Black university dean resigns after far-right website publishes old tweets

A Black university official at the University of Alabama resigned Thursday after far-right news website Breitbart published his tweets from years ago. In the tweets, Jamie R. Riley wrote critically about police brutality and race in America. 

Riley, the University of Alabama’s assistant vice president and dean of students, resigned within a day of the article’s publication, according to campus newspaper the Crimson White.

In their article, Breitbart shared screenshots of tweets Riley wrote in 2017.

“The [American] flag represents a systemic history of racism for my people,” Riley tweeted in September of that year. “Police are a part of that system. Is it that hard to see the correlation?” 

In another tweet a month later, he wrote, “I’m baffled about how the 1st thing white people say us, ‘That’s not racist!’ when they can’t even experience racism? You have 0 opinion!” He followed it up with “#missmewithyouprivilege.”

Riley’s accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn were unavailable on Friday afternoon when the Daily Dot ran a search. He did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comments. 

Chris Bryant, University of Alabama’s assistant director of communications, confirmed Riley’s resignation with the Crimson White

Riley’s tweets echo verified facts, validated by recent data showing police officers routinely post racist sentiments on their social media. Research also shows that cops are more likely to be brutal towards communities of color, especially the Black community.

It’s unclear on what grounds Riley resigned. The provost of the university did not respond the Daily Dot’s requests for comment.

People on Twitter are outraged.

According to the campus newspaper, Riley had started his position in February. 

READ MORE:

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque