Jamie R. Riley, the Dean of Students and Vice President at University of Alabama
was unceremoniously fired resigned from his positions at the school the day after that Bastion Of Journalistic Integrity and Moral Virtue, Brietbart, found some of his old tweets that might offend the delicate sensibilities of white supremacists and klanfolk. Mercy me! Whatever might be the nature of such tweets, that would prompt Dr. Riley to leave his job of only seven months in such disgrace? What outlandish and obscene tweets posted he?
White people are racist. America was built on racism. Cops are racist. White people have privilege.
There, there, are you alright? Can I fetch you some water? Smelling salts? Jeeves, slide over the fainting couch for my poor friends, here! Get them some sweet tea right away!
According to the University's newspaper, aptly named The Crimson White,
His resignation comes a day after Breitbart News published an article detailing images of past tweets from Riley, in which he criticized the American flag and made a connection between police and racism.
Jackson Fuentes, press secretary for the UA Student Government Association, confirmed at 4:15 p.m. that Riley is no longer working at the University.
Here are screenshots of the offending tweets, one written a full two years before he was hired by the University of Alabama:
I have questions.
1. They knew he was Black when they hired him, right? (When I began typing that, I meant it as a joke, and when I finished typing it, I realized it might be a legit question.)
2. Didn't they know from his background and resumé that his core framing of issues involved injustice and racism, and mitigating oppression?
3. Is this even legal?
4. These tweets are so mild, so benign, what on god's green earth was worth firing him over?
5. He has only been in this job for 7 months - these tweets were from TWO YEARS before he was even hired...again, IS THIS LEGAL?
6. How did Breitbart get their hands on his tweets to begin with? What motivated them to go after this man? Is it solely that he is Black, achieving success, and having the audacity to do it in the South?
The University of Alabama is a PUBLIC UNIVERSITY. It is, though, unfortunately, also in Alabama, where, (thank Marianne Williamson!) Hurricane Dorian had the good sense to stay away, even though one Very Stable Chosen Genius will be squealing until the day he dies that it was in the path of danger. (What was I saying?)
The school's student population is 78% white, and only 11% Black. It's a large school, though, and even just 11% means there are around 4,000 Black students there — a sizable number. Were they attempting to diversify hiring? The videos on their YouTube channel sure love to include Black kids front and center...but clearly the powers that be at this mostly white college in Alabama was not going to handle it well when it learned its Black Dean of Students said something truthful about racism in America.
Dr. Riley's tweets saying cops are racist or the flag represents oppression are such common sentiments among folks of so many skin colors, and less controversial with each passing day. They are even in line even with THE JOBS HE WAS DOING at the time he wrote them — director of a BLACK fraternity in one case, and working on inclusion and diversity at Johns Hopkins, Morehouse (an HBCU), and UC Berkley in the others...they KNEW this was his background when they hired him, didn't they?
We can be fairly certain we know the answers to these questions. This is likely just another case of racist snowflakes unable to tolerate an educated Black man who daring tell the truth about who built America and how they are treated for it.
One group of students is not staying silent, however. Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE) UA, a sexual and reproductive justice advocacy student organization put out a statement expressing deep sadness and regret about Dr. Riley's resignation. Note the careful wording and the strategic placement of quotation marks:
“As URGE UA is affiliated with the University of Alabama, we would like to make a statement on a recent occurrence at the University.
This Thursday, Sept. 5, Dr. Jamie R. Riley, the University of Alabama’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students for the past six months, resigned from his position. This decision is said to have been “mutually agreed” upon by both Dr. Riley and the University. Dr. Riley’s resignation follows the surface of past Tweets concerning systematic racism in America.
URGE UA is deeply saddened to see Dr. Riley leave the University, as he was always extremely supportive of our mission every time he interacted with our organization. His views and experience as a black man working at a predominantly white institution were incredibly valuable to the University of Alabama; we are extremely disappointed that the University led him to feel that resigning was the best decision.
The University of Alabama has shown various times that it encourages its students and faculty to exercise their freedom of speech; however, this situation seems to be a contradiction to those occurrences.
URGE UA encourages students to speak out on their opinions and not back down in the face of opposition; we do not stand for injustice, and we will not be silent about any sort of wrongdoing at UA.
URGE UA wishes Dr. Riley the best in all his future endeavors and encourages him to not stop speaking out on his beliefs.”
I'm sorry, kids. What a loss. What a damn shame.