North Carolina Wilmington Professor Retires Amid Calls for His Firing Over Bigoted and Insensitive Tweets

Mike Adams, Professor of Criminology, University of North Carolina.
Mike Adams, Professor of Criminology, University of North Carolina.
Photo: Bruce Ellefson/University of North Carolina

A University of North Carolina Wilmington professor is retiring because of increasing calls for him to be fired over “vile” and inappropriate tweets that have been deemed bigoted because...well...that’s exactly what they are.

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NBC News reports that the retirement of sociology and criminology professor Mike Adams was announced by the university on Monday.

Adams might be a college professor—or at least he is until August 1, when his retirement starts—but his tweets have “basic-ass dude-bro” written all over them.

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From NBC:

On May 29, Adams tweeted: “This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in a slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go.” He was referring to Gov. Roy Cooper’s measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “Massa” is a dialect term that is often used in a mocking way to mimic what users imagine was the pronunciation that enslaved people used for “master.”

“When I tell covid 19 jokes people seem to get them right off the bat,” Adams had tweeted earlier in the month.

After protesters took to the streets following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Adams shared: “Rioters don’t care about social issues. They are thugs looking for an opportunity to break the law with impunity.”

And another May tweet from Adams read: “Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies.”

As more people began to publicly criticize Adams, he responded: “When you write the university asking them to fire me don’t forget to leave a mailing address so I can send you a box of panty liners.”

Seriously, is he a sociology professor or a white frat boy who has likely attended an on-campus blackface party or two? It’s not just that he’s racist and sexist—he’s a middle-aged white man, after all—it’s that his discount Louis C.K. jokes aren’t even funny by immature Twitter-douche standards.

How Adams has lasted this long at UNCW—especially after authoring a book called Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts ‘Womyn’ on Campus as well as an article called “A ‘Queer Muslim’ Jihad?” which targeted a student activist at the university who identifies as queer and Muslim—is beyond me.

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Students and faculty at UNCW have been calling for Adams’ removal for weeks. According to NBC, two separate Change.org petitions calling for his firing got about 90,000 signatures. There is also a Facebook group called “Justice And Equality For UNCW” which is composed of mostly students, former students and faculty members who shared stories about verbal abuse they received from Adams. The group has about 8,000 members and includes the hashtag “#CancelMikeAdams”

It’s possible that any hesitation to fire Adams is due to him winning a lawsuit against the university in 2014. He alleged that his views cost him a promotion and that his First Amendment rights were violated and he was awarded $50,000 in back pay and a $9,000 raise in a settlement, StarNews reports.

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Anyway, the university released a statement announcing Adams’ retirement Monday.

“Over the past several weeks, many of you have inquired about the status of a UNCW faculty member, Dr. Mike Adams, in light of the public attention generated by comments he made on his personal social media channels,” the statement reads. “We can now share the update that after a discussion with Chancellor [Jose V.] Sartarelli, Dr. Adams has decided to retire from UNCW, effective August 1, 2020. We will have no further comment on this matter at this time, but we plan to share an update later this week regarding how we hope to move forward as a university community.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

And another May tweet from Adams read: “Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies.”

lol, strong words from a sociology prof.