes me: Remember that MLK [Martin Luther King Jr.] 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?”

The student, according to the Times, apologized for the email and subsequently enrolled in another class Klein taught.

But their exchange was circulated, and the Cancel Culture whirled into action. Soon the dean of the business school suspended Klein, apologized for his comments, and launched an investigation. A Change.org petition demanding his termination from UCLA soon compiled 20,000 signatures.

Six weeks later, however, Klein was exonerated.

But the damage was done.

The conservative website The College Fix, which also reported on the lawsuit, estimates the controversy cost him $500,000 in consulting fees. Klein also maintains UCLA denied him a raise on Sept. 1, 2021, because he has sought to clear his name.

Klein told the Times, “I did this because the school has continued to retaliate against me, and other scholars are facing retaliation, and I thought it was important for someone to step up and say, ‘enough.’ I have the legal skills and training to do so, so I’m stepping up.”

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One Reply to “UCLA Professor Suspended And Smeared As A Racist Sues University For Career And Emotional Damages Caused By The Accusations”

  1. 42 USC Sec 1983 provides civil remedies for public institutions or agencies violating the civil or Constitutional rights of employees or students. Damages for defamation should also be considered.

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