A Black Lives Matter activist and University of Georgia PhD candidate who currently works at the university as a teaching assistant was cleared by the university following controversial anti-white remarks in which he seemed to advocate political violence.
Irami Osei-Frimpong, a University of Georgia Ph. D. candidate in philosophy and Black Lives Matter activist, said that he was under investigation after making an inflammatory social media post where he stated that “Some white people may have to die for black communities to be made whole,” and “To pretend that’s not the case is ahistorical and generally naive.”
Osei-Frimpong, in another post, wrote “Fighting white people is a skill,” and after receiving criticism for what seems to be advocacy of political violence, added that he is “confused why that is so controversial.”
Though he claims he is not calling for violence, Osei-Frimpong believed it should still remain as an option when speaking with local media.
“It’s just a fact of history that racial justice often comes at the cost of white life,” the Ph. D. candidate explained. “I didn’t advocate for violence. I was just honest of racial progress.”
However, according to WBCK, he wrote the following in a Medium post:
Killing some white people isn’t genocide; it’s killing some white people…We had to kill some white people to get out of slavery. Maybe if we’d killed more during the 20th century we still wouldn’t talk about racialized voter disenfranchisement and housing, education, and employment discrimination. This should not be controversial.
In an attempt to clarify his position to the local news outlet, the aspiring philosophy doctorate continues to make racialized anti-white posts on his social media feed.
While it remains unclear if Osei-Frimpong explicitly advocated violence, the student may have advocated domestic terrorism, which the FBI considers “criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”
Following the initial remarks, the University of Georgia said it was “vigorously exploring all available legal options,” before clearing the Ph. D. candidate.
FIRE, a pro-freedom of speech and civil liberties group, wrote to the university’s president that “The First Amendment does not permit [the university] to subject the expressive rights of faculty members or students to the whims of donors, students, or members of the public who find those views uncomfortable, objectionable or deeply offensive.”
The organization demanded for the investigation into the student be dropped.
During the initial investigation and backlash, the University issued a statement where they stressed that “Racism has no place on our campus, and we condemn the advocacy or suggestion of violence in any form.”
However, the university ultimately dropped the investigation and cleared Osei-Frimpong of any wrongdoing after outside pressure became apparent.
For his part, Osei-Frimpong does not “feel made whole” in the process of being cleared by the school.
Following his swift clearance, Inside Higher Ed reported:
Osei-Frimpong said Tuesday that various administrators “had the discretionary power to resolve this situation months ago” but instead “loaded down a panel of students and one staff person with the responsibility of presenting, adjudicating and dismissing the administration’s hastily contrived case.” He added that he does not “feel made whole” by the process. The university said in a statement that its Office of Student Conduct “adjudicated this case like any other, in compliance with all applicable policies and procedures. We respect the student conduct process and the outcome.”
A student at Kansas State University was recently investigated after criticizing George Floyd on Twitter, with many of the school’s athletes refusing to play until the student was expelled. Following public backlash, the university eventually chose not to expel the student for his tweet describing Floyd’s drug use.