N-word professor

Maleek Eid / YouTube Alex Dalbey

Student makes slide presentation calling out white professor for using the N-word

This is how you make a point.


Alex Dalbey


Posted on Mar 5, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 5:44 pm CDT

If you ever wanted to show up a teacher who was clearly wrong or offensive, take some notes from college student Maleek Eid. Because this is how you do it.

On Feb. 27, Eid tweeted that his white English professor had used the N-word twice for “educational purposes” in class. “So I chose my analysis paper on the use of the N-word by non-Black people so that I could essentially call her out in front of the entire class as my project,” wrote Eid. “I can’t wait. I present this Monday.”


Eid’s tweet went viral and thousands of people followed him on Twitter in awe and approval.



Eid said he would record the presentation and post it on Monday, leaving him to prepare and Twitter to wait in anticipation.



By Monday, Eid’s original tweet had garnered over 46,000 retweets, and people were clamoring to know what happened. However, when Eid reported back after the presentation, the news wasn’t positive. “I actually thought maybe she’d react well and apologize and change. I was very wrong,” he tweeted. “Just want to say I did fucking great and I’m still sorry I didn’t make her change.”


True to his word, Eid started posting clips of his presentation shortly after 10am PST. His presentation deconstructed different reasons non-Black people give for why they think they should be able to use the N-word, using reasons given by Black university students.

“If it’s gonna hurt someone, and you say you love the Black community, is it really that important to your vocabulary?” he said.



He ended on the most poignant excuse: educational purposes.


“You know what’s being said when someone says ‘N-word,’” says Eid in the recording. “And if you need to specify whether it ends with an ‘-as’ or an  ‘-er, you can literally just say ‘N-word with an er.’ It’s just not that hard.” He goes on to say that this was one of the main inspirations for his project. “I didn’t say anything the first time, and I didn’t say anything the second time, and that’s my fault. But I’m saying something now.”

After the presentation, the professor responded, defending her use of the N-word in class. “I said the word because I wanted a response. I wanted someone to say, ‘That’s wrong to say that’ or ‘I take offense to that’ or something. So, sometimes when we’re discussing things and you’re all [imitated snoring] sometimes somebody’s got to shake you up,” the professor said in the recording.

Eid interjects, “If your solution to getting your class to snap up is using the N-word, then you need different strategies as a professor.” The professor starts to say “within the context” and Eid cuts her off, saying, “There’s no context where you need the N-word to snap the class and get a reaction.”

After Eid had dismissed that argument the professor argued that the N-word is important in certain literary contexts, like in To Kill a Mockingbird. Eid pointed out to her (and to Twitter) that she was not quoting any literature when she used the N-word.


While trying to explain his position after the presentation, Eid noted that his classmates didn’t seem to care much because they also aren’t Black. Then, his professor interrupted, “Or maybe they just don’t have your sensitivity.”

Speaking to the Daily Dot, Eid described feeling depressed after his professor and classmates’ response. “No one stood up for me. My professor singled me out as ‘sensitive’ in front of everyone and had a counselor agree with her,” said Eid. “I had a panic attack, which was followed by feeling very depressed.”

According to Eid, the first school counselor he spoke to following the presentation tried to argue with him about professors using the N-word, and he had to ask to see a different counselor to file his report for the dean. He told the Dot that he will be demanding updates on what is being done about his report, as well as changing his class. “I don’t care what the deadlines are, remaining in this class will be detrimental to my mental health at this point,” said Eid. “Not to mention the heavy issues with my professor’s words.”

Even though the response in person was tepid to negative, Eid described the response online as “beautifully overwhelming.”

“Black people from all ends of the world have sent paragraphs of love and support. Reading them has been the light during this otherwise exhausting experience from class,” Eid said to the Dot. “As a Muslim, I believe all people are my brothers and sisters, and I stick up for family.”

Eid’s whole presentation can be watched on YouTube here.

Updated at 3:56pm CT, March 5, to include response from Eid.

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2019, 11:05 am CST