Students are calling for Georgetown University Law Center to cut ties with professor Sandra Sellers after she was recorded making racist remarks during a meeting. Sellers told others that Black students in her class "are just plain at the bottom."
“I hate to say this. I ended up having this, you know, angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You know. Get some really good ones but they’re also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy,” she told fellow professor David Batson in a meeting.
“What drives me crazy is, you know, the concept of how that plays out. And whether that is, you know, my own perceptions playing in here and when certain, my own, you know, my own unconscious biases, you know, playing out in the scheme of things."
The meeting was recorded and later posted on Twitter. After it made the rounds on social media, administrators at Georgetown University issued a statement addressing Sellers' remarks.
“We learned earlier this week that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students,” Georgetown University Law Center Dean Bill Treanor said.
“We are responding with the utmost seriousness to this situation. I have watched a video of this conversation and find the content to be abhorrent. It includes conduct that has no place in our educational community. We must ensure that all students are treated fairly and evaluated on their merits.”
Black students at the university are pushing for Treanor and his colleagues to fire Sellers. Recently, the Georgetown Black Law Student Association issued a statement and put together a petition calling for Sellers to be let go. Thus far, more than three dozen Georgetown organizations, eight faculty members, 755 students and more than 100 alumni have signed the petition.
“We demand nothing short of the immediate termination of Sandra Sellers as [an] adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. Not suspension. Not an investigation. The University must take swift and definitive action in the face of blatant and shameless racism," the Georgetown Black Law Student Association stated.
“Not only is this situation revealing of Sellers’ true beliefs about Black students, it is also illustrative of the conscious and unconscious bias systemically present in law school grading at Georgetown Law and in law school classrooms nationwide. The difference is that Sellers was caught and her racism was broadcast for the world to see.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images