The University of Virginia announced Friday that a professor has agreed to take leave after posting a Facebook comment that called Black Lives Matter racist and compared it to the Klu Klux Klan.
In a Friday statement to the campus, Provost Tom Katsouleas slammed business professor Douglas Muir’s Facebook post, emphasizing the university’s commitment to fighting racism and social injustice.
Katsouleas seemed to say that Muir’s opinion, in and of itself, threatened free speech on campus.
The university’s commitment to social justice “in no way squelches academic freedom, which welcomes dissent and encourages the voices of others whose perspectives may differ from ours—thereby adding new insights to our own,” Katsouleas wrote. “But statements such as Mr. Muir’s do not foster intellectual exploration, nor do they encourage the voices of others. … We can engage in healthy debate and respectful disagreement without offering insults that suppress the free expression of ideas.”
Muir came under fire last week after a Charlottesville resident saw the Facebook post, took a screenshot of it, and sent it to the university.
— Joe Starsia (@joestarsia) October 5, 2016
The University of Virginia Engineering School and the Darden School, where Muir is an executive lecturer, rushed to distance themselves from the post.
And Charlottesville’s vice mayor, Wes Bellamy, called for Muir to undergo cultural training, also calling for residents to boycott a local restaurant owned by the professor.
On another note…I will NEVER frequent @Bellasrestaurant again. I met Doug Muir for the first time a couple of weeks ago at the @tomtomfestival…and I didn’t expect this from him, but if this is how he feels, he doesn’t have anything else to say to me. 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 Klu Klux Klan is not only incredibly misguided, but goes to show the lack cultural awareness that still plagues many professors at our Universities across the country. An organization, a movement, a collective body that aims to empower Black People, and rally allies is not a terroristic organization, but one that aims to collective bring people together to address systemic oppression and racism, amongst other things, is here to stay. If #blacklivesmatter✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 offends you, makes you feel uncomfortable, or makes you believe that we are similar to the KKK…just understand this, times are changing, the movement is moving, and a people oppressed will no longer remain silent. We have support from the highest of the high to the lowest of the low, and WE are here to STAY and WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO CREATE CHANGE!!! #blacklivesmatter✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 #BoycottBellas 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!
Muir is expected to release a statement soon, the student newspaper reported.