boston_universityBoston University’s president has responded to the Saida Grundy tweet controversy. Grundy, an incoming professor, came under fire after posting tweets to her personal Twitter account about “white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges.” Grundy’s tweets went viral after a conservative website posted them. Now many are calling for her termination and stated that she’s racist.

On Tuesday, Boston University’s president sent a letter via email to the faculty, staff and students.

May 12, 2015

To the Boston University Community:

Many members of our community are aware of comments made on social media by Dr. Saida Grundy, who on July 1st will become an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology with an additional appointment in African American Studies.

Dr. Grundy’s comments are receiving extensive coverage in the media; we are also hearing from alumni, friends, and others about them. Many have expressed the view that some of Dr. Grundy’s comments are offensive and/or racist.

At Boston University, we acknowledge Dr. Grundy’s right to hold and express her opinions. Our community is composed of faculty, staff, and students who represent widely varying points of view on many sensitive issues.At the same time, we fully appreciate why many have reacted so strongly to her statements. Boston University does not condone racism or bigotry in any form, and we are committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from bias, fully inclusive, and open to wide-ranging discussions. We are disappointed and concerned by statements that reduce individuals to stereotypes on the basis of a broad category such as sex, race, or ethnicity. I believe Dr. Grundy’s remarks fit this characterization.

I do not say this lightly or without a great deal of consultation and soul-searching. I understand there is a broader context to Dr. Grundy’s tweets and that, as a scholar, she has the right to pursue her research, formulate her views, and challenge the rest of us to think differently about race relations. But we also must recognize that words have power and the words in her Twitter feed were powerful in the way they stereotyped and condemned other people. As a university president, I am accustomed to living in a world where faculty do—and should—have great latitude to express their opinions and provoke discussion. But I also have an obligation to speak up when words become hurtful to one group or another in the way they typecast and label its members. That is why I weigh in on this issue today.

Too often conversations about race quickly become inflamed and divisive. We must resolve to find a vocabulary for these conversations that allows us to seek answers without intemperance, rancor, or unnecessary divisiveness. We expect our faculty members to strive to create this environment in their classrooms.

I also understand that some members of our faculty believe that any equivocation by the president is tantamount to not supporting a new colleague. To those who feel that way, I ask that we talk rather than jump to conclusions. I recognize this is a difficult issue and I welcome the chance to talk with all of you and Dr. Grundy about it.

Only when we hold these conversations will we—as an academic community, with our educational programs, research, and scholarship—meet the standards we set for ourselves.


Robert A. Brown


Also, on Tuesday, Grundy apologized for her tweets. “I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events led me to speak about them indelicately,” she said in a statement viewed by the Associated Press. “I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve.”

Brown assured the  AP that Grundy “will report for work on July 1.”

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  • Anthony

    This is what I was talking about. She is starting her career under a cloud that will follow her at least through the tenure and promotion process. Think twice before you post, especially in an account that can be traced directly back to you.

  • PirmasensVet

    When will people learn. You should never post negative opinions about your job on social media. Save those opinions for face to face conversations.

    • Anthony

      An older white gay man, who was about to retire told me to always say nice things in writting, and save harsh remarks for spoken communication. There is nothing worse than a trail of harsh memos following you.

      At work, a person lost a job recently ,in part, because a harsh memo came back to bite him.

  • I understand what she was trying to mention. She was trying to outline complexities on various issues. Yet, reactionaries will try to demonize anyone condemning the system of white supremacy in explicit terms. People have to be careful on what they post in Twitter, because some people are itching to either misinterpret what you say or try to end your livelihood. In retrospect, she should of used better terminologies to outline her points. Yet, this doesn’t mean that we sugarcoat white racism. White racism and oppression are abominations. Great strategies are always necessity in order for us to establish real social change.

  • mmmdot

    I don’t get it. She’s a SOCIOLOGY professor and she was speaking the truth about chattel slavery and racism. Her comments are pretty mild compared to what we ALL COULD and SHOULD be saying about whites and their psychopathic racism. The ONLY mistake she made was making those comments on an account that could easily be traced back to her.It’s not possible to be be “racist” to a racially privileged people. Racism is military, economic, and social power. Not DISCUSSING racism or MAKING OBSERVATIONS about racism. Whites have NEVER been oppressed on the basis of their white skin. She didn’t say a DAMN thing that was wrong. What REALLY bothers me is this is YET ANOTHER instance of whites using their money to silence a Black woman [white alumni threatening to pull funding] and that the university president said this in his bogus statement “Boston University does not condone racism or bigotry in any form”. Um, there’s only ONE form of racism and it’s inflicted by whites upon POC. Is this COLLEGE PRESIDENT seriously giving credence to that white supremacist lie “reverse racism”? You would think someone who works at an institution of higher learning would know the difference between racism and prejudice?

    I wish EVERYBODY – especially these dumb white morons who complained about this – had real, comprehensive K through 12 education on the history of race and racism. We ALL need to read REAL anthropologically and sociologically sound history books on the subject of race and racism. Whites will never learn to stop being racist as long they can’t grasp that racism and white supremacy are the same damn thing and that racism is a system of oppression that WHITES created and perpetuate to this day. Instead of fixating on what black people RESPOND to racism, WHITES need to go straight to the source and stop themselves and the system from BEING RACIST. Because white people’s willfully ignorant “colorblindness” mindset is KILLING US black people. Literally. It isn’t necessarily a rational hope so much as an immature refusal to fully acknowledge and deal with the true gravity of the situation.

    OK y’all remember Donald Sterling when y’all cheered for them to take his business away because of a private conversation secretly recorded, remember Roland Martin when y’all silently agreed with CNN suspending him for two weeks for a tweet about David Beckon and it was PC ok with y’all, As I said beck then BE CARFUL WHEN YOU CO-SIGN ON HURTING OTHERS CAUSE IT JUST MIGHT COME BACK TO BITE YOU IN THE ASSET ONE DAY but y’all was running with the herd cheering the demise of these men now it has come back to bite us in the asset with this Dr.Grundy and I support Dr. Grundy right to free speech just as I did Donald Sterling and Roland Martin and any other human being.