An HBCU president in Pennsylvania is under fire for insensitive comments he made to female students about sexual assault during a school address earlier this year, the Huffington Post reports.
Robert R. Jennings, (pictured right) president of Lincoln University in Lincoln, Pa., made the remarks on Sept. 16 at the school’s annual All Women’s Convocation after several women on campus reportedly made false rape charges last school year. He said the women were responsible for putting themselves in those situations, the news site reports.
Controversy recently erupted after a four-minute video clip was uploaded to YouTube on Nov. 1, the report says. The video opens with Jennings declaring that if women don’t respect themselves, men won’t either.
The Huffington Post reports:
“We will use you up, if you allow us to use you up,” Jennings said. “Well, guess what? When it comes time for us to make that final decision, we’re going to go down the hall and marry that girl with the long dress on. That’s one we’re going to take home to mama.”
“You know I’m right about it,” he said before discussing several allegedly false rape accusations.
“We have, we had, on this campus last semester three cases of young women who after having done whatever they did with the young men, and then it didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to turn out — guess what they did?” he said. “They went to [the university’s Department of] Public Safety and said, ‘He raped me.’”
Marybeth Gasman, a University of Pennsylvania education professor and expert on historically Black colleges, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Jennings’ remarks were “disturbing, offensive, and sexist in nature.”
“The president blames young women for being raped by saying that when they have sex with someone and regret the act, they then create a story [of rape] to explain it.”
Jennings defended his speech to the Philadelphia Inquirer, saying, “No one would ever discourage a young woman on this campus from reporting a sexual assault.”
The flare up Jennings comments resurfaced nearly a month after the White House launched an initiative aimed at tackling sexual assault on campus and to raise awareness and educate college students about the subject through prevention.