A professor of law at Georgetown University expressed her angst that some of the lower grades in her class were from black students, and she got immediately fired for racism.
Professor Sandra Sellers was speaking to David Batson, another professor at Georgetown, on a recorded Zoom call when she spoke about the academic achievements of her black students.
“I hate to say this — I end up having this, you know, angst every semester — that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester,” Sellers said.
“Mmm hmm,” Batson replied and nodded.
“And it’s like, oh, come on,” Sellers added. “Get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.”
“Yeah,” Batson responded.
“So, I feel bad,” Sellers said.
That video was made available to students, some of whom called for Sellers to be fired. The Georgetown Black Law Students Association released a statement calling for Sellers be immediately fired, demanding Batson apologize for not correcting Sellers, and that all of the grades be re-assessed for implicit racial bias.
“Not only is this situation revealing of Sellers’ true beliefs about Black students, it is also illustrative of the conscious and unconscious bias systemically present in laws school grading at Georgetown Law and in law school classrooms nationwide. The difference is that Sellers was caught and her racism was broadcast for the world to see,” read the statement.
In response to the furor on Thursday, Georgetown dean Bill Treanor said that Sellers had been fired and Batson put on administrative leave for nodding along.
“I am appalled that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students,” said Treanor.
Sellers apologized for her comments in her resignation letter to Treanor.
“I am deeply sorry for my hurtful and misdirected remarks. While the video of this incident is an excerpt from a longer discussion about class participation patterns, not overall grades, it doesn’t diminish the insensitivity I have demonstrated,” wrote Sellers.
WUSA-TV reported that students of Batson would be regraded without his input over the affair.
Here’s the video of the professors’ Zoom call:
Georgetown Law professor fired after being caught on video making racially insensitive comments