A University of Virginia lecturer who posted a Facebook comment comparing Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan has agreed to take a leave from the school.
Douglas Muir, an executive lecturer with UVA's engineering school, wrote that Black Lives Matter “is the biggest rasist organisation since the clan. Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!” Muir's comment appeared on an Oct. 4 post about Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza speaking in Charlottesville, the Cavalier Daily reported.
Charlottesville resident Joe Starsia took a screenshot of Muir's now-deleted comment and posted it to Twitter on Oct. 5, directing it toward the school: “E-School, did you know that one of your professors compares [Black Lives Matter] to the Klan?” Starsia is an organizer with the civil rights group Showing Up For Racial Justice, the Daily said.
“While free speech and open discussion are fundamental principles of our nation and the University, Mr. Muir’s comment was entirely inappropriate,” read a letter from the engineering dean and engineering associate dean for diversity and inclusion, the paper said. “U.Va. 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.”
UVA Executive Vice President and Provost Tom Katsouleas said the school "stands firmly against racism and social injustice of any kind," the Daily said, adding that while the university isn't looking to hinder academic freedom, "statements such as Mr. Muir’s do not foster intellectual exploration, nor do they encourage the voices of others.”