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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

A College of Journalism and Communications graduate student who has railed against Miami?s Hispanic culture in his blog, often using racial slurs in his posts, is teaching at UF.

Officials expressed concern about a blog published by Matthew Meltzer before he came to UF.

Meltzer said part of the reason he was admitted to the university was because of some of the less offensive postings on the site.

The writing he submitted included a post about the "Golden Girls" and the rarity of being a Jewish Marine.

"Those writings got me admitted into top programs like UF and got me a paid writing gig," he said, adding that the posts he submitted did not contain some of his more objectionable material.

While Meltzer defends his comments on his blog as social commentary, he acknowledges that his generalizations of the Hispanic community are easily construed as offensive. In a June 25 posting titled, "Judge Not By The Color of One?s Skin, But By the Content of Their Culture," he listed 26 qualities he said described Latin culture. "What I hate is loudness for the sake of being loud, what I hate is reggaeton, what I hate is people having large families much to the detriment of society, what I hate is a refusal to learn English, what I hate is 'Lemme get,? what I hate is 'suped-up? Hondas," he wrote in the blog.

He later wrote in the same posting: "This is not to say that American culture does not embody a lot of these things … But there is no other culture I have been exposed to that embodies all of these qualities quite like Latin culture."

He ended the post by saying he has many Latin friends he associates with because they have assimilated into American culture, and said that his dislike is not for Latin people but for their culture. He said his problem with Miami is not with its inhabitants but with their refusal to assimilate.

Although Meltzer is teaching classes at UF, he said he does not let his personal views seep into the classroom. He did not specify what classes he is teaching.

After his department, which he did not name, expressed concern about his writings, he assured the department chair he would be nothing but professional in the classroom, he said.

While concern has been raised at Meltzer?s position within the university and his admittance in general, university officials say that nothing can be done about it.

"The university doesn?t do background checks on students before they are admitted," said Steve Orlando, UF spokesman. "It would be logistically impossible. There may be a lot of things students do or say that we don?t know about."

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While he found Meltzer?s blog objectionable and offensive, Orlando said it was still protected by the First Amendment.

John Wright, interim dean of the College of Journalism and Communications, would not comment on the situation.

Meltzer defended his blog, saying it is simply an exaggerated part of his personality.

"I don?t hate on minorities and women in my daily life," he said. "I understand that people get offended. But people who know me personally know that?s not how I am in real life."

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