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Dr. John J. DeGioia
Dear President DeGioia,
I am writing to express my disappointment and outrage that Georgetown University was recently named to the list of the Top Ten Most Racist Colleges & Universities released by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
As the report notes, Georgetown Law School recently fired one professor and placed a second on administrative leave for comments expressing “angst” that African-American students tend to earn grades near the bottom of the grading scale.
Footage captured two colleagues, Georgetown Law professors Sandra Sellers and David Batson, commiserating on a Zoom call over their experiences grading students.
“You know what? I hate to say this, I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Sellers commented to Batson. “Happens almost every semester and it’s like ‘oh come on.’”
Sellers added, “I get some really good ones but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom, it drives me crazy… so I feel bad.”
The video shows Batson nodding his head, possibly indicating agreement, but remaining silent while listening to his colleague.
When the video sparked a public uproar, Georgetown Law School Dean Bill Treanor immediately acquiesced to the mob and fired Sellers. For the apparent thought crime of possibly agreeing with Sellers, Professor Batson was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, and later resigned.
The irony of this case lies in the fact that Sellers’ comments were the exact opposite of racist. She expressed her dismay that when assigning grades meritocratically, her African-American students, on average, earned lower grades than those of other races. This is a statement of fact, not evidence of discrimination. And being a concerned and dedicated educator, Sellers felt “angst” about this racial disparity. Where is the racism in that? Should she have artificially inflated the test scores of her African-American students in some misguided attempt at
I respectfully ask that you immediately apologize to Professors Sellers and Batson for the mendacious and inflammatory accusations of racism directed their way and offer to renew their contracts with the university.