Students and faculty at George Washington University are calling for the resignation of President Thomas LeBlanc over a controversial remark he made during a conversation a student. More than 100 faculty members at George Washington University have signed a petition that calls on LeBlanc to resign over his comments.
According to a report by Campus Reform, George Washington University President Thomas LeBlanc is facing calls for his resignation over a comment he made during an exchange with a first-year student in February.
When pressed about the university’s refusal to divest from the fossil fuel industry, LeBlanc offered an unusual comparison. “What if the majority of the students agreed to shoot all the black people here?” LeBlanc said. “Do I say, ‘Ah, well, the majority voted?’ No.”
A progressive student organization drafted a petition that calls on LeBlanc to resign. “We release this petition today to make clear to the GW community that expressions of racism from the leadership of the university are intolerable, and that we regard President LeBlanc’s remarks as part of a broader pattern of disregard for democracy and diversity,” the petition reads.”
The petition suggests that George Washington University should replace LeBlanc because the hiring committee that selected was exclusively white.
“A president like this–who engages in activities like these, including making blatantly racist remarks–is made possible by a lack of shared governance between the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, and staff. Indeed, Thomas LeBlanc was selected by a committee that completely excluded faculty of color despite the repeated objections of GW community members,” the petition reads.
The George Washington University Faculty Association circulated their own petition that has reportedly received over 100 signatures.
LeBlanc apologized for his remarks in a short statement that was released in February. LeBlanc explained that he was trying to make a point about the dangers of majority rule.
“Yesterday, in a conversation with a student, I attempted to emphasize a point and used an insensitive example that I realize could be hurtful to members of our community. I deeply apologize for using that example,” LeBlanc wrote. “The point I was making—that majority rule should never suppress the human rights of others—was obscured by the example I used. I regret my choice of words and any harm I unintentionally inflicted on a community I value greatly.”