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‘Hate Speech’ class on right-wing extremism routinely offered at UNC Chapel Hill

‘Hatred is sustained through … ideologies that privilege Whiteness, maleness, and heterosexuality,’ syllabus states

A course within the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Department of Communication focuses on hate speech originating from extreme right-wing groups and ideologies.

The upper-level class is named “Hate Speech” and is taught by Professor Michael Waltman, who has multiple books published on the topic, including “Hate on the Right: Right-Wing Political Groups and Hate Speech.”

It is currently taught this spring semester, a campus spokesperson confirmed to The College Fix.

The spring 2023 course syllabus, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix from a campus source, states students will learn “hatred is sustained through the imposition of racist, sexist, and heterosexist ideologies that privilege Whiteness, maleness, and heterosexuality.” It adds that white males are not the source of all hate, however.

It states students will learn how to identify hatred, and learn how to use communication tools to combat it and promote tolerance instead. Part of the course includes having students create an “Anti-Hate Manifesto” journal that can include artwork, articles, cartoons, quotes and other images that helps students reflect on their opposition to hate.

Waltman’s “Hate on the Right” book is one of two required texts for the course. The other is his 2010 book “The Communication of Hate.”

Waltman and the Department of Communication’s chair did not respond to a request from The College Fix seeking comment, including a question about what they would say to those who believe the class is too one-sided.

His “Hate on the Right” book’s Amazon description states: “These groups, which include the racist right wing, the political right wing, the Christian right wing, and the paramilitary right wing, are examined respectively through the lenses of the film White Apocalypse, the book Atlas Shrugged, the Left Behind trilogy of movies, and the web pages maintained by the Republic of the United States of America and the National Rifle Association.”

The faculty bio for Waltman, who is white, states that his “research examines the diverse functions of hate speech in multiple contexts. His research addresses the ways that hate is used to pursue a variety of social and personal goals, including the promotion of hate crime, ethnoviolence, and the maintenance of White privilege.”

His “Hate Speech” syllabus has a section that states students must be open to a few assumptions for the course, including that “the current social and political organization, including hate groups in America, is a natural extension of an Anglo, male, heterosexual hegemony in American society.”

Campus Reform reported in 2016 that the class has been listed on UNC’s course catalog since the spring of 2010.

The report added UNC does not require this course for communication majors, but specific concentrations like the “Interpersonal and Organizational Communication” category can use the course to satisfy graduation requirements.

In 2020, Professor Waltman told USA Today that President Donald Trump used hate speech.

“There’s been a fairly long history, since he got back into the election, of him basically using hate speech to promote his ideas,” Waltman was quoted as saying. “His immigration policy is grounded largely in xenophobia. He has said really horrific things about Mexicans. He’s done some pretty horrific things to Mexicans.”


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