An executive lecturer with the University of Virginia School of Engineering – as well as the Darden School of Business – was caught voicing his personal opinion on Facebook regarding Black Lives Matter.
Douglas Muir made the mistake of comparing BLM to the Ku Klux Klan, and called BLM a racist organization.
It started with a Facebook posting from a local realtor Roger Voisinet, who posted about a Black Lives Matter event called “Rooting Out Injustice: Poverty, Race and the Role of Legal Aid,” and hosted by BLM co-founder Alicia Garza.
In response to that, Muir said:
His three misspellings certainly didn’t help matters. But that’s not what people were offended over.
Local resident Joe Starsia took a screenshot of the now-deleted offensive messages and directed it toward the UVA’s engineering school on Twitter, stating: “@DardenMBA @UVAEngineers E-School, did you know that one of your professors compares #BLM to the Klan?”
In another tweet, he pushed the university to take action, saying, “It is unacceptable for one of your lecturers to be comparing [Black Lives Matter] to the Klan,” according to the Cavalier Daily.
Douglas Muir agreed to step down from the university’s engineering school. The Engineering School issued a statement on the matter:
“While free speech and open discussion are fundamental principles of our nation and the University, Mr. Muir’s comment was entirely inappropriate. U.Va. Engineering does not condone actions that undermine our values, dedication to diversity and educational mission. Our faculty and staff are responsible for upholding our values and demonstrating them to students and the community.”
While the professor agreed to take leave, Starsia – the resident who initially forwarded the comments to the university – said they didn’t go far enough:
“I think this is a situation where there’s a need for the School of Engineering, for Darden to step up and say that this is a place where people of color should feel comfortable and should feel safe, and where a group like Black Lives Matter isn’t going to be bullied on social media by one of their professors.”
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