University of Sydney poetry professor and noted racist Barry Spurr has been having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, after New Matilda reproduced a series of bigoted emails in which he took aim at … almost anyone you can conceivably offend.
In around two years’ worth of correspondence, the professor, who is currently working on the national curriculum review, managed to sledge “bogans”, “mussies”, “chinkie-poos”, women, indigenous Australians, Nelson Mandela, and numerous others.
Yesterday afternoon, after the story came to light, students at the University of Sydney rallied, calling for Spurr’s sacking, and the university responded by suspending him, pending an ongoing investigation.
Spurr is on the defensive, and in an interview with today’s Weekend Australian, he came out swinging, invoking the “I was hacked” defense, and saying he believes his emails were accessed as “payback” for his participation in the national curriculum review.
Hey, if it works for dudes who get caught sending out legions of secret dick pics and restaurant owners who go on foul-mouthed tirades against unhappy customers, it might just work for this guy … right?
“I allege that my account, my emails, have been illegitimately accessed,” he told the paper. “Somebody has gone into my university email, which is password sensitive. I don’t give my password to anybody, ergo someone has got into it illegitimately.”
When The Australian nudged the professor gently and asked if the emails might perhaps have been leaked by one of the many recipients who were cc’d in over the last two years, he said he was “absolutely certain” they were not.
“Some of the emails they quote were only sent to my friend,” he said, claiming that they had never been forwarded on to anybody else. “I am absolutely sure. He is my oldest friend and he has been assisting me in this matter.”
“I don’t know how they got into my email account and trawled through it, but they did.”
New Matilda have denied any wrongdoing in the matter, and claim that Spurr’s emails were “widely circulated” amongst other professors.
The university have nonetheless confirmed that an email hacking investigation, secondary to the investigation into Professor Spurr’s conduct, is underway.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says that the government must act to “reassure Australians that the views of the reviewer and the disgusting remarks have in no way infiltrated the curriculum which is taught to all our young Australians.”
You can fully expect this ugly shitfight to continue in the coming days.