Miami University officials: Professor accused of making racist remark at Oxford protest

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Protesters take knee during protest in West Chester on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Miami University professor accused of making a racist remark to Black Lives Matter protesters on Thursday in Oxford is being criticized publicly by the school’s president and other top Miami officials.

The professor told Miami officials he denies making such remarks, according to a statement released by school officials.

In a statement released Friday by Miami University President Gregory Crawford, he writes the complaints against the retired professor who continues to teach, Douglas Brooks, upset him.

In statements released Friday by Miami University President Gregory Crawford and the school’s provost, both criticized a Miami professor for allegedly making racist remarks toward demonstrators supporting Black Lives Matter, during a protest off of school grounds of Miami’s main Oxford campus.(File Photo/Journal-News)
In statements released Friday by Miami University President Gregory Crawford and the school’s provost, both criticized a Miami professor for allegedly making racist remarks toward demonstrators supporting Black Lives Matter, during a protest off of school grounds of Miami’s main Oxford campus.(File Photo/Journal-News)

“I am deeply disturbed, disheartened, and disappointed by bigoted and harmful speech reportedly directed toward our community members and our students,” said Crawford.

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Miami University Provost Jason Osborne also released a statement Friday, writing that officials received reports of “vile, hurtful, and inflammatory remarks to a group of peaceful protesters in Oxford” on Thursday night and Friday morning.

Osborne reported Brooks has since spoken to Miami officials “and he denies the allegations.”

“Despite that, because he is teaching a class this summer, we will provide students the opportunity to complete their course with another professor,” said Osborne.

Brooks could not be reached for comment.

A bio page for the longtime Miami education professor was not available today on the Miami University website.

Neither Crawford nor Miami officials immediately addressed or responded to questions today regarding the professor’s status pertaining to possible investigation or review by school disciplinary officials.

Osborne’s statement, however, indicated the school’s disciplinary powers are limited.

Osborne said that “we demand tolerance and respect in the workplace and in the classroom, and if anyone had acted as reported while executing their duties in the classroom or in the workplace, we would be able to address those actions with due process according to our policies.”

“All faculty, staff, and students have the right to express their personal views under the First Amendment. The same right that gives us the ability to speak out against injustice and racism gives others the right to express repugnant personal views,” said Osborne. “All of us are free to condemn views that we find objectionable, and to do so as directly and publicly as we desire. I thank each of you for publicly and privately sharing your views, concerns, and outrage with me. I am with you.”