TSU official pens letter to 'racist' U Alabama after dean's resignation

  • The University of Alabama’s newly appointed dean of students resigned Thursday after old tweets surfaced expressing disdain for the American flag and the police.
  • Now, an administrator at Tennessee State University is pointing to Alabama as “being a historically racist institution” as explanation for the African American dean’s resignation.

A Tennessee State University official accused the University of Alabama of systemic racism and being on the “wrong side of history” after a UA dean resigned on Thursday amid controversy surrounding his old tweets.

Assistant vice president and dean of students at UA Jamie Riley resigned Thursday after Breitbart News published several of his tweets from 2016 and 2017  in a Wednesday article. The tweets expressed disdain for the American flag, the opinions of “white people” regarding racism, and American law enforcement officers.

"The University of Alabama is a privileged academic space idolized by a state that, arguably, owns one of the most racist histories in the world..."   

[RELATED: U. Alabama dean resigns after tweets tying American flag, police to racism resurface]

After news of the African American dean’s resignation broke, Tennessee State University Men’s Initiative Program Coordinator GeColby J. Youngblood penned an open letter to UA officials, alleging that Riley’s resignation was the result of “the University of Alabama, again, being a historically racist institution, to the detriment of a Black person.”

Youngblood noted that he was considering attending UA to obtain his Ph.D., partially motivated by the fact that Riley was serving as the Dean of Students, but that he would no longer be open to the possibility of attending the “hubris space.”

Youngblood questioned how “an ultra-conservative, unaffiliated...political group," presumably Breitbart, was able to obtain “access to communicate with the University” regarding Riley, as well as whether or not the university was sincerely “committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity in University leadership.”

[RELATED: University's 'racial justice' definition eerily similar to socialism] 

The Tennessee State official invoked historic images of the University of Alabama during the Civil Rights era, as well as the state’s overall history with racism, including the arrest of Rosa Parks, and the fact that Montgomery, Ala. was once the capital of the Confederate States of America.

“Dr. Riley’s tweets helped me realize a truth: the University of Alabama is a privileged academic space idolized by a state that, arguably, owns one of the most racist histories in the world—a hubris space, that is not, and never wants to be, a space intended for me, nor other prospective scholars like me,” Youngblood wrote.

The TSU official concluded his letter by asking, “Perhaps, the University of Alabama is where ‘Legends Are Made’—but must it always develop greatness from the wrong side of history?”

Campus Reform reached out to Youngblood and the University of Alabama for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan



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Celine Ryan
Celine Ryan | Correspondent Editor

Celine Ryan is the Correspondent Editor reporting on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. Celine was previously the investigative reporter, New Hampshire Senior Campus Correspondent, and California Senior Campus Correspondent for Campus Reform.

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