Civil rights leaders are demanding that a professor be fired over comments he made about Black Lives Matter almost a year ago, when he told a crowd of shocked viewers that its members “should be hung.”
According to KPNX, Toby Jennings, a theology professor at Grand Canyon University, a for-profit Christian school based in Phoenix, was speaking at a theology conference back in September 2016 when he was asked about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jennings responded by acknowledging that there were those in the movement who want to have civil dialogue and were very thoughtful about it, but then his comments went way off the rails.
“And you have people on the opposite extreme of that that frankly should be hung,” he continued as an audience member behind the camera gasped loudly. In the background, more awkward titters could be heard.
Jennings, who is black, attempted to “clarify” his comment.
“That kind of rhetoric is not helpful to any conversation, and that’s what I mean by they should be hung,” Jennings said.
Sir, if you don’t sit down ... because your explanation makes no damn sense.
Anyway, the situation remained relatively unknown until this month, when it was brought to the attention of local activists and leaders who are now calling for Jennings to be fired.
“Before I saw the video, I thought it was a white man,” Pastor Warren Stewart Jr. said. “It’s self-hate, it’s a Willie Lynch syndrome, it’s a mindset of [devaluing] your own culture.”
GCU said that it met with local Black Lives Matter representatives privately and apologized for the comment.
Jennings has been suspended, but where the situation will go from here is anybody’s guess. However, GCU is reportedly insistent that, despite this particular episode, there is no culture of racism or anti-blackness on campus.
“We asked; we said, ‘What examples do you have? Tell us what we don’t know, because we’re not seeing, experiencing that,’” GCU Honors College Dean Antoinette Farmer-Thompson said.
Read more at KPNX.