VIRGINIA – An adjunct professor at the University of Virginia, who has likened the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), has taken a leave after his Facebook comment received derisive remarks.
Last week, Douglas Muir expressed his belief that Black Lives Matter was the ‘biggest’ racist organization since the KKK by responding to a Facebook post by a local real estate agent who attended a lecture by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza according to MailOnline report.
Muir’s comment, littered with spelling errors, on a post by local realtor Roger Voisinet reads: “Black lives matter is the biggest rasist organisation since the clan. ‘Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!”
Social media users even bashed him for the spelling mistakes:
Garza was speaking at an event in the nearby Paramount Theater. The headline of the evening was ‘Rooting Out Injustice: Poverty, Race and the Role of Legal Aid.’
The upshot from Muir’s comments forced him to delete the comment. The university released statements indicating that it was distancing itself from the professor.
“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. … Our faculty and staff are responsible for upholding our values and demonstrating them to students and the community.”
However, people who are displeased with what he did are clamoring for a more severe retribution. Wes Bellamy, Charlottesville Vice-Mayor, even urged people to boycott Muir’s restaurant while the NAACP is calling on the university to dismiss the professor.
In his Instagram post, Bellamy wrote: “I would encourage everyone in the city to boycott the restaurant. I would also implore the @theuniversityofvirginia and the Darden School of Business @dardenmba (One that’s celebrating Diversity Week) to address this issue immediately. … 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 vice-mayor wrote on his Instagram account.
“Some of my students and former students have reached out to me and they are under complete distress over the situation,” Bellamy said in an NBC29 report.
“He needs to be educated. We need to sit down and have a strong conversation with him so he can become culturally competent and gain some understanding just how disrespectful and painful comparisons to Black Lives Matter and the KKK are.” Bellamy said.
“Not only should they drop his class, the university should get rid of him, if they can,” NAACP representative, Rick Turner said. “They should not allow him to stand in front of students again.”
“I frequently think it’s kind of hard to make a distinction between professional and personal. What really matters is the way in which you bring your whole self,” said UVA Darden Professor Martin Davidson.
Even with emotions high, Bellamy, Turner, and Davidson agree this could be a teachable moment. “I’m much more of the mind of let’s bring it out in the open. Let’s find out what’s creating these kinds of things, let’s correct and educate where it’s needed,” Davidson said.
In his Instagram post, Bellamy defended the Black Lives Matter movement and wrote that it is not a terroristic organization, but one that “aims to collectively bring people together to address systemic oppression and racism.”
He ended the post with this statement: “You have my number Frank Muir, I’ll await your call so that you can get the cultural training that you need. We can make a day, a week, a month, or however much time of it to get you where you need to be!”
However, even this post of Bellamy gained opposing comments criticizing his campaign to boycott Muir’s restaurant as an oppressive act for people who are exercising free speech.
School officials say Muir will issue his own statement to the community.