IUPUI apologizes to janitor

July 14, 2008
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How did we get to the point where someone can be accused of racial harassment for reading a scholarly book about the Ku Klux Klan â?? a book in which the good guys, Notre Dame students, whip the bad guys, the Klan?

Thatâ??s what happened at IUPUI in a flare-up that both the university and the accused say came to a close late last week.

Janitor Keith John Sampson was told by IUPUI last year that he had insulted black co-workers and all but carried pornography to work by reading â??Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klanâ?? during a break â?? a book, coincidentally, carried in the university library.

After civil rights groups, including the ACLU, pressured IUPUI, the university began to backpedal and finally â?? after being shamed by a Wall Street Journal columnist earlier last week â?? sent a letter of apology to Sampson.

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  • I think he should sue IUPUI and the insulted co-workers for the emotional distress of having to work with such idiots.
  • Typical ivory tower attitude. All for free speach unless it's not the speech they like.
  • I didn't know about this. How crazy? I've read that book and there is absolutely nothing in it that would/should cause offense with anyone. It sounds like the person(s) who logged this complaint with the University had a personal agenda that they were taking out against this person. If it wasn't that, then it must have been a bitter person who was just looking to try and stir trouble somewhere.

    Shows how sad today's society is. Pretty bad when you have to tread lightly when reading a non-fictional, history book. Seems like people are making up reasons to be offended today as they want the attention and want the world to revolve around them and to feel sorry for them. I think that just waking up in the morning must hurt the feelings of the person who brought up this complaint!! The world is so against me! How will I ever survive! Boo-who for you! Get over it and focus on things that actually matter and quit worrying about who's going to hurt your feelings today.
  • Jason, of course you know the person(s) that complained didn't bopther to actually read the book. It was enough to see the cover which had white-hooded guys (or maybe a burning cross?) with the ND golden dome in the background. Obviously, if someone put up a poster of burning crosses or nooses or whatever, that woudl be wrong and insulting, if not illegal. And it's understadnable that the people that saw the cover might be offended initially, but to hell with asking the janitor what he's reading or saying, Hey, that's offensive to me! and then letting him defend the book.

    Furthrmore, and this is bigger problem, is that the University did what it did even after learning the facts!
  • Indy Guy,

    I couldn't agree more, and it's made me ashamed of Indiana University. Though it obviously won't make a difference to the institution, I decided against renewing my Alumni Association membership and, for the first year since they've been offered, I didn't get Indiana University license plates (with the requisite donation to the IUAA).

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