Professor Barry Spur from the University of Sydney, a contributor to the national English curriculum review, is facing calls to step down after a new website published emails from him laced with derogatory, sexist and racist terms.
The Professor of Poetry used words like “bogans”, “fatsoes”, “Mussies”, “darky” and “Chinky-poos”, as well as referring to Prime Minister Tony Abbott as an “Abo-lover”.
The emails refer to Nelson Mandela as a “darkie” and Nobel Peace Prize winner Reverend Desmond Tutu as a “witch doctor” and the University of Sydney chancellor Belinda Hutchinson as “an appalling minx”. Women are also derided as “whores” and a sexual assault victim is described as a “worthless slut”.
Professor Spurr says it was done in jest, and was part of “a whimsical linguistic game” he had for many years with a colleague “trying to outdo one another in extreme statements”.
“These statements are not reflections of my views or his,” he said.
Professor Spurr has called for less emphasis on the teaching of Aboriginal studies in schools and a greater focus on western Judeo-Christian culture.
Online news site New Matilda published the emails yesterday.
New Matilda’s editor, Chris Graham told The ABC the emails, which date back as far two years ago, were sent to other academics and officials of the university and were littered with “extreme hate-speech”.
Labor says his actions have “tainted” the English curriculum review. Others are calling for him to be dismissed.
Education minister Christopher Pyne said it was a matter for the Professor, but added that denigrating a minority was “repugnant”, while The University of Sydney said it was “deeply disturbed” by the emails and investigating the matter.
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