Dr. Mike Adams, a professor of sociology and criminology, has long been a lightning rod of controversy. In 2014, we discussed his prevailing in a lawsuit that alleged discrimination due to his conservative views. Now Adams has triggered a firestorm — and a petition for his removal — after an inflammatory tweet calling North Carolina a “slave state.” As will come as no surprise again on this blog, I am inclined to view this as a free speech matter that should be protected. However, the university is threatening possible action against Adams.
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 the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!”
As we have previously discussed (with an Oregon professor and a Rutgers professor), there remains an uncertain line in what language is protected for teachers in their private lives. There were also controversies at the University of California and Boston University, where there have been criticism of such a double standard, even in the face of criminal conduct. There were also such an incident at the University of London involving Bahar Mustafa as well as one involving a University of Pennsylvania professor. Some intolerant statements against students are deemed free speech while others are deemed hate speech or the basis for university action. There is a lack of consistency or uniformity in these actions which turn on the specific groups left aggrieved by out-of-school comments. There is also a tolerance of faculty and students tearing down fliers and stopping the speech of conservatives. Indeed, even faculty who assaulted pro-life advocates was supported by faculty and lionized for her activism.
Free speech demands bright line rules to flourish. The different treatment afforded faculty creates an obviously chilling effect on free speech. Avoiding the chilling effect of potential punishment for speech is a core concern running through Supreme Court cases. For example, in 1964, the Supreme Court struck down the law screening incoming mail. A unanimous court, Justice William Douglas rejected the law as “a limitation on the unfettered exercise of the addressee’s First Amendment rights.” It noted that such review “is almost certain to have a deterrent effect” on the free speech rights of Americans, particularly for “those who have sensitive positions:”
For academics, the greatest threat to academic freedom are ill-defined standards allowing for punitive measures against professors for statements both inside and outside of school. There is no allegation against Adams for statements made to students or his conduct as a professor. It is a particular concern when the school is threatening potential action with a professor who previously demonstrated political bias against him. There is a pronounced political orthodoxy among academics, particularly in recent years. Most schools have relatively few conservatives or libertarians. If social media can be used to crackdown on professors, it would allow for arbitrary and opportunistic actions against unpopular academics.
Faculty can condemn such tweets without threatening official punitive measures.
104 thoughts on “North Carolina Professor Triggers A Free Speech Fight Over Inflammatory Tweet”
Most schools have relatively few conservatives or libertarians.
You know, I know, and everybody looking at the situation knows that most schools secretly discriminate against hiring Republicans / conservatives/ practicing Christians / pro-life folk.
It’s probably illegal, but requires Rep professors to fight, and such a fight would mark them. Perhaps martyr them, but more likely they both lose the suit and any possible future hiring in any top college.
The situation is likely also part of false advertising of “diversity”.
Please keep fighting for Free Speech – but understand only Reps & Libertarians will support you. Dems, nor the ACLU, no longer so much.
Another example of the famous leftist tolerance, inclusion and support for free expression.
Would bet dollars to donuts that the good professor would have obtained a better response tweeting support for any of the following:
1. The brave masked warriors of the antifa
3. The rioters
4. The mostly “peaceful” demonstrators
5. General black criminality
Here’s a heartwarming story. An epic rant by a black women because the store she wanted to loot was being guarded by “ayrabs”. And PS to you lefties, they don’t care if you call them racist.
Another heartwarming story – the brave masked warriors of antifa show up in Yucaipa, CA to spread the joys of revolution. Does not end well for them.
I got to sociologist and needed to look no further. People who take up that loss leader are at the bottom of the lower fifth of high school graduates and worth about the same amount as their social promotions.
Well, North Carolina IS a slave state, as is Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. There were also slaves in Illinois and Indiana even though they were not slave states by legislation. What gets me is that blacks go ballistic over slavery when most of them wouldn’t even exist if not for it.
“What gets me is that blacks go ballistic over slavery when most of them wouldn’t even exist if not for it.”
Do you say the same about rape?
For all you know, one or more of your ancestors was conceived from rape, and were it not for rape, you wouldn’t exist either. Certainly lots of people have ancestors who were conceived in rape. But that doesn’t keep people from condemning rape.
Personally, I condemn both slavery and rape even though many people now alive are the descendants of slavery and rape. Some people now alive wouldn’t exist, and other people who were never born would exist.
Is it really so hard for you to “get” that people condemn abuse?
Ought to be Committed:
“Personally, I condemn both slavery and rape even though many people now alive are the descendants of slavery and rape. Some people now alive wouldn’t exist, and other people who were never born would exist.”
Given your commentary and apparent ancestry, I’d condemn buggery, too. You bray too well for it to be mere happenstance.
“Certainly lots of people ”
Actually, very few people.
“even though many people …”
Actually very few people.
The lie is always present. It’s always there.
Commit: a few weeks back semscgowarjr claimed that he ‘quit the Democratic party’ when the Black mayor of Jackson Mississippi endorsed Trump. I thought that claim was odd so I investigated. It turned out the mayor he referred to was a 93 year ‘former’ mayor of a small Mississippi town.
Try reading a black journalist, Keith Richburg, who wrote Out of America. Near the end of his book about reporting on things he saw he said basically slavery is evil but he thanks God his ancestors were brought to America or his might have been one of the bodies tumbling over the falls downstream of Rwanda.
They are lucky to be here and nobody is restraining them if they want to go back.
I’ve read it. You would not believe how many black (poker) friends and co-workers refuse to believe there is such a book.
The context you haven’t admitted to is that Dr. Adams (a criminologist) is a perfectly ordinary three-legged-stool Republican who has been subject to harassment by the UNCW administration for about 20 years now.
Absurd, if Dr Adams has been ‘misunderstood’ for 20 years, he is obviously not an effective communicator. And this column strongly suggests that is, indeed, the case.
“Harassed” and “misunderstood” are not synonyms.
JR, you’re suggesting Dr Adam’s was ‘understood’ but harrassed nevertheless? That also sounds like a communications problem.
It is. He communicates with human language, but leftists only understand grunts, hoots, and emojis.
Beegty, Turley seems to think Adams has a problem. Is Turley also a ‘leftist’?
Roy Cooper is the governor of North Carolina.The tweet is deeply insulting and obnoxious.
It is neither, of course, but the professors reaction tells you something about the faculty matrix, and about liberal twits generally. They have an artificial language for their artificial feelings.
The insane commies are on the march, do not give them anything but more of the same.
Massa Newsom, let my white people go ! Massa Newson, are you out to lunch ? No lunch counter for you.
From my perspective as a business owner, employees’ actions outside of work concern the business only if there is a threat to customers, or if the actions or statements impact the businesses’ profits or reputation.
Examples: One of your employees posts on social media that they do not believe in individual property rights. If a valuable is out in view, it’s OK to take it. Obviously you could not send such a person into a client’s home or business. Or, you are surprised to find that one of your employees is a member of a white supremacist group. It impacts the entire business’ reputation, and creates concerns for the treatment and safet of minority clients.
Dr Mike Adams made a bad metaphor. The shut down is not like the treatment of the Pharoahs to the Jewish slaves, nor like that of plight of black slaves. A slavery metaphors usually needs to be used tongue in cheek, like “I’m a slave to this diet.” Comparing the ability to eat in a restaurant with friends to what black slaves suffered is thoughtless.
Do I think people should get enraged? No. Slavery is a common metaphor. Comedians in stand up use it frequently. The shut down has financially demolished many families. A father got arrested for playing baseball in a park with his son. A kid’s birthday party can be broken up by the cops. Out here, business owners are still getting reported, and into trouble, for trying to operate, while we all watch a hundred thousand people demonstrate on the streets. As an asthmatic, I’m all for being responsible and careful, but there is a double standard. Businesses are treated like they are Scrooge McDucks sitting on mountains of gold, greedily wanting to make more gold to polish despite a pandemic.
A better metaphor would be comparing us to China, with it’s social scoring and authoritarian rules.
I don’t think someone should be fired over a thoughtless metaphor. He wasn’t threatening or insulting anyone. I think he was trying to point out that our freedom has been sharply curtailed because of this pandemic, and he’s eager for everything to open up again. Doing so in a manner that compared restaurant closures to slavery was tone deaf at this time.
Will his comment impact the reputation or enrollment of the university? I don’t know. I do know that there is strong viewpoint discrimination, biased in favor of the Left. It has gotten to the point that universities who discriminate due to politics should not receive federal funding.
Everyone has forgotten that:
Being offensive is not illegal.
Being racist is not illegal.
RME. No one has forgotten that.
How about you avoid such obvious straw man arguments?
Young stands up for racists! Or so it sounds.
Young’s not ‘really’ racist, of course. But certain smart @ss liberals could misinterpret. Therefore I have taken it upon myself to set them straight.
I’m racist come at me dummy.
Yeah, you’re probably a cynical White guy using an East Indian name for purely cynical reasons.
You said I was antonio the other day, trouble making up anything solid in your confused mind ?
Also you accused me of being several other regulars here.
You’re flailing, you get more done for your cause supporting the abortion clinics where you can murder ______ babies for your inherent and practiced racism and genocide goals, whatever ________ you are, it doesn’t matter to anyone but you maniacal murderers of __________.
Fine, Shakdi, we’ll just call you ‘Crazed Idiot’ and no one will doubt the validity of that name.
Well, half of everyone, meaning the libs and dems who would outlaw it in an instant if they could get away with it. So far just swarms of screeching doxxers and hate filled invective toward employers and every other capital control matrix in order to non person and destroy is the running and effective game plan.
Next comes outlawing, as we have seen in other nations. One to our north.
My caveat would be that this guy isn’t a Libertarian, or a Conservative — although he may wish to pretend he is.
Here is a good Libertarian take on the overly broad social distancing laws:
“Cops across the country busted people for “social-distancing violations…Everybody is potentially on the receiving end of such treatment, but cops always lean most heavily on the people they prefer to target—often members of minority communities who are less able to push back.
“Of those arrested, 35 people were black, four were Hispanic and one was white,” The New York Times reported after a spate of especially brutal enforcement of rules allegedly intended (we were told) to protect people’s health in New York City.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/nyregion/nypd-social-distancing-race-coronavirus.html
Here is the article:
“Public Health Measures Enforced by Violence Aren’t as Healthy as Governments Pretend”
When will Americans learn?
They should have arrested every protester on the streets, and all the looters and fire starters, quit whining you got off cheap BLM, a terrorist entity.
Professor Turley: “For academics, the greatest threat to academic freedom are ill-defined standards allowing for punitive measures against professors for statements both inside and outside of school.”
The whole point of having ambiguous standards is to allow arbitrary and capricious enforcement in a totalitarian environment. It is not intended just to control free speech; it is meant to control any speech. Even the creators of this monster live in terror of it lest it turn on them.
JT: “Most schools have relatively few conservatives or libertarians.”
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees freedom of speech. It doesn’t state that the ‘free speech’, has to be rational, reasonable, guaranteed to give everyone the warm fuzzies, or even coherent. But it IS protected. I personally don’t think that Leftist Communists, the media (forgive the redundancy) college professors with 4th grade educations, and actors whose sum total of intellect is the ability to recite words like a well-trained parrot should be allowed to speak in public at all. But then , that’s just my opinion, which carries no more or less weight than anyone else’s opinion.
If we’re going to terminate the employment of people who make stupid statements, may we please start with Congress?
It’s not funny, it’s blackballing, and it is criminal.
In today’s economic climate, the case for ‘Free Market Solutions’ becomes a stretch. For that reason Libertarian academics may not draw that many students.
In today’s governmental control climate….
Fixed that for you, dummy.
We could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
Didnt need no welfare state, everybody pulled their weight,
Gee our old LaSalle ran great, those were the days!
I didn’t ask to go to your KKK Democrat master of old Wilson days, I said you should get your lies straightened out. So I straightened our your stupidity. Open your stupid hole, and get corrected.
Government is abrogating the free market. Can you admit it, or will you stick to stupidity and lies ?
Yeah, Shakdi, explain how the whole country can close for a pandemic without any assistance from government.
As I have noted before, you keep imagining yourself as this champion debater. But it’s all in your head. In reality you’re so over the top, it’s like your character is a parody of reactionary conservatives.
We weren’t talking about the pandemic, you weren’t, but now you switched over to it, unable to admit your stupidity.
Three months of lock down precludes Libertarians gaining students ?
I made a mistake, and thought you had a clue or brains.
Okay, Shakdi / Estovir:
When was this golden age when ‘free market solutions’ could have addressed every economic issue?
NC was a slave state until the end of the civil war
Can I ask if NY is or was a slave state?
In referring to NC as a slave state the speaker can be referring to its original set up. Not now.
I live in NC. The biggest bigots are New Yorkies who have retired here. They use the N word. Seldom ever do locals.
New York was a slave state until the 1820s. The slave market in New Yor
The slave market in New York was at the eastern end of Wall Street, on the banks of the East River.
1. Slaves were a tiny minority north of Maryland and Delaware
2. New enslavements were prohibited after 1799. The slaves manumitted in 1827 were people who’d been enslaved prior to that. The slaves freed accounted for about 0.25% of the state’s population.
In the 18th century, slaves were like 14 percent of the population of New York. Not a trivial percentage. Similar percentages in New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Are you kidding me? How does this obviously joking comment compare to that of Dr. Brittney Cooper, the associate professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University who tweeted: “F— each and every Trump supporter. You all absolutely did this. You are to blame.” She was referring to Covid-19 killing more blacks than whites and how it was a “necropolitical calculation” by Trump and his supporters to kill blacks. The administration at Rutgers said, ““Dr. Cooper’s Twitter statements are her own personal statements and not those of the University.” There was no thought of disciplining her. As someone once said on this blog, if leftists did not have double standards, they would have no standards at all.
Here’s the full text of what she wrote on April 28:
“I feel like most Black people are clear that this utterly absurd to push to re-open the country is all about a gross necropolitical calculation that it is Black people who are dying disproportionately from COVID.
“Not only do white conservatives not care about Black life, but my most cynical negative read of the white supremacists among them is that they welcome this massive winnowing of Black folks in order to slow demographic shifts and shore up political power.
“Earlier this week I watched a white high school classmate defending Trump on the disinfectant BS. And I realized again that for his supporters, realizing just how wrong they were about this man, and the depths of his idiocy and depravity, is akin to an existential crisis for them
“They are literally willing to die from this clusterf*cked COVID response rather than admit that absolutely anybody other than him would have been a better president. And when whiteness has a death wish, we are all in for a serious problem.
“Black people did not vote for this dude in any appreciable numbers. (Black men voted for him at 15% and they are dying the most.) No Black person deserves this and Black women knew it would be absolutely awful for him to be president. And now we all live in daily fear.
“I am saying some obvious things this morning because as a country we are too good at skipping over the audience and we might as well say this to people as often as we can. F*ck each and every Trump supporter. You all absolutely did this. You are to blame.
“Black Lives Matter. Black Lives with hypertension, diabetes, and asthma matter. Fat Black Lives matter. All Black Lives matter.” [I’ve replaced a couple of letters with asterisks, as I’m not sure whether the word filter here will reject the comment otherwise.]
The population of New Zealand is ~4.9M. The U.S. population is ~329M. There have been 22 COVID-19 deaths in N.Z., they now have no active COVD-19 cases, they are totally reopened and are simply monitoring arrivals into the country. If scaled to the U.S. population, 22 deaths in N.Z. corresponds to ~1477 deaths here. Over 110,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., and there are over a million active cases. Think about how many American lives would have been saved if we’d had a competent president. People should be able to agree that Trump’s response to SARS-CoV-2 has been horrendous and has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths that didn’t need to occur, disproportionately affecting blacks.
Thank you for linking to this. It is completely unhinged and offensive, even more so in context. You know the world has gone off the deep end when people who spew forth this kind of vile hatred rise to leadership positions.
Trump regularly “spew[s] forth this kind of vile hatred,” he acts on it, and he has a much more powerful position than she does.
If you object to vile hatred, vote Trump out of office.
________ poeple voted for their __________ leaders in their insane states where their big ____________ loud mouths spew virus at each other day and night.
Trump has exactly zero to do with it, other than shoving the tards off the streets, which saved their lives, you DUMMY.
@Commit- stop deflecting.
Do you really support Professor Cooper’s view that we should f*** each and every Trump supporter? That the Covid-19 crisis was concocted by white supremacists to kill black people? That Trump supporters are literally willing to die from this clusterf****d response?
Or that Professor Cooper has the probity and critical thinking skills needed to teach young people at a prestigious university?
Get your __________ down to the abortion clinic, Trump has nothing on you murders.
Laughing, go kill some more in your plan for non parent hoods.
Your comparing New Zealand to the USA. That’s hardly apples to apples.
Nestride Yumga…..African woman, American citizen, takes BLM to task for being hypocrites. She silences her detractors at a BLM gathering
Such a hero
Cundy, is that you?
“I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina.”
Mr. Adams: you are a free man, not a slave or anything close to a slave, and NC is no longer a slave state.
Take a good look at the scarred back of an actual former slave and think hard about the abuse that slaves actually lived with:
And if someone wants an unretouched photo, the original is in the collection of our National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian:
Think about what privilege you have to compare not having dinner out with being abused for decades, being sold from your family, being raped if you’re a woman, having your children sold away from you, …
You are free to make your offensive comment. But you are capable of learning not to do it even though you can.
Commmitt – I do not read minds, but I do think the good professor was being a little hyperbolic. In a way, the Chicom virus has made several of the states slave states. NC may be one of them.
Again, take a look at that photo of the astoundingly scarred back of an actual former slave — scarred from regular abuse, abuse that was legal.
I doubt you will look.
I doubt you want to think about what slavery actually means, the actual effects on the millions who were enslaved.
Stay-at-home orders do not make people slaves.
We can criticize how offensive Adams’ hyperbolic comment is.
I’m beginning to think you are definitely under 35 (which lends more credence to the notion you are on a troll farm’s payroll) given the histrionic fragility you often display. If I am incorrect, it’s clear that was when your emotional development ceased.
Go ahead! Disagree and discuss all you like! Just forgive us if we have moved beyond the realm of 101 level debate due to, y’know, actual life experiences. Yawn.
She posts lots of racist comments. It’s certainly possible that she’s paid to do it, to foment more division.
I stopped responding to her in light of Turley’s request that we not feed trolls.
To whom is your comment directed?
Committ – white ppl were slaves, too. Get a grip.
There was no white hereditary chattel slavery in the U.S.
If you’re confusing indentured servitude and hereditary chattel slavery, learn the difference.
Get a grip yourself.
So what??? Who cares??? Slavery is sooo 1850s! It is the year 2020 and if you want to get on your soapbox, then tackle a really relevant issue like a 77.3% black illegitimate birth rate! Go and give them black women hell for what they are doing right now, in 2020!
Which you won’t, because you don’t really give a crap about black people and their problems. They are just something for you milk votes about and virtue signal over.
Committ – where did I say U.S,?
I didn’t say you did.
I get tired of hearing slavery presented as an absolute horror when that is historically inaccurate. Slavery was outdated and immoral but if you think that every slave was out there getting whipped every day etc etc etc then you must never have had much exposure to pets or farm animals.
Dogs and horses have no legal personhood. Yes they are sometimes abused. but most of them are not. Is a horse which costs a lot of money whipped and beaten every day? Actually most horses have it just fine.
Do we not provide food for horses? Yes, food was provided to slaves. Perhaps not wages. or, perhaps sometimes they received wages too. There were actually customs which moderated the evils that today we assume in our simple minds, were pervasive everywhere and always.
And in fact slavery for all its flaws was an institution, at least for the first let’s say, three to five thousand years of it, actually made human life more possible instead of less possible.
In ancient times, rather than have the whole family starve, a person could sell a child into slavery. Perhaps this was an awful fate like the salt mines or perhaps it was a congenial one like being a domestic. But it was a fate better than starvation. Perhaps then the reduced family could live, and the slave could live on where there was a household with more food, too.
In the absence of certain mechanisms for reallocating human labor into more efficient and economically viable postures, most slaves in history would have died in the cradle.
Plenty of Irish came to America as indentured servants who would have starved if not for the chance to sell themselves as slaves for a term of years. And we may be here today, alive, because of it.
So while you are constantly flogging the propaganda of the trans-Atlantic African slave trade, which was genuinely horrible in the transit I would agree. please reckon that not every slave was out there getting flogged every day, and a certain number of people would have been flogged in a different place if not here, or perhaps just starved and never gave rise to a large number of descendants who are here alive and doing ok today.
I realize it will be considered racist to say such things, although every nation in history white black and yellow, had slavery, and in some places like China it was not abolished until 1947, Singapore and some other Asian locations, even later than that, and I heard once, the Saudis had it all the way until 1968.
And where if anywhere are there open slave markets today>? I dont know but the last I heard, maybe Libya, after it was “freed” from Qadaffi. Where’s Libya?
oh— that’s right.. Africa. Hmmmm. Is that still the fault of the slaveowning founding fathers like Washinton, that chattel slavery persists in some form today in Africa, decades after ‘decolonization?” I am just asking.
Maybe we could all step back from the constant moralizing and look less at emotional pitches and more at economic facts and systems and consider how to make modest changes in a peaceful way that will lift the circumstances of society as a whole.
Finally, today, let’s not be so naive. We may be “free” but we are subject to resource limitations too. Not so much food per se, but other things. And even food can become an issue today and in some societies it remains a problem. “progress” is at times, not quite all it is cracked up to be.
Deceiver! Back in those days, flogging was an acceptable punishment for white people too . You just aren’t showing those pictures so you can spin a narrative.
From Middle Ages to modern times
Punishment with a knout. Russia, 18th century.
The Whipping Act was passed in England in 1530. Under this legislation, vagrants were to be taken to a nearby populated area “and there tied to the end of a cart naked and beaten with whips throughout such market town till the body shall be bloody”.
In England, offenders (mostly those convicted of theft) were usually sentenced to be flogged “at a cart’s tail” along a length of public street, usually near the scene of the crime, “until his [or her] back be bloody”. In the late seventeenth century, however, the courts occasionally ordered that the flogging should be carried out in prison or a house of correction rather than on the streets. From the 1720s courts began explicitly to differentiate between private whipping and public whipping. Over the course of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the proportion of whippings carried out in public declined, but the number of private whippings increased. The public whipping of women was abolished in 1817 (after having been in decline since the 1770s) and that of men ended in the early 1830s, though not formally abolished until 1862. Private whipping of men in prison continued and was not abolished until 1948. The 1948 abolition did not affect the ability of a prison’s visiting justices (in England and Wales, but not in Scotland, except at Peterhead) to order the birch or cat for prisoners committing serious assaults on prison staff. This power was not abolished until 1967, having been last used in 1962.
Whipping occurred during the French Revolution, though not as official punishment. On 31 May 1793, the Jacobin women seized a revolutionary leader, Anne Josephe Theroigne de Mericourt, stripped her naked, and flogged her on the bare bottom in the public garden of the Tuileries. After this humiliation, she refused to wear any clothes, in memory of the outrage she had suffered. She went mad and ended her days in an asylum after the public whipping.
In the Russian Empire, knouts were used to flog criminals and political offenders. Sentences of a hundred lashes would usually result in death. Whipping was used as a punishment for Russian serfs.
In April 2020, Saudi Arabia said it would replace flogging with prison sentences or fines, according to a government document.
Use against slaves
An African-American slave named Gordon, photo taken at Baton Rouge, 1863. The scars are clearly visible because of keloid formation.
Whipping has been used as a form of discipline on slaves. It was frequently carried out during the period of slavery in the United States, by slave owners and their slaves. The power was also given to slave “patrolers,” mostly poor whites authorized to whip any slave who violated the slave codes.
Flogging as military punishment
In the 18th and 19th centuries, European armies administered floggings to common soldiers who committed breaches of the military code.
During the American Revolutionary War, the American Congress raised the legal limit on lashes from 39 to 100 for soldiers who were convicted by courts-martial. Generally, officers were not flogged. However, in 1745, a cashiered British officer’s sword could be broken over his head, among other indignities inflicted on him.
At the urging of New Hampshire Senator John P. Hale, the United States Congress banned flogging on all U.S. ships on 28 September 1850, as part of a then-controversial amendment to a naval appropriations bill. Hale was inspired by Herman Melville’s “vivid description of flogging, a brutal staple of 19th century naval discipline” in Melville’s “novelized memoir” White Jacket. Melville also included a vivid depiction of flogging, and the circumstances surrounding it, in his more famous work, Moby-Dick.
Military flogging was abolished in the United States Army on 5 August 1861. The punishment was abolished in the Royal Navy in 1879.
Flagellation was so common in England as punishment that caning (and spanking and whipping) are called “the English vice”.
Flogging was a common disciplinary measure in the Royal Navy that became associated with a seaman’s manly disregard for pain. Aboard ships, knittles or the cat o’ nine tails was used for severe formal punishment, while a “rope’s end” or “starter” was used to administer informal, on-the-spot discipline. In severe cases a person could be “flogged around the fleet”: a significant number of lashes (up to 600) was divided among the ships on a station and the person was taken to all ships to be flogged on each.
In June 1879 a motion to abolish flogging in the Royal Navy was debated in the House of Commons. John O’Connor Power, the member for Mayo, asked the First Lord of the Admiralty to bring the navy cat-of-nine-tails to the Commons Library so that the members might see what they were voting about. It was the Great “Cat” Contention, “Mr Speaker, since the Government has let the cat out of the bag, there is nothing to be done but to take the bull by the horns.” Poet Laureate Ted Hughes celebrates the occasion in his poem, “Wilfred Owen’s Photographs”: “A witty profound Irishman calls/For a ‘cat’ into the House, and sits to watch/The gentry fingering its stained tails./Whereupon …Quietly, unopposed,/The motion was passed.”
British sailor, tied to the grating, being flogged with cat o’ nine tails
In the Napoleonic Wars, the maximum number of lashes that could be inflicted on soldiers in the British Army reached 1,200. This many lashes could permanently disable or kill a man. Charles Oman, historian of the Peninsular War, noted that the maximum sentence was inflicted “nine or ten times by general court-martial during the whole six years of the war” and that 1,000 lashes were administered about 50 times. Other sentences were for 900, 700, 500 and 300 lashes. One soldier was sentenced to 700 lashes for stealing a beehive. Another man was let off after only 175 of 400 lashes, but spent three weeks in the hospital. Later in the war, the more draconian punishments were abandoned and the offenders shipped to New South Wales instead, where more whippings often awaited them. (See Australian penal colonies section.) Oman later wrote:
If anything was calculated to brutalize an army it was the wicked cruelty of the British military punishment code, which Wellington to the end of his life supported. There is plenty of authority for the fact that the man who had once received his 500 lashes for a fault which was small, or which involved no moral guilt, was often turned thereby from a good soldier into a bad soldier, by losing his self-respect and having his sense of justice seared out. Good officers knew this well enough, and did their best to avoid the cat-of-nine-tails, and to try more rational means—more often than not with success.
The 3rd battalion’s Royal Anglian Regiment nickname of “The Steelbacks” is taken from one of its former regiments, the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot who earned the nickname for their stoicism when being flogged with the cat-o’-nine tails (“Not a whimper under the lash”), a routine method of administering punishment in the Army in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
There is more at the link.
Whipping is legal punishment in parts of the Caribbean. I spoke with a doctor who said he examined people to see if they were healthy enough to take the punishment. I also met with a lawyer to confirm that the law existed. Somewhere I have a copy. It is cheaper than prison and makes sense in poor, black countries. I wanted to watch it but didn’t have time to arrange it before the ship left.
It is also legal under Sharia law, and I know Singapore still canes people. I have seen that Poor Peter the Slave picture before, and it is awful, but hardly restricted to slaves. The Brits were still flogging seaman until 1879.
I would rather take a caning and have to lie in bed for a week recovering, than rot in a jail for a year. We should offer a humane form of corporal punishment as an altnernative to mass incarceration for petty offenses.
Singapore is an excellent example of how it can be administered after due process trials within the range of what is painful and yet humane.
We don’t understand also how extended terms of solitary confinement can utterly destroy the human mind and psyche. If we think our jails are so much better than flogging in each and every circumstance, then we are fools.
Good point on above and seems to work fine for Singapore. Would like to add it is none of our business how Singapore organizes and runs its society.
What I thought when I spoke with the doctor who attended the whippings. Flogging was also legal for more serious crimes but I got the impression it was not often used. Whipping, yes.
The comment was meant as a joke. Anyone whose mind is not twisted by speech orthodoxy and PC gag rules can see that. Professor Adams will have one hell of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit if the University of North Carolina fires him over it.
Every day, speech police and other busybodies find new ways to demonstrate their hysteria by attacking alleged speech violators. Every day is a new scene from Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, a play about the Salem witch trials and the hysteria that spawned it. The play was an allegory about McCarthyism, which is what the nation is in the grips of right now.
Yes, it was meant as a joke.
Some jokes are extremely hurtful.
Some jokes are ignorant.
Anyone whose mind is not twisted by defensiveness can see that.
Prof. Adam’s people do not need to be let go. They are already free.
Squeaky Fromm, wow, just… wow. Your bigotry and racism certainly belongs to the 1800’s. That attitude you have is EXACTLY why we still have these problems today. The level of massive ignorance and contempt spewing from you is why they are angry. You’re proof that little has changed from those days. Smh.
Not enough has changed, but it’s wrong to say “little has changed.” And for all we know, Squeeky is paid by a Russian troll farm to sow discord with her racist comments.
Which, I note, neither you nor Severelylazy bothered to address my point, which is, why don’t you worry about 2020 problems instead of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Because it has been 155 years since slavery ended in the U.S.
It is still going on in Africa though. I guess you could condemn Africans if you wanted to.
And, BTW, FACTS ARE NOT RACIST. If you do not like the whole 77.3% illegitimate kid thingy among blacks, then that’s just tough! Take it up with the Ghettopotami!
Squeeky – we know you can be black and illegitimate and still become President, so what is anyone complaining about?
“we know you can be black and illegitimate and still become President”
Just who are you referring to as “illegitimate” there?
“we know you can be black … and still become President, so what is anyone complaining about?”
We’ve had 1 black president.
Yup, it must mean that racism has ended in the U.S. and there are no legit complaints about racism. /s
I think Commit is Seth in a different, more subdued, outfit…sensible shoes and all. Who else rants about any of us being on Russian troll farms?
By the way, Squeeky, do you want to meet for lunch in the nice restaurant near the Hermitage? Their borscht has been very good of late.
How exactly is what she posted racist? Are her stats wrong? Has it been proven that the way to succeed is to have illegitimate children?
Yes, in fact, her stats are wrong (the most recent stats are here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_13-508.pdf ).
More importantly, you can see her choice to refer to blacks as “Negroes” above, which is a racist term in 2020.
And she posts much worse. I’m not going to quote it, but here’s an example: https://jonathanturley.org/2020/05/29/co-anchor-of-nbc-today-and-msnbc-host-tweets-directive-to-use-protests-rather-than-riots-in-reporting/comment-page-3/#comment-1958054
Do you think that’s racist?
Maybe you simply haven’t read enough of her comments.
Commit: “Negro…is a racist term in 2020.”
You had better rush over and tell the people at The United NEGRO College Fund that they are racist and must change their name at once.
Thanks, but I understand that the UNCF was founded in 1944, not 2020, and it has kept the same name since 1944.
Just as I know that MLK Jr. wasn’t being racist when he used the term in his speeches in the 50s and 60s, and there’s no need to replace the term when he’s quoted today.
If you don’t understand the difference between historic use and Squeeky’s use, maybe you need to do some learning. But I bet you do understand the difference (am I wrong?).
Ok, from your source “non-Hispanic black (69.4%)”. Is this still good? I don’t see where she used the word “negro” in the post I was writing about. Why are you deflecting to other posts but other than the one I was responding too? Again, I will pose the question, what is racist about pointing out the illegitimate birth rate or can you please provide something to suggest that that percentage is a way to have a successful society.
Out-of-wedlock births occur across all races and have increased over time.
You ask “Why are you deflecting to other posts but other than the one I was responding too?,” but your earlier question, “How exactly is what she posted racist?,” seemed to have been written in response to my comment about “her racist comments” (plural). So if you were only talking about 1 of her comments, that wasn’t clear enough from your phrase “what she posted,” as she’s posted a lot of things. I certainly wasn’t talking only about 1 of her comments. I’m talking about her many racist comments on this website, at least one of which was sufficiently racist that either Jonathan Turley or Darren Smith removed it.
How exactly is what she posted racist? Are her stats wrong? Has it been proven that the way to succeed is to have illegitimate children?
No, your idiot leaders oppressed his people while they allowed _______ people to riot through the streets.
So he is 100% correct. It’s not a joke it’s the truth. That’s what really hurts you lying gasbags of filth. He told the truth, the truth you dirty anti_American baby murdering ______ genociders want squelched.
You let your skum out while blocking his people. It’s racism. Your racism.
I think so, too. This is too widespread to be considered a civil matter any longer; no, this is the Cold War coming back to bite us. Let’s do our best to keep it cold, shall we? I’m starting to think that with the complicity some of our politicians are displaying, they’d be happy to assist China in bringing us more *presents*. Sad thing is, these kids are being played as rubes over money and being told the opposite.
Michael– Yeah, an obvious joke is what I thought too. Humor has been murdered.
I’m again opposed to suppression of free speech. Was NC a Slave State? Even after all these years, deaths, Jim Crow and systematic oppression lives not just here… are they acting in a free speech zone. Traditionally, universities were safe zones.
Growing up in the 60,70 and 80s I learned valuable information. I would much rather have a reasonable voice of opposition that a parrot with rhetoric.
“The tweet is deeply insulting and obnoxious. .”
How so??? I don’t see anything wrong with it. This is about as bad as people getting worked up about performing in blackface, or white people singing spirituals.
Squeeky– That phrase [the tweet is deeply insulting and obnoxious] caught my eye too. Was it meant to ward off potential attackers, which I suspect, or does he or anyone else truly believe it is offensive at all?
I doubt anyone is truly offended by it except by choice, as when everyone was deeply offended by blackace until Trudeau and Northam were discovered in it. Then it wasn’t offensive so much.
When it is almost a crime to ‘offend’ someone, then being offended becomes a tactical position rather than an actual feeling. Notice, for example, how often posters here are offended by your remarks. They are not actually offended; they want to silence you with the toolkit that usually works for them so well and they are truly upset that it doesn’t work on you. Doesn’t work on Trump either.
For the record, Turley did delete a racist screed she wrote the other day, and Squeeky even complained “My really good and long comment got yanked!”
Apparently you have difficulty believing that anyone would be sincerely offended by something that doesn’t offend you.
No doubt you’re never offended by anything yourself. /s
If I had to choose between having a sense of humor with frequent laughter and being a sourpus who finds offense in every corner, I choose not to be easily offended.
You have taken the second option. I hope this feeds your need to be offended.
Good thing that yours is a false dichotomy, another common fallacy.
I haven’t “taken the second option,” though it’s totally unsurprising that you’d project it onto me. I actually I find your projection rather funny. ; -)
Get on down to the baby murder machines, they need more libs genociding their peoples…
“…At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births ”
Wow, you helped murder 47.4% of them. That’s a worse genocide than the holocaust against your masters.
I don’t understand, you murder 47.4% and screed Trump did something wrong.
You proud of your genocide ?
BTW, I see that another of Squeeky’s racist comments was deleted from this thread, along with all of those threaded underneath it, including your comment about the UNCF. I guess Turley and/or Darren Smith doesn’t want people using the word we’d quoted from Squeeky, recognizing it as racist.
Wow, so I guess you are off the hook to explain how talking about illegitimate children is racist. What is Turley scared of?
I don’t think he’s scared of anything. But the way his commenting system is set up, if a comment is deleted (and her top comment was — and it wasn’t a comment about out-of-wedlock births, or at least not primarily about that), then all of the comments threaded below it are also deleted. If he had a better commenting system, that wouldn’t happen.
I don’t have “to explain how talking about illegitimate children is racist,” as I never claimed it was.
As I tried to post to you:
Out-of-wedlock births occur across all races and have increased over time.
You ask “Why are you deflecting to other posts but other than the one I was responding too?,” but your earlier question, “How exactly is what she posted racist?,” seemed to have been written in response to my comment about “her racist comments” (plural). So if you were only talking about 1 of her comments, that wasn’t clear enough from your phrase “what she posted,” as she’s posted a lot of things. I certainly wasn’t talking only about 1 of her comments. I was talking about her many racist comments on this website, at least a few of which have been sufficiently racist that either Jonathan Turley or Darren Smith removed them.
My money is on they form a committee to examine all of his writings and look for “problems” they can use to fire him.
No, they’d have done that already. He’s been quite well-known on the UNCW campus for over 20 years and has had his provost gunning for him before.
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