The president of Rutgers University is facing criticism after a tweet sent out by the president of the university in Minnesota came across as racially insensitive.
University President Richard Vitale released a statement Thursday evening following President Mika Brzezinski’s Twitter post, which he said was a “racist attack on our University and the values that it stands for.”
The president of Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St. Paul University released a similar statement on Wednesday, writing, “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our Minnesotans for the outpouring of support, concern, and solidarity you have shown over the past 24 hours.”
The tweets come on the heels of a weekend that saw violent clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and Minnesota police.
The protests began Saturday when police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of demonstrators who were marching peacefully through downtown Minneapolis.
It escalated into violent clashes Sunday night as hundreds of protesters were detained by police in downtown Minneapolis and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, and hundreds of people were arrested in downtown St. Paul.
The president has faced criticism for the tweet and other statements made during his time in office.
A number of people have called for him to resign.
In response to the tweet, University of Minnesota President Michael Young issued a statement, saying he was “deeply disappointed” by the “racist and discriminatory attack” made on the university.
Young’s statement continued, “We stand together in unity to continue to call out racism and discrimination wherever it exists, and will continue to work together to fight to improve our community’s environment, and to ensure that all people feel safe in our neighborhoods and communities.”
Vitale, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, tweeted, “In no way should anyone be called a racist.
We all have different backgrounds, different perspectives and experiences, and this is a great day for all of us.”
Vivacom, a leading provider of IT infrastructure to universities, said in a statement that the company stands by the university’s statement and that Vitale’s comments are “in no way reflective of our company.”
The company said that it would continue to provide the University of MN with its highest level of support and cooperation.