TRENTON — A Princeton University professor has canceled a course he teaches on cultural freedoms and hate speech after his use of a racial slur during a class discussion led some students to walk out.

Colleagues say Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen has often used the slur during lectures on free speech. They say this is the first time he's received such a negative response from students.

A small group of students walked out of Rosen's anthropology class on Feb. 6 after he used the slur three times.

A student said Rosen, who is white, asked the class: “Which is more provocative: A white man walks up to a black man and punches him in the nose, or a white man walks up to a black man and calls him a n****r?”″

“The professor didn’t seem to consider the fact that obviously repeatedly saying the N-word, while it makes everyone uncomfortable, would affect the black people in the class on a far deeper level,” the Huffington Post quoted one his students as saying.

He refused a demand from several students to apologize and argued with at least one student. Two students later filed a complaint.

The university issued a statement defending Rosen, noting that "values of free speech and inclusivity are central" to the school's mission and "critical to the education we provide."

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