A Black professor at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona is in hot water after making controversial remarks about the Black Lives Matter collective during an event that was sponsored by the institution
During a panel that was hosted by the Christian school nearly a year ago—which delved into religion and issues related to justice—when professor Toby Jennings was asked about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement he stated that although some members of the group are “gracious and discerning” other members of the collective who are more extreme “should be hung,” reports the Arizona Republic.
Top-level officials said they were unaware of the comments until local NAACP and BLM leaders reached out. https://t.co/mDdpXFC3mP
— azcentral (@azcentral) August 25, 2017
“They are saying things that are not helpful to any way, shape or form of human dignity or flourishing. That is not helpful to any conversation,” said Jennings during the filmed panel discussion. “That kind of rhetoric is not helpful to any conversation. And that’s what I mean by they should be hung.”
Senior leaders at Grand Canyon University claim that they didn’t know about Jennings’ outlandish remarks until they were contacted by BLM and NAACP representatives last week, reports the outlet. Both groups called for the institution to take public action, claiming that his statement could be a “dangerous seed in the soil of impressionable minds.”
The Arizona Republic reports that the university has put Jennings on administrative leave until the end of the semester and has launched a probe surrounding his remarks. GCU says that they will interview students who have taken classes led by Jennings to get a better perspective of his character. According to the outlet, the university has condemned the remarks and Jennings has issued an apology.
“While words, once spoken, can never be taken back, my hope is that my sincere apology for my own words can pave a more gracious path toward reconciliation,” he said. BLM leaders say that administrative leave isn’t enough and are demanding that Jennings be fired, the outlet writes.
This isn’t the first time that a professor’s personal views about Black Lives Matter has put their job in jeopardy. In June, a professor at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey was terminated for defending BLM on Fox News.