Amidst what may be the greatest wave of protests for racial justice ever seen in the United States, it is not surprising that there have been reactions from those who hold bigoted or racist views.
Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, expelled a student who posted racist comments on social media. One of the posts reported read: “Bear down on these niggers.” The college issued a statement saying that “these posts are abhorrent to us and a gross violation of Wesleyan’s mission and values. Such values have no place on our campus or within our community and we will act decisively when confronted by them. As soon as we were made aware of this information, we launched an investigation that led to the expulsion of the student, effective immediately.
Wesleyan College, where 33 percent of the student body is Black, has had a history of racism that it has been trying to put in its past. (See JBHE post.)
A retired professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, who is still teaching on an adjunct basis, was accused of calling protesters “a bunch of monkeys” at a rally in Oxford. Miami University President Greg Crawford issued a statement that read: “I unequivocally denounce these vile words in the strongest possible way. Racist speech and acts are antithetical to our values and principles. No student will be required to take a course from this faculty member. Our academic leaders are working to make this happen.”
An online petition calling for the university to end its ties with the professor had generated more than 16,000 signatures in its first three days. African Americans make up just 3 percent of the undergraduate student body at Miami University.
Arizona State University rescinded the appointed of Sonya Forte Duhé as dean of the Cronkite School of Journalism when a social media post seemingly supporting the protest was met by criticism from several students at Loyola University of New Orleans where she had served as dean of the School of Communication and Design. A former student replied to the post by stating that “no way in HELL that BLACK LIVES matter” to Duhé. The student added that Dr. Duhé was “THE most racist human ever encountered in a professional setting.” More than 20 other students came forward alleging racist behavior by Professor Duhé.