It might be better for University of South Carolina president Robert Caslen if he just … didn’t speak. Because it seems every time the guy opens his mouth, there is a problem. And his high-priced, taxpayer-funded public relations team? Yeah … they are not helping.
Caslen’s latest flub was an effort to embrace the politically correct outrage that ensued after a student at the school used a racial slur in reference to the latest observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. day.
Calsen called the slur a “disgusting racist epitaph absolutely not reflective of who we are as Gamecocks.”
Take a look …
(Click to view)
Wait … epitaph? Last time we checked, an epitaph was “a brief statement commemorating or epitomizing a deceased person.” A tombstone inscription, in other words.
You know, the laudable “in loving memory …”
Caslen likely meant to say “epithet,” which means something vastly different. That word refers to “a disparaging or abusive word or phrase.”
Easy to confuse? Sure.
But for a college president?
A guy whose job it is to dole out doctorates?
The point of this post is not to mock Caslen for his lack of familiarity with the English language, though. Because we honestly don’t have that kind of time.
Nor is our point to make fun of the news outlets which replicated his spelling error …
(Click to view)
(Via: The State)
Seriously: Who is dumber here? The college president or the journalists covering him?
No, our point in raising all of this is to bring our readers up to speed on Caslen’s other racial issue – which was brought to the fore during a grilling he received on Tuesday at the S.C. State House.
Caslen was chided by state representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg, S.C. for a lack of diversity on his senior staff. During a subcommittee hearing related to the school’s fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, Cobb-Hunter expressed concern that Caslen had no blacks with a “real seat at the table,” and that his minority hires paraded before the committee had no real authority.
Caslen responded by telling Cobb-Hunter it takes “a long time” to find the right minority candidates for more consequential positions.
This explanation was seized upon by state representative Kirkman Finlay of Columbia, S.C., who pointed to Caslen’s controversial “rigged hiring” of several high-level (white) staffers as evidence the retired U.S. Army general had no interest in taking such time.
Caslen’s appointments have been criticized because of the way the school shut down its typical search process – posting job openings online for only five days before closing them to applicants.
Finlay further stated that Caslen’s administration posted these hiring notices during the holidays – when few people were paying attention – implying it was clear the school had already decided who it was going to hire prior to posting them.
Caslen was reportedly quite flustered by Finlay’s rebuke … prompting Cobb-Hunter to offer him a word of solace.
“Smile general, it’s not that bad,” she told him at the conclusion of the tumultuous budget hearing.
Except it is …
The University of South Carolina is struggling right now on multiple fronts, and Caslen has thus far failed to stop the bleeding. If anything, he has compounded the damage done during his divisive selection process.
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