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YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN': Virginia college professor apologizes for provocative email to colleagues

An American flag flies at half-mast on the campus of North Carolina State University next to its icontic Bell Tower in honor of former Sen. Jesse Helms who died three days ago July 7, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Image source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

A Virginia college professor has apologized after sending an email to his colleagues and some students saying that if they didn't go to certain campus diversity events, then they they are "not American."

Old Dominion University associate professor Norou Diawara confirmed to the Virginian Pilot Tuesday that he sent the email Monday to the Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators and list of graduate students.

Diawara wrote he is "not happy at all, with the state of the affairs in the USA" and that "it is very sad we have come to this level.”

His message then listed four events planned on the university's campus, including a rally aimed to show support for refugees in response to President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning travel to the U.S. from seven countries in the Middle East. The Obama administration in 2015 designated the same seven countries as "areas of concern" because of terrorist activity.

The rally was organized by ODU Democrats, WAVY-TV reported.

An event at ODU's intercultural center, a lecture at the monthly meeting for the Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators, as well as as meeting for black students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics, were also on the list included in the email.

“BUT REALLY SCREW YOU IF YOU CANNOT GO TO ANY OF THESE EVENTS. YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN," Diawara wrote.

The associate professor then concluded the message cordially: “With Very Best Regards, Norou.”

Diawara told the Virginian Pilot that he later sent a second email to the same people apologizing for his previous message, though he did not share what he said in the apology email. While he did apologize, Diaware maintained that "we should not be sitting down and being passive," referring to Trump's travel ban.

"I hope we can all take care of each other instead of being passive," Diawara added.

Austin Agho, ODU provost and vice president for academic affairs, responded to Diawara's email, telling the Virginian Pilot: “Old Dominion University nurtures a climate of care, concern and civility toward others. The reported statement does not reflect our values."

Agho declined to discuss the issue in any further detail, citing it as a personnel matter.

(H/T: WHSV-TV)

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