Trinity College Reopens After Outcry Over Professor’s Facebook Post

Trinity College and professor Johnny Williams received multiple threats after the professor’s social media posts went viral.

Trinity College reopened on June 22 after controversial Facebook and Twitter posts from professor Johnny Williams led to threats against the campus.

Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said the school is investigating the incident to determine if Williams’ posts violated the school’s policies.

Williams has apologized and said he never intended to incite violence with two posts he shared on his personal Facebook and Twitter pages June 18. The posts referenced a Medium article and included the hashtag “Let Them All [expletive] Die.”

The posts quickly spread, causing an outcry as some interpreted them as a call for violence against white people.

Trinity’s campus was shut down June 21 after officials received four threatening phone calls. The Hartford Police Department later determined that the none of the calls posed an ongoing threat and an investigation into the calls is ongoing.

Before reopening the school, Berger-Sweeney held a meeting with students, faculty and staff members to update them on campus safety issues, reports NBC Connecticut.

Now the dean of faculty will review the incident to determine if any policies were broken.

“The [Medium piece Williams shared] culminated with a call to show indifference to the lives of bigots,” Berger-Sweeney said. “That call was reprehensible, and any such suggestion is abhorrent and wholly contrary to Trinity’s values.”

Williams, a sociology teacher who has been with Trinity College since 1996, said in a statement that he has received numerous threats and is staying away from the campus.

“I regret that the hashtag that I quoted from the title of an article was misinterpreted and mis-perceived as inciting violence and calling for the death of ‘white’ people,” Williams said in a statement. “I never intended to invite or incite violence. My only aim was to bring awareness to white supremacy and to inspire others to address these kinds of injustices.”


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About the Author


Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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