Statement by Professor Johnny Williams

Posted on FB June 27, 2017, reposted here with permission

On my personal social media page, I addressed issues of race, racism, discrimination, and oppression and I called for the demise of systems of white supremacy. I did not make any statements supporting, or advocating, for violence against or the death of any person. Subsequently, my words were twisted and distorted by certain right-wing media organizations who have targeted myself and other professors who espouse views with which they do not agree. I was then subjected to ongoing harassment and death threats. Unfortunately, instead of standing up for principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech, Trinity College has - - to this point - - capitulated to the pressure tactics and harassment. Trinity College has not only violated my rights, it has failed to uphold and affirm the principles of free speech and academic freedom that are an integral part of higher education. In its public statements, Trinity College has also improperly contributed to the misunderstanding of what I actually said, which has exacerbated the problem and emboldened those who have threatened me with violence and death. While this has been a terrible ordeal for me and my family, and the actions of the administration have been incredibly disappointing and hurtful, I have received tremendous support from my friends and colleagues on the faculty at Trinity, and elsewhere, which is incredibly gratifying and sincerely appreciated.

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