Toby Jennings, a black theology professor at Grand Canyon University, has been placed on leave after video emerged of him saying some Black Lives Matter activists “should be hung.”
GCU, a private Christian university in Arizona, announced this week that it placed Jennings on leave over remarks he made in September 2016 about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Although he said some parts of the movement were positive in highlighting injustices, others were not helpful in terms of fostering dialogue — and he said those elements of the movement deserved to be hanged.
“You have people on the opposite extreme of that that frankly should be hung,” he said. “And, yes, I did say that on video. They are saying things that are not helpful to any way, shape or form of human dignity or flourishing. That is not helpful to any conversation. That kind of rhetoric is not helpful to any conversation. And that’s what I mean by they should be hung.”
In a statement announcing Jennings being put on leave, GCU said that Jennings’ “reprehensible rhetoric in this statement is unacceptable and the University condemns it in the strongest terms.” The school also explained that “leaders of the College that hosted this forum were aware of this offensive language at the time it was made and addressed it with the professor at the conclusion of the event,” but they did not “escalate the matter to University executives who were unaware of this incident until last week.”
AZCentral.com reports that local chapters of the NAACP and BLM alerted GCU Provost Hank Radda to the professor’s statements last week and urged him to take action.