On June 14 of this year, a gunman arrived at the congressional baseball practice, just one day before the annual charity game was scheduled to play in Virginia. Our heroes in law enforcement took down the shooter after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was struck. Now, a professor is making his return after placement on paid leave for his statements that the black officer should have withheld aid from the white politicians.
Trinity College in Connecticut is authorizing the reinstatement of sociology instructor Dr. Johnny Eric Williams after his placement on paid leave last June. As reported by Liberty Nation, he posted numerous racist remarks on Facebook, including the hashtag regarding the congressional baseball practice shooting, “Let Them [expletive] Die.” The slogan references an article by the Medium in which the author called for minorities to deny assistance to dying white individuals, such as those involved in the attack.
A Social Storm
Many pupils displayed outrage and some issued death threats over the professor’s assertions. As a result, Dr. Williams insisted that his words were “misrepresented.” The campus was forced to close temporarily to appease the situation and required the lecturer to remove his social media posts.
Due to the controversy, the university has lost over $200,000 in donations, and 16 students have withdrawn their decisions to join the institute, as detailed in a statement by the academy’s president Joanne Berger – Sweeney. One Trinity College graduate wrote a letter to the school, urging them to immediately terminate Dr. Williams by asking him to “clear out his desk and take his hate somewhere else.” He continued that if they do not comply, further donations will be suspended.
Other alumni have reacted similarly. In an interview with Campus Reform, another graduate stated that the university’s Board of Trustees is committing a double standard by allowing Dr. Williams to return, proclaiming “academic freedom for a professor’s racist words but none for students because of Trinity’s draconic and illiberal speech code.”
While the oppressive policies to which the alumnus refers are unclear, there is undoubtedly hypocrisy underway. According to an ABC news affiliate, Dr. Williams and president Sweeney have blamed the media for the public outrage displayed over the instructor’s bigoted remarks. They declared that the attention increasingly granted to the school system is not designed to expose corrupt actions but to instead “create internal disturbances within higher education.”
Indeed, free speech laws and the campus codes of conduct handbook protect the statements from Dr. Williams and we should embrace his ability to express firmly held outlooks, as permitted under the First Amendment. However, his distasteful viewpoints display an apparent inability to adequately educate on the topic of sociology, the study of the functioning of society. Nevertheless, Trinity College is a privately-owned institution and has demonstrated that they have created their internal disturbances by supporting the prejudiced claims by the lecturer more so than the outspoken pushback from their students.
With resilient objections damaging the reputability and financial stability of the university, officials must quickly decide their course of action. Will they choose to support academic quality for their pupils or a discriminatory ideology from Dr. Williams in the midst of their diverse community?
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