UAB Biology professor defends his 'four political sh*tpost tweets'

 

Whitney Sides
Blazer News Reporter
whitsides@uab.edu

 

 

For the second time in a year, the UAB Department of Biology is faced with a controversy involving its faculty or staff members going public with far-right ideologies.

 

 

Last year, the Biology Department also faced allegations of housing a white nationalist, Michael Williams’, Ph.D. candidate and Biology Teacher's Assistant. Williams was accused of serving as pledge coordinator of the white nationalist group known as Identity Europa. Williams later stated that while he was formerly a member of the white nationalist group, he did not renew his membership for the 2019 year. (Read The Kaleidoscope's coverage of Willaims' here.)

 

 

This morning, Josh Moon, a reporter and columnist for Alabama Political Reporter, posted a tweet where he refrenced a blog post written by Jeffrey Morris, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and called for UAB to address his seemingly far right posts. 

 

In Morris' blog, The Antosocial Darwinist, Morris shared over a 2000-word post of defending his four controversial tweets (which has since been deleted). 

 

One of Morris' tweets said, “Let’s be honest: “White Nationalist” is just a racist slur used to incite hatred and violence toward people because of the color of their skin.” 

 

Reactions from the post included users calling to UAB News to report on Morris. Corey Barret, (@CoreyVersho), replied to Moon's tweet  and said, "He's clearly insane."

 

Terry McGlynn, Professor of Biology at Cal State Dominguez Hills and a Research Associate at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County also acknowledged the tweet and said, "I’m stunned and scared to read a manifesto-esque blog post from a US-based TT biologist, how he’s not white nationalist, just a “nationalist who believes the US has a traditional ethnic character comprised of multiple distinct ethnic groups, whose uniqueness should be preserved.”

 

“Ethnonationalism, including when it is practiced by various kinds of white people and is not synonymous with hatred or terror,” Morris said in his blog.

Morris also said in his blog, he considers himself a “civic nationalist” who believes the U.S. has a “traditional ethnic character” that should be preserved by limiting immigration.

Morris also referenced Jared Taylor, an American white supremacist and editor of American Renaissance, a white supremacist online magazine Taylor founded in 1990. Taylor is famously quoted as saying that “blacks and whites are different” and that “when blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization disappears.”

 

Morris closed his blog by saying that he has deleted his Twitter and Facebook accounts and alluded to taking up arms to protect his family against perceived threats from political rivals with the tweet, “But if you want to sign up with a hateful mob and attack people like me because we were born with the wrong color skin, at least have the common decency not to ask me why I feel the need to own a gun or twelve.”

 UAB delivered a statement regarding Morris' blog post. 

 

 "We have recently been made aware of this personal blog post, and we are looking into it," said UAB Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Paulette Dilworth, Ph.D.. "If evidence exists that a policy or law has been broken, we will investigate and take appropriate action. UAB is a richly diverse and inclusive campus that is committed to protecting free speech while maintaining a culture of respect and civility that is aligned with our vision, mission and values."

 

 

**** Correction ****

 Previously, the article stated Biology TA Michael Williams’ left Identity Evropa after not paying his 2019 dues for the year. This was incorrect as he Williams did pay his 2019 dues.

 

Article updated 8.9.2019 at 9:55 a.m.