A former professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington was found dead at his house after posting racist, sexist, and anti-mask tweets. The professor, Mike Adams, was 55 years old and was a UNCW faculty member for 27 years. He was found dead at home when a friend tried to do a wellness check on him. Prior to his death, he posted words that were interpreted as hate speech by some of his students. Because of the pressure coming from social media, the professor originally planned to retire early on August 1st.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating this case and said there was no evidence of foul play. The dispatch records show that Professor Adams suffered from a gunshot wound. Adams’ friend also told the police that the Professor seemed “erratic” and was “under a lot of stress” prior to his death.
This stress might be coming from backlash on his tweets and an online petition regarding his controversial tweets. The petition “Fire Professor Mike Adams” had received more than 60,000 signatures. The organizer of the petition said Professor Adams “threaten[ed], belittle[d], bullie[d], and act[ed] in an unprofessional manner.” The professor later responded “when you write the university asking them to fire me don’t forget to leave a mailing address so I can send you a box of panty liners.”
When you write the university asking them to fire me don’t forget to leave a mailing address so I can send you a box of panty liners.
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) June 2, 2020
His other controversial tweets include equating the stay at home order as slavery, his views on BlackLivesMatter and Women’s Studies.
This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina.
Massa Cooper, let my people go!
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) May 29, 2020
Getting offended is not empowering. It shows that you are controlled by others.
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) June 3, 2020
What a horrible image. Seeing a black man in submission to the police just begging for the right to breathe. I hope justice is served in that case.
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) May 27, 2020
A black man's biggest obstacle to success is not white racism. It's black culture.
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) July 10, 2016
Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies.
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) May 28, 2020
Professor Adams was a controversial person. He was known for holding conservative beliefs and actively speaking what’s on his mind. For his supporters, he’s a “defender of the First Amendment and conservative values.” His friend David French wrote “A Eulogy for a Friend, a Lament for our Nation,” which can be found here. However, some of his students found his speech offensive and inappropriate, while others claimed that he was “great.”
This is awful. Simply awful. Professor Mike Adams was a tireless defender of the First Amendment and conservative values. It was recently reported that he was retiring from UNCW, who gave him grief for years for his viewpoints. #ncpol #nced https://t.co/t1P9qQAWUU
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) July 23, 2020
as a UNCW student i can assure you there is room for civil discussion and exploration of all beliefs on campus, but mike adams crossed the line when he targeted and harassed students online who disagreed with his beliefs, ironically doing exacty what you are criticizing here
— hydrangealeah #BLM (@captivatinglyy) July 24, 2020
I had him as a professor and he was great! He will be missed.
— AmyWP (@LakeGirl003) July 25, 2020
You may change your tune in 10 years. He was a bit caustic, but he really encouraged thinking and freedom of speech. There are very few professors who will speak up so college kids can really think and not just follow. That is a rare gift.
— Laura Hester Martin (@LaApple1212) July 24, 2020
Some other people feel conflicted. While they don’t necessarily support what Dr. Adams said, they also don’t perceive death as the solution.
Your statement sounds appropriate. I know several who have been negatively impacted by his horrible behavior. None of them would celebrate his death but would honestly speak of how relieved they were when it was announced he wouldn’t be coming back to teach.
— DelanaV (@DelanaV) July 24, 2020
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s continues to investigate this case. What do you think of the issue? Let us know in the comments.