Dozens of angry staff members from the University of North Carolina signed an online statement Tuesday following Nikole Hannah-Jones’ announcement she would be rejecting an offer of tenure — slamming its “humiliating” and “racist” treatment of the award-winning journalist.
The group of 41 educators from UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media said they are “not surprised” by Hannah-Jones’ decision.
“While disappointed, we are not surprised,” the letter read.
“We support Ms. Hannah-Jones’s choice. The appalling treatment of one of our nation’s most-decorated journalists by her own alma mater was humiliating, inappropriate, and unjust,” the pointed statement continued.
“We will be frank: It was racist.”
The statement accused the university’s top leadership of creating a “crisis” over an “honest accounting” of America’s history.
“We regret that the top echelons of leadership at UNC-Chapel Hill failed to follow established processes, did not conduct themselves professionally and transparently, and created a crisis that shamed our institution, all because of Ms. Hannah-Jones’s honest accounting of America’s racial history,” the letter said.
The signatories also offered their “unconditional support” for those like Hannah-Jones who “have chosen to stay away or leave rather than serve an institution that repeatedly devalues, disregards, and degrades their perspectives, experiences, and contributions.”