Douglas Muir, an adjunct professor for the University of Virginia, has taken a leave of absence after reportedly comparing Black Lives Matter to the KKK online. The former professor — who used to lecture at UVA’s Engineering School — commented on several Facebook posts saying that Black Lives Matter was the “biggest” racist organization since the KKK, including a photo taken by the organization’s co-founder Alicia Garza.
“Black lives matter is the biggest rasist [sic] organisation [sic] since the clan. Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!” he wrote.
Garza was talking at an event called “Rooting Out Injustice: Poverty, Race and the Role of Legal Aid” at Virginia’s Paramount Theater when the photo was taken. Once faculty got wind of Muir’s comments, he deleted the post. Sadly that wasn’t good enough for the University of Virginia (or anyone with any type of brain activity), and the school released a statement explaining that they had since distanced itself from the teacher.
“A recent comment regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, posted on social media by Doug Muir, a lecturer in our school, has raised serious concerns about UVA Engineering’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and support of populations that are traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” UVA’s Engineering School said in a statement.
“While free speech and open discussion are fundamental principles of our nation and the University, Mr. Muir’s comment was entirely inappropriate. UVA Engineering does not condone actions that undermine our values, dedication to diversity and educational mission.”
The statement ended with, “Our faculty and staff are responsible for upholding our values and demonstrating them to students and the community. Mr Muir has agreed to take leave and is preparing his own statement to the community.”
The mayor of Charlottesville, Wes Bellamy, has since spoken out on Instagram and even called for a public boycott of Muir’s restaurant, which he owns with his wife.
‘The notion that #BlackLivesMatter can be comparable to the Ku Klux Klan is not only incredibly misguided, but goes to show the lack of cultural awareness that still plagues many professors at our Universities across the country,’ the mayor wrote on his Instagram account. He then continued to defend the organization, saying the movement seeks to “address systematic oppression and racism.”
Despite the professor’s voluntary leave, the NAACP is calling for his firing. “Not only should they drop his class, the university should get rid of him, if they can,’ an NAACP representative, Rick Turner, told WVIR-TV. ‘They should not allow him to stand in front of students again.”
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