EXCLUSIVE: Donors stop giving to UGA in wake of 'racist' TA
- A UGA teaching assistant made racially charged statements.
- Several UGA alumni and donors now say they will pull their financial support.
Alumni and donors who give money to the University of Georgia are threatening to no longer financially support the university if it does not take action against a teaching assistant who once said, “some white people may have to die.”
UGA philosophy TA Irami Osei-Frimpong posted the comment in the Overheard at UGA Facebook page but it has since been deleted, as Campus Reform previously reported. The TA had previously compared Southern whites to “sociopaths” and “autistic kids.”
“Some white people may have to die for black communities to be made whole in this struggle to advance to freedom,” the TA said. He further claimed that to suggest otherwise is “ahistorical and dangerously naive.”
After Campus Reform’s initial reporting, Osei-Frimpong appeared to double down, posting a Youtube video stating that white people who take pictures with their guns on social media are “terrorists.”
"Make no mistake. If you think I'm going on to say, 'well, just kill all white people,' no I'm not saying that. I'm saying that the person on your Facebook who has, who's posing with a gun in their profile picture, that person's a terrorist," Frimpong said.
After the racially charged comments, some alumni and donors to UGA are reconsidering whether they will give any more money.
One alum, TJ Gerety, told Campus Reform that UGA is on the wrong side of history if they continue to let the TA teach.
“Violence is never the answer for any issue,” Gerety said. “If the University permits this person to continue teaching they are bringing back lynching in reverse.”
The alum told Campus Reform that the only way that UGA would get back his donation is if they condemn the TA and dismiss him.
“If this was a conservative teacher stating that the killing of Blacks is what White Students need to be taught, there would be rioting in the streets,” Gerety said.
Another alum, CJ Sullivan, told Campus Reform that she is not giving a single “penny” until UGA handles the issue.
“I AM NOT giving a penny until this issue gets resolved,” Sullivan said. “What he’s done has crossed the line. He needs dismissing from all teaching assignments on the university. We can discuss racism without bringing HATE into the debate.”
Sullivan told Campus Reform that she does not want the TA teaching any class at UGA and will not give any money until he is dismissed.
“I just do not want him in any classroom spewing his radical, racist ideology. I’d say this if he had directed this towards any racial group,” Sullivan said. “We at UGA are better than this.”
Another UGA donor and alum, who told Campus Reform he wishes to be unnamed, said that he cannot donate to the school if they stand behind the person who made those remarks. When asked what it would take for him to donate to UGA again, the alum said that, at minimum, the TA should be put on unpaid leave for a good amount of time.
“In my mind, it’s somewhat similar to the student-athlete [baseball player] who was dismissed from school for racist comments,” the UGA alum said. “I guess the university thinks those rules don’t apply to those responsible for teaching students, but only students themselves.”
The UGA student newspaper reported in October that the aforementioned baseball player was dismissed from the baseball team.
The incident also appears to be affecting the future attendance at UGA of some high school students, such as the daughter of Nicole Haun, a mother who spoke with Campus Reform.
“If that is the sort of rhetoric they allow on their campus and in their classrooms, it would most certainly affect my decision regarding whether I would let my daughter attend UGA,” Haun said. “[Osei-Frimpong] is not only a TA, but a Ph.D. student at UGA, he had to sign the same Code of Conduct agreement every other student had to sign. It does not seem as though he is being held to the same standards as other students are being held.”
While UGA initially characterized Osei-Frimpong's remarks as "personal opinions" made in his "personal capacity," the school responded to a petition by former Campus Reform correspondent and UGA alum Andrew Lawrence to stop donating to UGA Sunday, saying that UGA was checking with the Office of the Attorney General "as to what actions we can legally consider in accordance with the First Amendment."
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