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UNC-Wilmngton Professor Mike Adams – Facebook screengrab.

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Conservative UNC Wilmington Professor Mike Adams was found dead in his home last Thursday after deputies from the New Hanover County sheriff’s office responded to a wellness check.

On Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office announced that Adams’s death had been ruled a suicide:

According to the agency’s spokesperson, Lt. Jerry Brewer, after an investigation by detectives and the medical examiner, “it was ascertained that Mr. Adams committed suicide with a single gunshot wound to the head.”

“No other people were in the home and foul play is not suspected,” he said.

[…]

“The homeowner had not been seen or heard from in a couple of days,” according to Lt. Brewer. “Deputies at first weren’t able to gain access to the home due to all doors being locked. Once they were able to gain access to the home deputies found the homeowner, Mike Adams, deceased in a bedroom.”

Audio of the 911 call, which was released Friday, revealed that the friend who made the Thursday call described Adams as being “erratic the last few weeks” and “under a lot of stress.” Additional details were also released by the sheriff’s office on Friday based on what was known at the time:

Audio of the call and corresponding report, released by New Hanover County on Friday, reveals the male friend contacted 911 around 12:30 p.m. Thursday from Adams’ driveway on Windsong Drive, after he had not heard from Adams for a few days and tried to contact him in person.

While speaking to the dispatcher, the friend said his concern for Adams’ welfare was because of recent behavior and his lack of response to calls.

“He has been erratic the last few weeks,” the caller said. “Not erratic dangerous, just been under a lot of stress.”

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The report said New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office (NHCSO) deputies entered the house around 2 p.m., after which they contacted EMS to report a body. Adams’ cause of death has not yet been revealed, but the report mentions “gsw,” a common acronym used by police to reference a gunshot wound.

Adams, who was a staunch defender of free speech, taught sociology and criminology at UNCW. He was forced into retirement a few weeks ago after liberal students and faculty members launched another campaign to have him fired after becoming offended by tweets he posted to his Twitter account they described as being “offensive” and “racist.”

Hollywood celebrities with ties to the city also helped organize a boycott of the school in hopes it would force their hand with Adams, who the university had unsuccessfully tried to deny tenure to in 2006 over his conservative views. Adams won the lawsuit he filed against the school at the time in a seven-year legal battle:

The university attempted to deny Adams tenure in 2006, but ended up getting sued for discriminating against Adams’ protected speech. They ultimately lost the lawsuit and gave Adams the promotion in question. The lawsuit cost UNCW hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In a piece paying tribute to Adams, conservative commentator Mark Steyn described what life is like for a lone person walking against the wind in a sea full of woke cancel culturalists:

He “seemed like” a happy warrior, but who knows? It’s a miserable, unrelenting, stressful life, as the friends fall away and the colleagues, who were socially distant years before Covid, turn openly hostile. There are teachers who agree with Mike Adams at UNCW and other universities – not a lot, but some – and there are others who don’t agree but retain a certain queasiness about the tightening bounds of acceptable opinion …and they all keep their heads down. So the burthen borne by a man with his head up, such as Adams, is a lonely one, and it can drag you down and the compensations (an invitation to discuss your latest TownHall column on the radio or cable news) are very fleeting.

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And yet, if the facts are as they appear, a tireless and apparently “happy warrior” – exhausted by a decade of litigation, threats, boycotts, ostracization and more – found himself sitting alone – and all he heard in the deafening silence of the “silent majority” was his own isolation and despair. A terrible end for a brave man. Rest in peace.

Fellow conservative commentator Diana West summed up the heartbreaking situation succinctly:

To counter the cancel culturalists who tormented Professor Adams, I recommend people search “Professor Mike Adams” on YouTube. You’ll find many videos where he talked about the importance of the First Amendment and conservatives standing up for themselves even at systemically anti-conservative higher ed institutions like UNCW that are known for forcing out conservatives for WrongThink.

Adams, sadly, is gone far too soon but his legacy in standing up for freedom of speech lives on and will do so for generations in the body of work he left us.

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Sister Toldjah
North Carolina-based Sister Toldjah, a former liberal, has been writing about media bias, social issues, and the culture wars since 2003. Follow her on Parler here.
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