Boston University professor who called white men a ‘problem population’ now says she regrets making the remarks.
Saida Grundy, is the incoming black sociology professor who sparked a heated debate this week when university president Robert A. Brown criticized the racially charged remarks on her (now private) Twitter account.
Grundy believes that all the protests and increased scrutiny on police brutality and racial injustice have made ‘the inconvenient matter of race’ an unavoidable topic this past year. Despite that, she now regrets how her comments on social medial have been misinterpreted by her colleagues and the public.
‘I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events led me to speak about them indelicately,’ she said in a statement.
‘I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve.’
Boston University distanced itself from Grundy’s tweets on Tuesday as its president penned an open letter to the campus, saying the comments were ‘hurtful.’
President Brown’s letter reads,
I do not say this lightly or without a great deal of consultation and soul-searching. I understand there is a broader context to Dr. Grundy’s tweets and that, as a scholar, she has the right to pursue her research, formulate her views, and challenge the rest of us to think differently about race relations. But we also must recognize that words have power and the words in her Twitter feed were powerful in the way they stereotyped and condemned other people.
While critics say it is inappropriate for a professor preparing to teach at a large, racially diverse university to share these beliefs – Dr. Grundy’s supporters think she is being vilified for telling the truth.
The hashtag #IStandWithSaida has been launched for those who wish to show their solidarity.
— Only Human (@leahmcelrath) May 12, 2015
#IStandWithSaida because It disgusts me to know that speaking on racism is more reprehensible than actually being racist in this country
— Bl✊ck Intellect (@God1stMoneyLast) May 12, 2015
“I think we have to be willing to be uncomfortable, willing to demand more of ourselves & more of our country.” john powell #IStandWithSaida
— David Shih (@professorshih) May 13, 2015
In addition, there is also an online petition that notes that Boston University, the largest in Massachusetts in terms of enrollment, is the place where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. earned his doctorate.
‘Racism extends to virtually every institution in American society — including higher education,’ the petition reads. ‘Calling Professor Grundy’s tweets racist minimizes the very real effects of racism for people of color in the United States.’
Brown, the university president, says Grundy will still report for work on July 1 as planned.