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UCLA Prof. apologizes for asking law students to review actions in Ferguson

Written By | Dec 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2014 — Is this a question of racism, academic freedom or liberalism on mainstream campuses that have destroyed common sense teaching all together?

According to Fox News, a UCLA professor was forced to apologize for asking a Ferguson exam question on a final law exam. Professor Robert Goldstein must have not received the liberal politically correct memo, because he presented a test question on an, apparent taboo subject — the fallout from the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo., according to Fox News.

The goal of the question that the professor presented to the law students was based on testing their legal ability to distinguish the line between inciting a riot and free speech. The question focused on Michael Brown’s stepfather Louis Head’s repeated heated shouting, “Burn this bitch down!” when a grand jury did not indict former police officer Darren Brown for the shooting death of Brown.

For some reason some hyper-sensitive students complained about the question. One student, Elie Mystal wrote to ‘Above the Law’ a popular legal blog, the test question was “racially insensitive and divisive,” reported Fox News.

The student went on to allege that the question asked students to, to “advocate in favor of extremist racists in Ferguson.

It sounds like this law student should be a future social worker or civil rights advocate for the NAACP because law students train to become future lawyers that discern many legal conflicts and issues.

For instance, to student Mystal’s point of extremist racists in Ferguson, who are they and where were they?

Professor Goldstein caved into the politically correct police by offering an apology that was unneeded and certainly unnecessary. He said,

“I recognize, though, that the recent disturbing events and subsequent decisions in Ferguson and New York make this subject too raw to make it a useful opportunity.” The professor has indicated that he will not be grading the question.

But where was the harm in asking the question and why law students like Mystal presupposing that proof of racism are is based upon a conception of fictional accounts not actual provable facts. The professor appeared to be quite balanced in how he asked the law students to consider the question.

Leaving us to question if this was racism in seeking to evaluate the student’s skills as was the spoken intent of Professor Goldstein and why was this an off limit topic, when legal analysis is what is expected of law students?


He actually referenced both the New York and Ferguson grand jury decisions to not indict either police officer involved in their respective unarmed death incidents.

Professor Goldstein stressed in his email to students that his purpose for the question was also to present relevant and current legal issues in the news that allows the exam to both relevant and educational.

There are other law professors who have questioned the legitimacy of even apologizing for presenting students with a legal question that was so precise and totally straightforward.

One law professor at George Mason University School of Law agreed. Professor David Bernstein, bluntly mentioned,

“If there are some law students who are such delicate flowers that merely being asked to assess whether certain controversial speech that’s been in the news is constitutionally protected, in a class covering the First Amendment of all things, then maybe they should find another profession,” reported Fox News.


Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the "New York Times," and has written for the "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," “GOPUSA,” "Soul Source" and "Writers Digest" magazines as well as the Ann Arbor and Cleveland "Examiner," "Free Patriot," "Conservatives4 Palin" and "Positively Republican." The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK - 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014. He writes for Communities Digital News, and his weekly show "Standing at Freedom’s Gate" on Community Digital News Hour tackles the latest national and international issues of freedom, faith and protecting the homeland and heartland of America as well as solutions that are needed. Fobbs also writes for Clash Daily, Renew America and BuzzPo. He covers Second Amendment, Illegal Immigration, Pro-Life, patriotism, terrorism and other domestic and foreign affairs issues. As the former 12-year Community Concerns columnist with The Detroit News, he covered community, family relations, domestic abuse, education, business, government relations, and community and business dispute resolution. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1978 and attended Wayne State University Law School. He spearheaded and managed state and national campaigns as well as several of President George W. Bush's White House initiatives in areas including Education, Social Security, Welfare Reform, and Faith-Based Initiatives.