TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A black dean at the University of Alabama has resigned after a conservative website highlighted old tweets he sent linking the U.S. flag with racism.
News outlets quote a university statement as saying dean of students and assistant vice president Jamie R. Riley resigned a day after the story by Breitbart News.
Assistant Director of the Division of Strategic Communications Chris Bryant released an official statement on behalf of the University confirming Riley’s resignation.
“Dr. Jamie Riley has resigned his position at The University of Alabama by mutual agreement,” Bryant said in the email. “Neither party will have any further comments.”
The website published a report saying a tweet on Riley’s social media feed from 2017 stated that the American flag represents a “history of racism” for black people. It said police are part of that system.
Another tweet expressed bafflement about how white people can make a judgment on racism when they can’t experience it.
Breitbart News has a reputation for being an ultra-conservative news, opinion and commentary website. The article reads that the author reached out to the University last week to receive a comment on Riley’s past tweets but that a statement was not given. The article also says Riley’s Twitter account appeared as private on Friday morning so only his followers could view his account.
Riley was named to the position on Dec. 13, 2018 after a national search and he began serving on Feb. 25, 2019. Before gaining the position at the University of Alabama, Riley served as the executive director and chief operating officer of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He also served in student affairs and diversity and inclusion roles at institutions including Johns Hopkins University, The University of California-Berkeley and Morehouse College.
The Crimson White contributed to this report.