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NYC: Human Rights Watch parts with general counsel for N-word use during Columbia class

The international advocacy group Human Rights Watch parted ways with its general counsel last week after she repeatedly used the N-word during a class she teaches at Columbia University.

Dinah PoKempner, an adjunct professor, used the term 11 times in half a minute while recounting a conversation to students during an April 1 Zoom session, the Columbia Spectator reported.

The decorated attorney, who is white, was discussing legal implications of hate speech at the time, according to the report.

During the lesson, PoKempner relayed an anecdote that included dialogue between a Ku Klux Klan member and a lawyer associate of hers.

“Unfortunately, the voices of the lawyer and his deponent were graven in my memory, and I did not edit as I spoke, using the original racist term,” she told the Columbia Spectator. “Students were understandably shocked, and they explained eloquently and patiently why they objected to use of the word.”

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