Today the Raleigh News and Observer reported on Civitas’ request for Gene Nichol’s emails and other public information in accordance with §132 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Nichol heads the Center for Poverty at UNC. Apparently we have upset some of his colleagues and they have complained to the media. We at Civitas wrote on Nichols and the Poverty Center before he penned a hateful piece about Governor McCrory in which he essentially called him a racist. We wrote about the center back in 2012 and have written blog posts concerning the center and Nichol.
The piece by writer Jane Stancill was even-handed, but the most troubling line came at the end: “When asked whether the Civitas probe would curtail his commentary, Nichol said: ‘I’m too old for that. I try to avoid being bullied by thugs, so I don’t think I’ll change.'”
So Nichol can’t pass by an opportunity to call someone a name. In this case he called me a “thug.” If this is what passes for civil discourse in the university, we really are in trouble. Civitas will not back down and the folks at UNC and the law school should not hold themselves above the law. The rank-and-file state employees know that everything they do is a matter of public record; those in academia making six-figure salaries should be smart enough to know that.
And all the name-calling in the world doesn’t change the facts.
Ending with a quote from one of my favorite books, Animal Farm by George Orwell:
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”