Law Professor Put On Leave After She Wore Blackface For Halloween

The University of Oregon professor was reportedly depicting a 2015 autobiography, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine.

A law professor at the University of Oregon has been put on administrative leave after she wore blackface at a private, off-campus Halloween party that was attended by other faculty members and students, the school said on Tuesday.

Today's pick: UO law professor's blackface costume sends shock waves through university. @diane_dietz…

The university condemned the unidentified law professor, saying her use of blackface was "patently offensive" and "stupid."

"We condemn this action unequivocally as anathema to the University of Oregon’s cherished values of racial diversity and inclusion," the president and other UO leaders wrote in a campus-wide email.

"The use of blackface, even in jest at a Halloween party, is patently offensive and reinforces historically racist stereotypes," the email said. "It was a stupid act and is in no way defensible."

The university confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the professor was put on administrative leave pending an investigation into whether her actions violated university policy.

The professor has apologized for her decision and "has expressed concern about its potential impact on members of the community," the president's statement said. She also acknowledged that the "costume choice was unacceptable under any circumstances."

Another UO professor told The Register-Guard that the professor wearing blackface meant for her costume to depict a 2015 autobiography — Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine. In the book, Damon Tweedy, a black doctor, documented his experiences of racism in America's medical system.

In an open letter to the professor, 23 of her colleagues and faculty members demanded her resignation, saying "there is no excuse" for wearing blackface, which they said was "overtly racist."

A petition demanding the professor's resignation had garnered more than 600 supporters on Thursday.

Other UO alumni also took to Twitter to demand her resignation.

Lifetime UO alumni member/DoubleDuck/ BA '98 & JD '02 here. The UO Law prof who thought blackface was acceptable should resign immediately.

The school's Black Student Union organized a meeting to discuss the issue "due to the seriousness of the matter."

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