Two Georgetown Law professors are under investigation after they were recorded on a Zoom call making racist remarks about African-American students.
Negotiations Professors Sandra Sellers and David Batson have sparked outrage on social media after video footage of them discussing a black student's performance in a course they taught together went viral.
'A Lot of My Lower Ones are Blacks'
In the clip, Sellers can be heard saying, "I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester. And it's like, oh come on. It's some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom, it drives me crazy."
Batson nods in agreement to Sellers' racist remarks before the video runs out. The virtual meeting was available on the Washington, D.C.-based university's website and has since been pulled after it was reported by one of the students. Watch the clip below:
The video is now being widely circulated on Twitter with users expressing their anger over Sellers' racist beliefs and Batson's failure to condemn it.
"@GeorgetownLaw you need to audit the grades from her classes EXPEDIENTLY," wrote one user. "The implicit bias she's displayed here tells me that her racism plays a role in the grades she gives students. No Black student should be disadvantaged because of this woman's racist beliefs."
"It's disgusting how the other professor just sits idly, offering no rebuke, content to let the lady's racism stand," commented another.
The Georgetown Law Black Law Students Association (BLSA) also condemned Sellers' racist remarks in a letter urging the university to fire the professor, perform an audit of Professor Sellers' past grading and student evaluations, demand a public apology from Batson and commit to hire more black professors to ensure a fair and non-biased assessment of black students.
Georgetown Law Calls the Video 'Abhorrent,' Orders Investigation
In the wake of the backlash, Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor released a statement condemning the video as "abhorrent" and announced that the incident was under investigation.
"We learned earlier this week that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students, We are responding with the utmost seriousness to this situation. I have watched a video of this conversation and find the content to be abhorrent. It includes conduct that has no place in our educational community. We must ensure that all students are treated fairly and evaluated on their merits."
"We are taking this incident extremely seriously. Upon hearing of it, I immediately engaged the University's Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action, which is undertaking a thorough investigation," he continued. "The Law School is also pursuing additional responses and will act swiftly and seriously to address this incident."
"I recognize how hurtful this incident is to members of this class, to the members of the Black community, and to members of our community as a whole. I am committed to taking steps to support students through this and to addressing racism and bias wherever they appear," Treanor added. "There is no place for bias in our grading process or anywhere in our community.