A University of Georgia professor issued an apology to those he had “offended” when he congratulated an old friend on becoming the state’s Republican candidate for governor.
Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, sent the offending tweet shortly after Brian Kemp won the GOP primary Tuesday night, noting that he had been friends with Kemp since childhood and considers him a “nice guy.”
“I went to high school with GOP guv candidate @BrianKempGA. We played YMCA ball from childhood. Politics be damned. He is a nice guy, always was. Kind to a fault,” Davis tweeted. “He’s a friend, always has been, and will be when we’re old(er) and grey(er). That’s how all this should work, people.”
Rather than embracing Davis’ call for civility, liberals quickly denounced him for having something nice to say about a Republican, declaring that Kemp is a “racist” who “spews bigoted and dangerous rhetoric,” and insinuating that Davis must therefore be no different.
“You’re a straight white man. Of course he was nice and kind to you. Racists are generally nice to their own kind,” one user replied.
“Why don’t you say what you really mean. Politics be damned. You’d never vote for a black woman and would much rather vote for the white racist.”
“It’s the definition of privilege,” another user remarked caustically. “~the dean~ has the luxury of damning politics because no politician is threatening his rights, safety, or survival; he is willing to empower those who would threaten the same of others on account of the candidate being ‘nice’ to him personally.”
Shortly after posting it, Davis deleted the tweet, though he initially tried to explain to his enraged interlocutors that he was merely “acknowledging a friend.”
Davis denied facing any backlash from colleagues or administrators to apologize for the tweet, telling Campus Reform that “the decision was entirely mine” in a brief statement provided by UGA’s Media Communications office.
Three days after his initial tweet, though, Davis posted an apology to those who had been “offended” by it, assuring his antagonists that he had “learned” from their feedback and “will endeavor to be more thoughtful” in the future.
Campus Reform has reached out to the Kemp campaign for comment, and is currently awaiting a response.
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