A Florida State University teacher recently learned a valuable lesson about the ills of racism, especially views that are spread through social media.
The incident began when a business senior lecturer, Deborah O’Connor, took issue with a post by Colin Lively, a New York City-based beauty industry consultant, who celebrated an announcement that the U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the shooting of Tamir Rice, a Black child who was killed by a White officer in Cleveland, Ohio, last month, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Rice’s death occurred as the nation grapples with police violence in the Black community, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City.
In response to the Lively’s celebratory post, O’Connor called him a gay slur and used profane language, the Democrat writes of the since-deleted post.
“Take your Northern (gay slur) elitism and shove it up your (expletive),” O’Connor wrote on Lively’s Facebook post (they are not Facebook friends, but have one mutual friend on the social media site).
“I teach at a University, you (expletive),” the Democat continues, allegedly quoting O’Connor. “What do you do? You are an intellectual fraud, just like your Messiah. Obama has single-handedly turned our once great society into a Ghetto Culture, rivaling that of Europe.”
After a social media backlash, O’Connor submitted her resignation Friday, a day after the alleged hate rant and a one week before the end of finals for the fall semester, the Democrat notes. She told the newspaper that she was embarrassed by the entire incident.
“I’ve learned my lesson about Facebook; let’s just leave it at that,” O’Connor said. “I decided to resign because I didn’t think it was feasible to drag myself and Florida State through this kind of mud.”
If O’Connor thinks the lesson was merely about Facebook, she has a lot more to learn. A real apology would have addressed the need to conduct a brutal self-inventory to eradicate such thoughts.