Posted on May 13, 2020

Stanford Prof Publicly Shamed, Censured for Using Racial Slur in Academic Context

Leo Thuman, Campus Reform, May 11, 2020

Stanford University’s Undergraduate Senate voted in favor of a resolution to condemn Stanford Assistant Professor of Art History Rose Salseda.

Salseda was censured May 5 for using a racial slur in reference to the name and lyrics of the hip-hop group N.W.A.

On May 3, Stanford student Kobe Hopkins, serving as the undergraduate senate’s treasurer, filed a resolution calling on the body to “condemn classroom racism and anti-blackness.” In the resolution, Hopkins complained that as a guest lecturer in an “Introduction to Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity” class, Salseda used the n-word while reciting lyrics to the song “F**k tha Police” from NWA’s critically-acclaimed album “Straight Outta Compton.”

Hopkins also claimed that Salseda “wrote ‘Niggaz’ twice while writing the full name of the group N.W.A and discussing their artwork.”

This incident allegedly took place May 4 in the class “Riot!: Visualizing Civil Unrest in the 20th and 21st Centuries.”

At its conclusion, the resolution states that the Undergraduate Senate is “appalled by and condemns Professor Rose Salseda’s continuous aggressions against the black community and black students.”  It also describes the professor’s actions as “reckless” and her presence as “disturbing.”


The student senators demand “cultural humility training” for “all professors teaching a Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE) class, putting an emphasis on training for non-Black professors studying Black communities and professors studying communities that are not their own.” The biggest of its demands, though, is that the university create a committee and release a plan on how it is going to create a department for “African and African American Studies.”