An Ivy League professor is under fire for suggesting Texas police didn’t respond sooner to last week’s school shooting in Uvalde because they “didn’t give a damn” about children who were largely Latino.
Anthea Butler, an associate professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSNBC contributor, made the shocking claim in a tweet that she later deleted. The charge came amid damning new information about the delayed response of local police, who reportedly waited more than an hour to storm a Robb Elementary School classroom where the shooter was slaughtering children.
“So since no one else will ask, I will. Did those children die because most of them were Mexican American and the police didn’t give a damn about a school w predominately brown kids? I mean, because it’s Texas..and if you think everyone who isn’t white is illegal,” Butler tweeted on Friday.
Critics note that Uvalde School District Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who reportedly held officers back as 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman, is Latino, as is city Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez. Several of the local and federal officers who responded to the scene are also Latino, and many have children in the school.
The Daily Wire’s policy is to not name the shooter, who was finally killed by an elite Border Patrol agent, because mass shooters are often motivated by a desire for infamy.
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote about Butler’s claim on his blog, saying it should be protected as free speech, but noted that conservative professors who make far less divisive statements backed by evidence are often punished or fired.
“Professor Butler has a long history of offensive racial statements,” Turley wrote. “While some have previously called for her termination, these comments (including this disgraceful tweet) should be protected under principles of free speech and academic freedom. However, this is another example of the double standard often applied at universities, which are quick to investigate, discipline, or fire conservative, libertarian, or dissenting faculty members in such controversies.”
Others on Twitter blasted Butler’s hot take.
“Anthea Butler is the new kind of College intellectual racist, dumb and absolutely wrong,” tweeted @Johncxgw.
“That is crazy,” tweeted @RCalantjis. “There were white kids who died too. This has nothing to do with it.”
Butler has described conservatives as “craven and evil” and called black neurosurgeon and former Trump administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson a “coon.” She is the author of a book entitled White Evangelical Racism, in which she claims that Christianity in the United States is interwoven with the institution of slavery and support of the Ku Klux Klan, according to Professor Watch List.
Butler has also claimed that evangelical Christians believe that police are “ordained” by God to kill black people.