Lynch resigns from UDR position after social media backlash
Following a swarm of social media attention for comments she made on Twitter, Khadijah Lynch ’16 has resigned from her position as an undergraduate departmental representative for the African and Afro-American Studies department, according to a statement from the department on the University’s website today.
Lynch’s Twitter activity generated widespread reaction online after an article written by Daniel Mael ’15 was published on the conservative news website Truth Revolt this Saturday, calling out Lynch as a “student leader.” In the article, Mael embedded several tweets posted from Lynch’s personal Twitter account that same day, commenting on the shootings of New York Police Department Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. One of the tweets embedded in the article read: “i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.”
Prof. Chad Williams (AAAS), who is the chair of the department, wrote in the statement that Lynch’s tweets do not represent the views of the department. “AAAS, unequivocally, does not promote nor condones a disregard for the loss of human life,” he wrote. “The deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu are a tragedy and should be treated with proper respect. We express our most sincere condolences to their family and loved ones.”
Since both Lynch’s Twitter posts and Mael’s article began circulating online, Brandeis students and alums, along with readers who have no affiliation with the University, have voiced their opinions on Twitter and Facebook. The social media platforms have been used to express both threats to and support for the student. A public Facebook group—titled “Expel Khadijah Lynch from Brandeis”—was created today, with a description reading: “The purpose of this page is to get this woman expelled from Brandeis and exposed for the racist that she is!” The hashtag #IStandWithKhadijah has also gained traction on Facebook, as many Brandeis students have used it to post responses to the online threats that Lynch has received.
In the department’s statement, Williams acknowledges the social media response, stating that it can be both “productive and dangerous.”
“The comments expressed by Ms. Lynch in no way excuse those made in response to her tweets, many of which have been horrifically racist, sexist, Islamophobic and threatening physical violence,” Williams wrote. “These appalling comments should be resoundingly condemned with even greater passion.”
The Justice has reached out to both Lynch and the University for comments and to follow up.