Dalton State Professor Takes Heat for Tweets; College Doesn't Plan DisciplineHistorians in the News
tags: racism, Twitter, free speech, academic freedom
A professor at Dalton State College has taken heat online and from some in the community for tweets he posted in 2017 and more recently amid racial unrest, police brutality and nationwide demonstrations.
Seth Weitz has been a history professor at Dalton State for 11 years. In that time, he's taught classes on U.S. history, African American history, the Civil Rights Movement, Latin American history and Georgia history.
Weitz, a white man, told the Times Free Press Wednesday that the collage of his tweets that went viral a month ago was taken out of context but admitted he let his emotions get the best of him and didn't use the best word choices to get his message across.
Before Weitz posted his series of four tweets, he was going back and forth with someone else on Twitter who said white privilege does not exist, Weitz said. Another person had called Weitz, who is Jewish, an anti-Semitic slur, and that's when he decided to post the tweets in question.
Since an anonymous Twitter user put together Weitz's 2017 tweets and a few others he posted this year, the professor has received threatening emails, texts and voicemails. He's even received death threats, he said.
He also emphasized that he has never brought his personal politics into his classroom. Weitz has had six or seven students in the last 11 years write in evaluations about how he has been critical of white people and their role in the country's history, which he said he welcomes.
"I've had students say I hate white people because I teach African American history. I've had students say I hate white people because I teach that slavery was the cause of the Civil War," Weitz said. "I stress this all the time: I do not bring politics into the classroom. I absolutely do not. I teach history, and if I say that something happens and someone disagrees with it because that's their political beliefs, that's not me bringing my personal beliefs into the classroom."
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