Late last month, City Paper received an unsigned email drawing attention to what the writer described as "anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate speech" by Craig Hankin, a Johns Hopkins professor and director of the Hopkins Art Workshops. Hankin was City Paper's first art director back in 1977.
The email included a screencap of what it said was a status update that Hankin posted on Jan. 8, in the wake of the attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo: "Memo to Mohammedans: Fuck you and your medieval beliefs. And fuck you, especially, if you can't take a joke."
It also quoted a comment that it said Hankin posted on Facebook on Nov. 19, 2014: "Agreed, Yael. Arab thirst for Jewish blood is unquenchable."
City Paper could not find the comments on Hankin's Facebook page, but when we forwarded him the email with the alleged posts, he did not deny that he had made them, saying, "I haven't had a close connection to City Paper in decades and don't understand why you feel a responsibility to report on my Facebook posts."
We asked if he thought the comments might make Muslim students in his classes or workshops feel uncomfortable, and he offered the following comment:
"In 35 years of teaching at Johns Hopkins, I have always treated my students with civility, fairness, and respect. I am proud to be employed by an institution that values and upholds the right of free expression."
The anonymous emailer, who did not respond to a request to reveal his or her identity, noted that Hankin "lists both his position at the university and his JHU-affiliated e-mail" on his Facebook page and says the comments are "completely inappropriate for a professor at an internationally-renowned educational institution," adding "I have contacted university authorities about this matter but they appear unwilling to act."
Reached via email for comment, Hopkins representative Dennis O'Shea wrote, "I appreciate your offering us the opportunity to respond, but we will decline that opportunity."