My friend Mike was found dead in his home yesterday. An investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Read local media accounts if you would like to see a modicum of reporting with a leaking dumpster full of verbal grave-dancing. People expose their inner rot at these times. Mike would have fought tirelessly for their right to express it regardless. He believed as I believe that bigoted, immature, and ignorant speech is a catalyst for better speech from others.

Because he was the target of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of today’s media and academe, and of others prone to the Niemöllerian arrogance, Mike was discriminated against by UNCW for his opinions, and he eventually won a landmark court decision in his favor — and more importantly, in favor of academic freedom for all.

Mike’s great contribution to academic freedom was always destined to outlive him. I’m distraught that this wonderful, inevitable legacy must begin so soon.

Farewell, my friend. I will see you again.