Last week, David Hoppe reported on the plight of IUPUI employee and student Keith Sampson who has been reprimanded by the Affirmative Action Office for reading the scholarly work Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan in the employee break room.
In an initial letter, dated Nov. 25, 2007, Sampson was told by Lillian Charleston of the AAO that he “racially harassed” black coworkers by reading the book in their presence.
“You used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your black coworkers.”
Last week, Sampson received a second letter, dated Feb. 7, 2008, and postmarked Feb. 21, 2008, from Charleston in which the AAO says they were unable to draw any final conclusions as to whether or not Sampson’s choice to read the book was intentionally hostile, and therefore no adverse disciplinary action will be taken at this time.
The matter does not seem to be resolved, however, as Sampson has recently learned that the incident is now being investigated by IUPUI Human Resources. Todd Tucker, author of the book, has recently become involved in defending Sampson’s right to read the book, which is available at the IUPUI library as well as the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library. Copies of both letters to Sampson from the IUPUI Affirmative Action Office are available at http://www.nuvo.net/articles/21st_century_catch22.
The Affirmative Action Office of IUPUI has declined NUVO’s requests to comment on this case.