A newly hired Boston University professor is sorry for her “indelicate” tweets bashing white males and vows to be fair to all of her students, after the school’s president and several alumni complained that her comments were bigoted.
Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at the school, had tweeted in recent weeks that “white masculinity is THE problem for america’s (sic) colleges,” that white men are a “problem population,” and that “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. and every year i find it nearly impossible.”
“In light of the university’s willingness to invite vile rhetoric onto a campus that I spent four wonderful years at, I commit to never donate to Boston University.”
– Boston University graduate
Although she declined to comment to FoxNews.com in stories about the controversy, she released a statement Tuesday in which she said the tweets were the result of “personal passion” surrounding unspecified “events we now witness with regularity in our nation.”
“I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events led me to speak about them indelicately,” Grundy said. “I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve.”
She also promised to be fair to her students, even white males.
“I take seriously my responsibility to create an inclusive learning environment for all of my students,” she added. “Both professionally and ethically, I am unequivocally committed to ensuring that my classroom is a space where all students are welcomed.”
Her statement followed one from Boston University president Robert Brown, her new boss, and it happens, a white male.
“We are disappointed and concerned by statements that reduce individuals to stereotypes on the basis of a broad category such as sex, race, or ethnicity,” Brown wrote in a blast e-mail to the “Boston University community.” “I believe Dr. Grundy’s remarks fit this characterization,” he said in a statement.
Boston University says no action will be taken against Grundy, saying that the tweets are her free speech. She will start working at the university in June.
“We acknowledge Dr. Grundy’s right to hold and express her opinions,” Brown said.
The tweets were first noticed by a student at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Nick Pappas, who posted them on his website “SoCawlege.com” and questioned how Grundy could teach a diverse classroom given the racial hostility in her tweets.
“You have to teach college-aged white males eventually, no?… this seems like you are unqualified to grade their work as you clearly demonstrate some kind of special bias against them,” he wrote.
After the news broke, some alumni and donors wrote the school to complain.
“It is truly a sad day to be a BU alum,” one Boston University graduate from the class of 2008 told FoxNews.com, and shared a letter he had sent to Brown and the dean of students.
“In light of the university’s willingness to invite vile rhetoric onto a campus that I spent four wonderful years at, I commit to never donate to Boston University,” he wrote in his letter.
Another wrote, “As a Boston University alumnus and a father of a son who will graduate from BU next week, I am deeply saddened by this revelation. It has become apparent that BU no longer supports a value system in line with human decency.”
Those who follow campus politics say they are not shocked.
“I’m not surprised that Boston University is hiring a racist to teach African-American Studies,” David Horowitz, author of“Reforming our Univerisities,”told FoxNews.com. “Anti-white racism is rampant in Black Studies programs.”
Horowitz added that the university’s reaction betrays double-standards on race.
“If she were a white racist rather than an anti-white racist, she would never be hired,” he said.
Grundy posted a number of other controversial tweets, for instance incorrectly claiming that only whites enslaved entire generations of people. “Deal with your white sh*t, white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing,” she said.
Free speech advocates say that Grundy should have a right to her speech, but say the university speech policy is hypocritical because it allows the university to censor offensive or bigoted speech if it wanted to.
“Professor Grundy should and must have thefreedom to publicly express her opinions on controversial topics. Unfortunately, though, [she] could be punished if she were to send such tweets through the BU computer network, asthe university bans‘transmitting…offensive’ material,” Robert Shibley of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) told FoxNews.com.
“In addition, if she were a student, she could also potentially be punished for violatingpoliciesbanning ‘bigotry, hatred, and intolerance,’ and for not expressing her opinion ‘in good taste and decency.’ … [BU] should eliminate these policies so that it can defend every student and faculty member’s right to free speech – not just Professor Grundy’s.”
The author, Maxim Lott, can be reached atwww.maximlott.comor at firstname.lastname@example.org