A professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. is caught up in major controversy after a social media post has resulted in demands for his termination and death threats.
Associate Professor of Sociology Johnny Eric Williams published a post on Facebook earlier this week calling for the dismantling of a system of white supremacy following the shooting death of Charleena Lyles in Seattle. However, right-wing political websites misinterpreted the comments and connected them to the recent shooting at a Congressional baseball practice.
“It is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do, put end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system,” read the post. It ended with the hashtag, “#LetThemF*ckingDie,” which has been the main point of contention by critics.
“I’m calling for the death of a system, white supremacy, not the death of white people,” Williams later clarified in an interview.
The death threats were taken seriously and school officials chose to close campus until further notice while they’re investigated by local authorities. Meanwhile, Williams position at the university he’s taught at since 1996, is being called into question by everyone from community members to alumni with political power, according to the Hartford Courant.
We are calling upon the school to immediately, and permanently, remove Mr. Williams from the ranks of the school’s faculty,” read a letter written by Trinity alum, state House Republican Leader Themis Klarides and state Senator George S. Logan.