Monday, March 22, 2021
University of San Diego Law Professor Thomas Smith has been put under investigation for the use of an offensive term in a column criticizing the Chinese government and its role in the pandemic. The column, written on the site The Right Coast discussed a Wall Street Journal article on China’s lack of real cooperation in the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. In the column, Smith refers to accepting “a lot of Chinese c**k swaddle.” That led to a campaign to have Smith fired and a statement from Dean Robert Schapiro that not only announced a formal investigation but appeared to denounce Smith. The USD controversy is the latest attack on free speech and academic freedom. It shows the same combination of student cancelling campaigns and the enabling actions of school administrators.
Smith is a very accomplished intellectual with an impressive background in both academia and the bar. He writes in the areas of Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Intellectual Property, Contracts, Bankruptcy, Law and Economics, Business and Corporate Law at USD. He is also someone who writes in the public forum as a blogger and columnist.